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Report: Update On AEW-WBD Relationship, Media Rights Negotiations

A new report provides an update on the relationship between AEW and Warner Bros. Discovery, as AEW’s media rights are coming up later this year.

Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful (via Fightful Select) reports that the two sides “look poised” to continue working together. A deal has not been announced yet, but Sapp writes that both sides are confident that their relationship would continue. Sapp cites the crosspromotional efforts fans have seen, including the House of the Dragon integration on AEW television.

Per Sapp, there is an offer on the table from WBD’s side, and that has been the case for months. The report notes that talks between the two sides date back to last year, and there were discussions about getting AEW PPVs on the Max streaming service. However, talks have continued, as AEW has waited.

More Details On AEW-WBD

Sapp also notes that AEW and WBD meet every week to discuss integrations and creative plans, and to prevent hurdles they may face in the days ahead.

Sapp then reports that AEW and WBD have been examining what nights and time blocks work best, which has played into the variety of time slots and blocks fans have seen in recent months.

Furthermore, Sapp confirms that WBD had interest in putting AEW PPVs on Max. However, AEW is expected to likely negotiate all of their properties together at first before they explore the possibility of individual negotiations.

The report additionally cites WBD sources who noted that the TV landscape in late 2023 was not as attractive for those selling rights, which has been a factor in the talks stretching into 2024.

Sapp also cites a WBD source who noted that they were not typically “in the habit of making schedule flexibility and giving overruns to properties we aren’t confident or interested in.”

Lastly, it was noted that NBA’s rights could be a factor as well. Sapp cites an AEW source who noted that it could be compared to an NFL quarterback setting the contract market. It’s fair to say that WBD would have more flexibility for other programming if they lost the NBA TV rights.

WrestleZone will provide more information as it becomes available.