AEW TV deal: Weekly show will reportedly air on TNT as deal with Turner is 'virtually done'
All Elite Wrestling and Turner have nearly finalized an agreement, according to a report
All Elite Wrestling and Turner are nearing a deal for a weekly AEW television show to air on TNT, according to TheWrap, which notes that an agreement between the two parties is "virtually done." An announcement is expected for Wednesday, May 15, which is 10 days before AEW's opening show "Double or Nothing" and the same day as the Turner upfront event.
While there have been other wrestling promotions with national television aside from WWE since the fall of WCW in 2001, AEW stands as the first company with major financial backing to take a swing at beginning to compete with WWE on a major level in nearly two decades. A TV deal with TNT would ensure that becomes a possibility.
According to TheWrap, the AEW show will air weekly beginning in the fall. Neither the length of the future show nor its name were released at time, though AEW does have a trademark for "Tuesday Night Dynamite." Financial details of the potential deal were also not disclosed as AEW is not a publicly traded company.
WWE in June agreed to a five-year, reportedly $1 billion deal with FOX to air SmackDown on the broadcast network beginning on Oct. 4, 2019. The show, which had long been WWE's second behind Raw, will move from Tuesday to Friday nights and continue airing live in a two-hour window from 8-10 p.m. ET. It will be the first time WWE will have weekly programming on a broadcast network since 2006 (SmackDown on UPN).
That scheduling change for WWE SmackDown opens Tuesday night to a potential AEW show as it would not be ideal for it to go head-to-head with a main WWE program.
WWE also agreed to a five-year extension with USA Network to air Raw, the company's longest-running signature TV show. Financial terms of that agreement were not disclosed, but considering the program is three hours, it is expected that they are similar to the Fox deal.
Key members of AEW are expected to be in attendance at the Turner upfront at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, according to TheWrap.
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