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Tony Khan on talks with WBD & The CW about AEW & ROH media rights

Amy Nemmity’s Twitter

AEW’s current television contract with Warner Bros Discovery is up at the end of next year, and it’s believed the promotion’s next deal will go a long way toward determining if AEW will be profitable. Ever since Tony Khan’s 2022 announcement that he purchased Ring of Honor, there’s been a lot of interest in whether or not he could find a TV or streaming partner for that brand’s product.

Khan commented on both yesterday (Dec. 12) during a media call to promote Friday’s ROH Final Battle PPV, which like Ring of Honor’s weekly show will only be available on their HonorClub subscription service.

He didn’t have much to say, but just the fact negotiations are ongoing with WBD may have alleviate fan concern as TNT & TBS’s parent company continues to be mentioned as a potential bidder for WWE Raw:

“We’ve had really good talks with Warner Brothers Discovery, had a great visit with them today and we have a really exciting relationship that has grown a lot over the years and has expanded for AEW.”

Sounds like ROH and its tape library are part of those talks, as Khan’s mentioned before that WBD’s Max would be his dream streaming partner for his wrestling companies:

“I definitely think it’s a value add for AEW and ROH to be aligned with media rights that are coming up for AEW in 2024. It’s going to be a very exciting time for AEW and it’s great to have ROH there as far as strategic value.”

One network that’s investing in wrestling for both broadcast and online/streaming is The CW, which will be WWE NXT’s new home next fall and recently added NWA shows to its app. A report last month said that Khan met with The CW about Ring of Honor, but that TK wasn’t interested in taking rights to ROH off the table as he negotiated AEW’s next deal. He confirmed a meeting on Tuesday’s call, and his answer again seemed to confirm his strategy of bundling ROH & AEW rights:

“As far as the [ROH] TV rights, we’ve had a lot of interested parties. It’s definitely something I’ve been holding onto and haven’t had a lot of detailed conversations. I think CW is a great network and we did have a visit. Dennis visited us at the Forum last year and was great. I have a lot of respect for Dennis Miller and the CW folks. The timing for us wasn’t necessarily right, but there is a lot of great, interested, people in the marketplace in both AEW and ROH. For 2024, it will be really exciting time for pro wrestling and ROH added good value going forward.”

Next year should be interesting...

H/t: Fightful for transcription

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