It’s taken a backseat to all the business drama surrounding WWE and their future this year, but AEW also has some potentially make or break contract negotiations coming up.
AEW’s deal with Warner Bros Discovery for the domestic broadcast rights to Dynamite and Rampage is said to expire in 2023. In addition to securing a new contract for those properties, there’s also been increased discussion about a possible streaming deal for the tape libraries of both AEW and the other wrestling promotion Tony Khan owns, Ring of Honor.
Speaking to Uproxx about a range of topics, Khan was bullish when asked about a new contract for AEW’s shows — which he characterized as more than just a TV deal:
“I expect big increases in the rights for the AEW programs and we’re on a good pace to make a very lucrative deal for the AEW media rights going forward.”
Industry analysts have been mixed on their forecasts for Dynamite & Rampage’s next deal, as their ratings stagnated in 2022. But both shows consistently perform well in their respective time slots, and WBD executives have praised their numbers on multiple occasions.
Asked about recent rumors on a streaming deal, Khan touted the quantity and quality of the AEW & ROH libraries, then said:
“There’s a lot of interest in this library as well as the new weekly content we continue to produce each week, and I do think there’s a lot of demand for the library and it makes a lot of sense for us to try to make that AEW library available to fans all over the world on demand.”
He also reiterated his plans to run AEW and ROH as separate promotions going forward, and described his approach to them thusly:
“... I think that the promotions compliment each other very well. But I want to run them as separate promotions that exist in the same metaverse of pro wrestling along with New Japan Pro Wrestling and some of our other partners.”
ROH is reportedly going to resume their weekly television after a taping at the end of this month. Current plans call for the show to stream on its own Honor Club service.