UPDATE: Dave Meltzer is reporting on his forum that this story is false. “Time buy is false. It’s the exact opposite,” wrote Meltzer. “One of the reasons the deal hasn’t been signed yet is because of multiple bidders.”
According to The Wrap reporter Tony Maglio, All Elite Wrestling’s upcoming television deal will be a time buy. That means Time Warner isn’t paying the company to air their programming and instead AEW is paying to be on the station. This is due to AEW needing the spotlight more than Turner needing wrestling programming.
“My understanding based on the people I’ve spoken to is that it would be more AEW paying for its time on TNT than Turner paying AEW for its show,” said Maglio to 411Mania via their 411 Wrestling Interview Podcast. Another very good wrestling reporter and I had been talking about whether that would be the case or whether it would be a revenue share, and we’d both heard rumblings and talked to people. Maybe a couple of months ago it might have been a little bit of a different story. But the truth is, when you’re talking to Turner, [they’re] a very well-established, very well-off company inside of gigantic parent company … it’s not the UFC. It’s not WWE, it’s not MLB. They have MLB, they have NBA. They know what they have to pay for. And I think currently, AEW has way more to prove than Turner has in terms of trying to get them to come to their networks. I think AEW needs this deal more than Turner does.”
This isn’t an entirely new concept to combat sports. TNA did the same with Fox Sports Net and UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” was originally a time buy until it proved itself as a hit.
On today’s WZ Daily Podcast, we broke down this reported development with Kevin Kellam and Jon Jansen in the final segment. Subscribe to Wrestlezone Radio for hours of free wrestling audio every week.