Reported Details Behind AEW On TNT Deal: Production Covered, Ad Revenue Split & More

Dave Meltzer via his latest Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez is reporting several details regarding AEW‘s TV deal with TNT and WarnerMedia.

According to Meltzer, AEW is getting an ad revenue split, production paid for and a guarantee for the ad revenue split. The two days in talks to broadcast a weekly show are either Wednesday or Tuesday. The show will be live every week.

In addition, Meltzer later gives details about AEW following the Nitro/RAW style of traveling to venues on a weekly basis, if a Canadian deal is in the works and more. Quotes are below:

The production is being covered, which shocked me and that value is somewhere between $20 and $30 million right there and then the split of the ad rights which apparently is a very complicated formula that I don’t really know all of, but if they do well with ad sales, they’ll make a lot more than  if they do poorly with ad sales. Some of that depends on how well they can convince sponsors that this wrestling will be good to sponsor. There’s a lot of factors in that. A lot of it depends on the ratings in the long run. There’s a guarantee in there. So it’s not like there’s no money. There’s guaranteed money in the deal, but I mean as far as what the whole package is, it’s a really good package. I mean it’s a lot better than I thought it would be, but I can’’t give like value to it because I don’t know what the ad revenue split is and it varies based on how much revenue comes in.

I’ve never heard of a wrestling company getting their production paid for. I mean WWE to this day doesn’t get their production paid for. They don’t need to because they make a lot more, but when they were on USA, a lot times the amount of money that they got on USA probably barely covered production itself. I’m talking before they got the big money which would be the end of 1999 when they got the Spike deal. So probably from the period of RAW from ‘93 to ‘99 the production probably cost as much as they got cause they were only getting $5.5 million a year and I can’t imagine that they produced those shows for a less than a $100,000 so that’s $5.2 million right there. I mean now WWE production is probably in the range of a million per night so that’s essentially a $100 million a year out of that $470 [million] is the production costs. So this one you don’t have that.

It’s a really good deal and the reason they got the good deal is because they have multiple suitors.

Will the show be preempted by sporting events if necessary?

Yes. There will be preemptions, depending on sports things, yes.

Will the show be stationary or travel?

The plan at the start is to essentially be like what Nitro was and what RAW is, where you go from city to city. Where you tape in different cities. I don’t know what types of buildings they’re going to do, what kind of deals they’re going to have.

Is a Canadian TV deal in the works?

Yeah, there are negotiations going on for a Canadian TV deal. It’s not a done deal, but there’s negotiations.

Is there a chance the first AEW match on TNT would be Jushin Liger against Brian Pillman Jr.?

I actually for a weird reason, like that idea. I think it would be difficult because they don’t have a relationship with NJPW, but it’s not impossible because Jushin Liger has a contract with New Japan that allows him to take independent dates cause he even got to work WWE which New Japan obviously would not have wanted him to do. Brian Pillman Jr. is under contract to MLW, but I guarantee that if they asked MLW, “could we use Brian Pillman for the first match on the first episode on AEW?” that they are not going to say no.

Could Turner toss big money at Conor McGregor?

Not happening.

What are TNT’s expectations for AEW’s ratings? Are there any?

I believe that there are and I believe that I will find those out, but I don’t know yet.

(Transcription credit should go to Dominic DeAngelo of WrestleZone)

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