Potential Bad Sign For AEW’s Upcoming Rights Deal With Warner Bros. Discovery

WB Discovery AEW All Elite Wrestling

The sun isn’t shining as much as usual on the side of Warner Bros. Discovery and All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

Wrestling Observer Newsletter recently reported some news information about the relationship between Warner Bros. Discovery and AEW, with the latter claiming they lost $2.3 billion in revenue in the third quarter. The original idea was that AEW was going to get a massive increase when it came to rights, however, WBD CEO David Zaslav’s latest comments to investors don’t sound as optimistic. Due to merger restructuring changes and slower advertising, the company fell short of their expectations with Wall Street last quarter.

Not Everything Is Sunny With Warner Bros. Discovery And AEW

According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter report, Warner Bros’ Discovery’s streaming approach has been irrational, with the company overspending for content that isn’t bring in ratings, subscribers nor profits. The report also notes that HBO spent $2.5 billion in 2019 for content, collecting $2.5 in revenue, however, the expenses have now at $7 billion, with only $4 billion in revenue being generated.

The report also states that a focus right now for Warner Bros. Discovery is sports, including having a new deal with NBA, and possibly having them streaming on HBO — this because of it drawing a young audience with a lot of that crowd not being invested in cable. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter also notes that WBD is interested in a sports deal, like with the NBA, for the future, and not for the past. This is something that could potentially be applied to All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

It was also mentioned that WBD would love to do business with the National Basketball Association, however, it would be able to make sense financially for Warner Bros. Discovery, and with multi-platform rights. The idea was also brought up that the NBA could be featured on HBO Max, but the problem there is that it could hurt TNT revenue which relies heavily on their sports coverage for revenue. Struggling, the company recently had to let go of 70 employees in their sports department.

For AEW, Warner Bros. Discovery has spoken highly of the company, including throwing a celebration for them in Los Angeles back in June of this year, however, ratings are very key for All Elite Wrestling right now. With Warner Bros. Discovery struggling financially, it makes it harder for the Tony-Khan led promotion to land a better deal, but they if they can bring in high ratings at this particular time, something could potentially get done.