One Warner Bros. Discovery executive says new AEW content is on the horizon as the company pulls in “huge numbers.”
Earlier this year, WarnerMedia – which owns TBS and TNT – merged with Discovery to make a new media behemoth. The New York Post previously reported that new CEO David Zaslav is expected to “take a scalpel” to the new company which will be known as Warner Bros. Discovery.
Billionaire media mogul John Malone, who is a longtime stakeholder in Discovery previously commented that “cost synergies” – read “cuts” – for the newly merged company should be expected to “easily go past” $3 billion to $4 billion a year. Many properties have already felt the cuts in action as DC projects Shazam: Fury of the Gods and Aquaman 2 have been severely pushed back while Batgirl was shelved entirely despite being already filmed and nearly completed.
Talks of cuts in scripted television on networks such as TBS and TNT had AEW fans worried, and one report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer expressed concern over what the cuts could mean for the company.
However, according to Warner Bros. Discovery executive Kathleen Finch in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, AEW content is far from in danger. She spoke about drawing in more of a sports audience on TNT and TBS.
“Brands like TNT and TBS aren’t one thing, at least the way that HGTV, ID and TLC are. They are many things — sports, comedy, drama, movies. What they have in common is incredibly loyal, male-skewing audiences. And, by that, I mean 55 percent male — not 85 percent.
“So what can we create on both of those networks that will keep those men coming back night to night, just the way they do on Discovery or Food Network? How can we push the viewers from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday with a more defined brand lens?”
Continuing, Finch said that AEW programming is bringing in “huge numbers” and that they’re working on developing more content under the brand to draw in and retain more of an audience.
“We really play in the sports space. One of the things that we’re doing around sports is creating shoulder programming to hold onto those fans. AEW [All Elite Wrestling] pulls huge numbers, so we are working with the wrestling team to figure out what new kind of content can we build that’s not in a wrestling ring.”
AEW Dynamite currently airs on the TBS network while AEW Rampage airs on TNT, both under the Warner Bros. Discovery banner.