There have been reports of the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery that have raised concerns for All Elite Wrestling(AEW). WarnerMedia is currently the corporation allowing All Elite Wrestling to broadcast Dynamite and Rampage on their networks, TBS and TNT. It seems that WarnerMedia is technically no more. After the merger with Discovery Inc., the two corporations have formed to become “Warner Bros Discovery,” with their reported assets being valued at over $100 Billion.
Concerns continue for AEW
It was noted on the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that TNT and TBS are cutting way back on scripted programming. It was reported that Discovery CEO David Zaslav has promised will to find $3 billion in cost savings across the new company in the post-merger era according to an article in Variety. The article noted The WarnerMedia-run cable channels will no longer develop any new scripted content.
On the investor call for Discovery’s first quarter business rundown on 4/26 , CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said WarnerMedia assets profit projection for 2022 is $500 million lower than Discovery expected, and Discovery’s better-than-expected results help offset that for Warner Brothers Discovery.
“2022 will undoubtedly be a messy year,” he said. Wiedenfels called Warner Brothers Discovery’s very recent decision to shut down the newly launched CNN+ “exhibit A” of that strategy.
The question is what is their views on AEW as they are likely to go after other sports as well.
If they view AEW as a sports property, it is performing very well for them, especially being inexpensive as compared to just about every sports property that draws similar numbers. Or if they have a sports budget, will spend so much on higher prestige sports, and see AEW as not sports, it’s different. They could keep it but not give it a rate increase.
It turns out that the worst case scenario would be a decision not to keep it. AEW draws a younger audience than most programming and almost all sports programming except for soccer and the NBA.
Dynamite runs 52 weeks a year and of late has beaten everything but the NBA most weeks in its time slot. It may win the night most weeks once basketball season ends. Rampage has also beaten everything but the NBA in its time slot most weeks, although not as consistently as Dynamite. But it has ranged from 31 to 92 percent, depending on the week, above that TNT had previously been doing in that time slot.