It appears that AEW has their new tv rights deal in place and that deal will be announced at the WarnerMedia/Turner upfronts scheduled for May 15.
A lot of fans excited about All Elite Wrestling being real competition for WWE have said something to the effect of, 'Talk to me when there's a tv deal in place.' Well, it appears that day may be here.
When Warner Media Group, which operates Turner Sports (TBS, TNT) presents their upfronts to advertisers in May, AEW will reportedly be presented, according to @FightOracle on Twitter.
-BREAKING- @WarnerMediaGrp aka Turner Sports (TNT, TBS) will present @AEWrestling at their upfronts to advertisers next month. WarnerMedia/Turner upfronts are currently scheduled for May 15th. This is how Networks announce their content lineup for the fall season to advertisers.— The Fight Oracle (@fightoracle) April 10, 2019
Upfronts are basically big news conferences where television networks present their fall and midseason shows to advertisers in an effort to encourage sponsorship on their programs and the idea of presenting AEW would be to line up advertisers who would be excited about presenting their products during a wrestling program on TBS or TNT.
This has not been confirmed by Warner nor the two stations AEW is rumored to part of the deal but Jim Ross has indicated that a television deal was almost ready and it would be on a network everyone could get and was familiar to wrestling fans. TBS or TNT checks al those boxes.
What This Means
If this report is accurate, look out wrestling fans. AEW is no joke and has built its brand quickly with some big partners behind them. The last time a wrestling company was on TNT/TBS was when WCW was going head-to-head with WWE for rating supremacy.
AEW may not be looking to start a ratings war and if the show airs on Tuesdays, it would be presented on a night open to wrestling fans. And, if that happened, WWE may refer to AEW as a pissant company Vince could buy just to fire guys like Billy Gunn (referencing the joke HHH made during the Hall of Fame), but they'd have to take the company seriously.
It's now up to AEW to make good on this tv deal and draw ratings. At the end of the day, if that doesn't happen, tv deal or not, it won't last long.