AEW owner Tony Khan has confirmed that his company has locked in a TV deal with UK network ITV.
As a result of this deal, ITV 4 will broadcast the promotion's weekly show in the UK, with the potential of reaching over 27 million homes as the channel is completely free. And, compared to WWE's new deal with BT Sport that will grant them access to 2.19 million homes at most, this is quite huge.
Speaking in an interview with Jack Whitehall, Khan confirmed previous reports over an ITV deal in the UK, also explaining the process that led to an agreement being reached.
“Yeah, they were the first partner we could have chosen,” he said (transcribed by Fightful). “The people at ITV are phenomenal. When I first went to them with this idea, I didn’t actually have anything yet. All I had was an idea … I went to them and I had no wrestlers or you know, really didn’t even officially have a name of a wrestling company, I had an idea. They didn’t buy it, but they liked what I was saying.
"I hadn’t sold anything to them yet but we had a concept that they wanted to keep talking about. And when I did do all these things, they knew, ‘Hey, it’s a man of his word. He said he was gonna create a new wrestling company, he said he’d generate a lot of interest in the wrestling company, he said they were gonna put together a roster of the best performers in the world in a short time, and build this buzz. And that they would do this show in Las Vegas and it would sell out.’
"And I went and did all those things, and then you know, they were there and they held up their end of the handshake too.”
He also revealed his intention to bring AEW to the UK to perform live shows.
“I would love to bring AEW to the UK in the future," he declared. "I mean, we’ve - what we’ve got right now in the U.S. and the U.K. is phenomenal. Because like I said, it’s been so long since anybody’s had the distribution – nobody’s had the distribution we have.
"To have partnerships with both TNT and ITV at the same time, it’s the best distribution any wrestling company, bar none, has ever had. And that’s what we have on our side right now. And absolutely we are going to come to the U.K. and do some big shows. I’m really excited about what we’re going to do there.”
What This Means
As mentioned above, this is a pretty big deal. Unlike Sky and BT channels, ITV 4 is available to everyone with a television in the UK as it's part of a Freeview package and is offered by all major providers.
Their deal with TNT in the US is nothing to scoff at either. TNT is one of the most popular channels therein and is more than likely to bring in weekly views by the millions. It's now up to the promotion to give fans a great product.