AEW: Collision’s Success Reportedly Key To TV Rights Talks

Tomorrow night, AEW: Collision will present its debut episode, live on TNT at 8/7c. All Elite Wrestling’s second flagship show will feature CM Punk as the central focus, with several other notable names making their return to the company like Thunder Rosa, Miro, and Andrade El Idolo. The new program will expand AEW’s weekly television footprint from three to five hours and is expected to make room for other talents that have not been on TV or have been waiting in the wings to make their debut, like “The Judge” EJ Nduka.

As compelling as the in-ring action and storytelling are expected to be, the backstage goings-on regarding AEW’s upcoming TV rights negotiations have gained the attention of pro wrestling fans as well. On the AEW: Double or Nothing media call, Tony Khan confirmed that the Collision deal with Warner Brothers Discovery has been added as part of their current TV rights deal, not a new one. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that Collision’s success will be key for the young company when it comes time to begin negotiations.

It was also noted by the Observer that those talks are expected to begin early next year because it is likely Warner Brothers Discovery will pick up the option year in their current agreement. The option year that WBD picks up is said to come with a significant monetary increase for AEW but is not as much as some have speculated about online in recent weeks. The option year that Warner Brothers Discovery is picking up is apparently ending in September 2024.

The stakes could not be higher for the promotion, some have speculated that if things go well, AEW could be in-line for a billion-dollar, or more, TV rights deal. The deal would reportedly be structured similarly to WWE’s deal with Fox, which would see them get around $200 million a year for five years.

The main event of AEW: Collision’s debut episode will see Punk team up with his CMFTR stablemates, FTR, to take on Bullet Club Gold’s “Switchblade” Jay White and Juice Robinson, along with ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe. AEW has also confirmed that House of Black’s Buddy Matthews will battle Andrade El Idolo in his first AEW match since September 2022.