Backstage Update On Whether AEW Is Profitable

Tomorrow night, AEW will present its latest pay-per-view offering, Worlds End. The main event will see AEW World Champion MJF defending his title against Samoa Joe in what he is teasing could be his final match with the company. Earlier today, in an emotional editorial, Friedman claimed to be horribly beat up physically to the point he is taking painkillers, which he is not a fan of. He also said that there will be a lot of questions about his contract status in 2024. If, for whatever reason, Friedman does decide to go elsewhere, it will leave a big void in AEW at a time they are looking to secure their next TV rights deal. Haus of Wrestling has previously reported that WWE has not spoken with Friedman, and the belief among higher-ups in the company is that he has already re-signed with AEW.

In the latest installment of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was noted that last year, AEW grossed a little over $100 million dollars, and while the wrestling side of the business was profitable, the money spent on developing their video game Fight Forever kept them in the red. From those they have spoken with, 2023 saw AEW gross sixty-four to sixty-nine percent more than the year prior, in the range of about $170 to $175 million. Others they talked with in AEW said the increase in gross was not that high but is still well over fifty percent. With that said, the general belief is that AEW is not profitable.

On the AEW Worlds End media call, Tony Khan once again put over his strong relationship with Warner Brothers Discovery. The AEW President made it clear that it would be difficult for another suitor to pull them away from the relationship, but he does still plan to go to market with both AEW and ROH’s TV rights at the beginning of 2024. When AEW Collision was being launched, and CM Punk was the focal point of the show, rumors swirled that AEW could be in line for a new deal worth close to one billion dollars. With Punk now in WWE and the sports entertainment juggernaut in talks with WBD themselves, it is not known whether such a lucrative deal could be in the cards for AEW.