Here’s more information on AEW’s TV deal with TNT, via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
TNT will not be paying direct money for the right to broadcast AEW, but they will be paying the production costs for the show. WWE pays for its own production. The downside of that is obviously the cost, but the upside is that WWE has more control over the product and their production budget.
AEW will also be getting a “great” split of the advertising money for the show, according to NFL reporter John McMullen, who also called the deal “unprecedented for a start-up” and said that people in AEW are “ecstatic” about it.
This will mean that AEW will likely try to do an advertiser-friendly show. They’ve talked a lot about being more sports-centric and less “soapy.”
AEW will also make money from PPV buys.
The belief within AEW is that this deal will allow them to already be profitable by 2020, according to Dave Meltzer.
Other Network Negotiations
It had been reported that AEW was negotiating with more than one network. The other main network was Showtime, which would have been interesting. If they went that route, it would not have been a weekly show, but instead a live special every few weeks. TNT obviously gives them way more exposure, since it’s on basic cable and not a premium subscription channel.
TNT averaged 1,171,000 viewers in prime time in 2018, according to the Observer.
But AEW may not need to average that many viewers in order to be considered a success, since it will also generate revenue for Warner’s other media platforms like their B/R Live streaming service.
Day of the Week
The day of the week for the show has not yet been announced, but rumors are that it will be either Tuesday or Wednesday nights, probably from 8-10 PM ET.
The upside of Tuesday is that fans would be used to watching wrestling on Tuesday nights already (SmackDown will be on Fridays when AEW debuts), but the downside is that TNT has TV commitments with the NBA to air Tuesday night games, so the show may be preempted often.
The day of the week will likely be decided within the next month or so.
The show will likely debut in early October.
International TV Deals
AEW is also in negotiations with networks to air the show in the UK and Canada, Australia and Mexico (and other countries in the future, it would be safe to assume).
In the UK, they’re in talks with ITV, which will be broadcasting Double or Nothing.
International deals can’t be finalized until the day of the week is decided, according to the Observer.