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Warner Bros. Discovery Plans For TNT & TBS, How AEW May Be Affected

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TNT and TBS are under new ownership due to Warner Bros. Discovery’s merger, and new details lay out potential plans for the networks and how AEW would factor in.

Warner Bros. and Discovery merged back in March and since then, WBD CEO David Zaslav has been shaking up the existing structures in order to make the new company profitable. That has seen a lot of controversial moves, such as the cancelling of the Batgirl movie and several shows on HBO Max getting cancelled, with others like Batman: Caped Crusader likely to be shopped to other networks instead of HBO Max.

According to a report earlier this week from Business Insider, Zaslav is prioritizing TBS and TNT and is considering putting repeats of HBO and HBO Max series on the networks such as The Sopranos, The Flight Attendant, Hacks, and Succession. TBS has already begun experimenting with this, having aired the first seasons of Flight Attendant and Titans before the new seasons of each premiere on HBO Max. The plan would be to use the cable stations to help promote the shows on HBO Max and make those networks the destination for people who want to watch the shows but don’t have HBO Max. It would also allow for low-cost programming in primetime, and cut down on the need to produce costly, first-run programming.

There has been discussion of having Turner Sports take over either TBS or TNT and make it a sports-heavy channel, with one reported idea being to focus the sports on one channel, instead of splitting it between the two. That would potentially include the addition of sports talk shows and other such programming.

It is not yet clear if, or how, this might affect AEW, and it depends on how WBD sees AEW. If the company sees AEW more as sports (which seems likely as it is live programming that does well in the ratings), it would likely be a good thing for AEW. On the other hand, it may be a bit more concerning if they view it in the same category as traditional entertainment programming. AEW maintains good sponsorship deals, which are important to the company’s health as said sponsorship (State Farm in particular) is considered a boost for the show in addition to the ratings.

AEW’s current deal with WBD runs through 2023.

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