WarnerMedia reportedly the favorite to land the NHL’s second television package, potential fallout for AEW

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WarnerMedia’s Turner Drama is listed as the new frontrunner to land the National Hockey League’s second television package, according to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie. While the deal is not official, NBC has reportedly dropped out of the bidding for the NHL’s second television package. ESPN recently landed the primary NHL television package.

Powell’s POV: It’s an interesting development as far as pro wrestling goes to say the least. We initially assumed that NXT’s move to Tuesday nights on USA Network was to make room for the NHL’s Wednesday night doubleheaders. Obviously, that’s not going to happen now that NBC has pulled out of the bidding, which WWE executive Nick Khan seemed to foreshadow during Thursday’s WWE first quarter financial call.

But what does this mean for AEW Dynamite and Turner Drama? Turner already has an NBA television package and could end up adding the NHL package on top of that. AEW has a deal with Turner through 2023, but this potential development does raise the possibility of a night change or at least more preemptions. Did NXT move to Tuesdays because they anticipate AEW Dynamite eventually doing the same? Probably not.

Tony Khan initially hoped that Dynamite would air on Tuesdays, but the TNT deal with the NBA didn’t allow that to happen and that presumably remains an obstacle. It could be as simple as Dynamite staying put on TNT on Wednesdays while TBS or another Turner network airs the NHL doubleheader, or perhaps the NHL doubleheader simply moves to a different night. So while only time will tell how the NHL moving to Turner would affect AEW, it’s clearly a story worth following.


Readers Comments (7)

  1. That’s fascinating. I wouldn’t have thought of them as a bidder at all. If they get the deal, and put Wednesday hockey on TNT, then the options seem limited to AEW on Monday or Friday unless it switches to another channel.

    I wonder if there’s any chance AEW could get a Saturday evening slot on TBS?

    • I think we can rule out Monday, or at least if Tony Khan has any say. He’s already said he doesn’t want to run opposite the NFL if he can help it. I suspect they would like to avoid Fridays since Smackdown has the broadcast TV advantage. All of that said, I have no idea how much say he would actually have in a decision like that.

      • The best scenario would be to move aew to wednesdays on TBS if the NHL NEEDS THE WEDNESDAY TNT timeslot for nhl games.

        The khans owns the jaguars so it would be a conflict of interest to air aew on mondays versus the nfl.

        At the end of the day REAL SPORTS will take precedence over pro wrestling due to the better ad rates with REAL SPORTS versus pro wrestling.

        This great news for wwe. First, the concussion lawsuit is over for good and nxt could slide back to wednesdays to pick away at aew’s precious ratings and demo numbers.

        Vince is probably doing the bill cosby show intro dance in his office eight now.

        • What does that even mean? “Precious” ratings? Ratings are important to anyone on TV. And what is office eight?

          • My point was that dave meltzer and bryan lavrez are in bed with tony khan aand aew. They use to drool over aew’s ratings and demos beating wwe nxt each week

            Mcmahon would never give meltzer and his goofy sidekick the time of day so their anti wwe agenda is obvious to anyone with a working brain.

            My last comment was that vince is probably dancing in his office with wwe winning the concussion lawsuit once and for all and for nbc moving on from the nhl which would have caused a lot of interference with his wwe tv shows on usa network.

  2. They did pull a pretty good rating that one saturday they did the 6pm show, if worse comes to worse they could make Dynamite the new WCW Saturday Night

  3. Done deal. 7 years, $225 million.

    https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/31346196/turner-sports-inks-seven-year-deal-nhl-air-3-stanley-cup-finals

    A couple of interesting quotes:

    “The Stanley Cup Final will air on TNT in the years in which Turner Sports carries it.”

    “Turner Sports will present up to 72 regular-season games.”

    “Jeff Zucker, chairman for WarnerMedia News & Sports, said there’s been no decision made on what day the NHL would air on Turner Sports networks, which already have Major League Baseball on TBS and the NBA and All-Elite Wrestling claiming nights on TNT.”

    So when the SCF are part of the Warner deal, they’ll be on TNT, but there’s no decision on the night or network for the regular season games.

    The fallout on all of this is going to be very interesting.

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