AEW’s third episode draws 1.014M viewers, NXT draws 712K

October 17, 2019

All Elite Wrestling bested NXT Wednesday night for the third straight week although both telecast showed declines in ratings over the previous weeks.

All Elite Wrestling on TNT drew 1.014M viewers, a 0.44 share in the P18-49 demo and a 0.65 in the M18-49 demo.  NXT on USA drew 712,000 viewers, a 020 share in the P18-49 and a 0.27 in the M18-49 demo.

AEW was the 5th highest rated cable show on Wednesday.  Notably only VH1 Network had a higher rating during both the 8pm and 9pm hours with AEW on TNT second.

Lee South/AEW

 

AEW

Week 1: 1.4M viewers

Week 2:  1.018M viewers

Week 3: 1.014M viewers

NXT

Week 1: 1.179M viewers *1 hour

Week 2: 1.006M viewers *1 hour

Week 3: 890,000 viewers

Week 4: 790,000 viewers

Week 6: 712,000 viewers

ONE Championship draws 264,000 viewers

October 16, 2019

ONE Championship’s airing of its big card from Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night drew 264,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured many of the top stars from the promotion including Demetrious Johnson as he won the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix title over Danny Kingad.  The event aired late Saturday night on the east coast (11pm) and after the UFC Fight Night event and Bellator on the Paramount Network.

The event drew a 0.09 share for its 126 minutes on TNT.

Payout Perspective:

The telecast bested Bellator on the Paramount Network earlier in the evening.  It also showcased the best of its roster with the exception of Eddie Alvarez.  While 264,000 viewers might not be a huge audience, one has to believe that it is a baby step in finding inroads into the U.S.

AEW finds television home at Turner

May 16, 2019

The upstart wrestling promotion, All-Elite Wrestling, has found a television home with Time Warner.  The announcement was made official when AEW appeared at the Turner upfronts on Wednesday.

AEW signed a deal with WarnerMedia that will give the promotion which has its first show Memorial Day weekend, a weekly television show on TNT primetime beginning later this year.  It will be the first time that professional wrestling has aired on TNT since the days of WCW in 2001.

In addition to TNT, AEW will stream on the B/R Live app.  The media rights deal was negotiated by AEW president and CEO Tony Khan and Bernie Cahill, co-founder of Activist Artists Management, LLC.

The television deal is an enormous benchmark for the nascent promotion which has gained momentum since its independent show, All-In, revealed an independent wrestling base willing to support non-WWE wrestling.

Payout Perspective:

Maybe not the redux of the Monday Night Wars which was the heyday of pro wrestling on cable networks.  With WWE now a publicly traded company and a central part of Fox’s network plans this fall, AEW’s television deal seems to be an homage to independent wrestling.  With a lot of expectations from the fans that have followed the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Cody, it will be interesting to see how the company seeks to differentiate itself from the WWE, and how it will draw sponsors and build an audience.  Also, interesting, what will the WWE do to retain talent from jumping to AEW and how it will produce its shows based on its new competition.

 

ONE signs television deal with Turner Sports

December 11, 2018

ESPN reports that ONE Championship has signed a three-year broadcast deal with Turner Sports.  According to the report by Ariel Helwani, the deal for the Singapore-based company begins on January 1, 2019.

The company will have 24 events to air live on TNT beginning next year and on its digital platforms including B/R Live.  Financial details were not announced.

The first televised event is schedule for January 19, 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The company had promised a North American deal earlier this year.  It has made some significant signings with former UFC fighters including Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson (technically via “trade”) and most recently Sage Northcutt.  It also signed Miesha Tate as a ONE exec.  With those moves, it seemed as though the company was ready for a big move.

Turner Sports had been in discussions for the UFC media rights and one point and it appears that the company sought to expand its live content.  B/R Live most recently aired the Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods one on one golf round the Friday after Thanksgiving.  However, the attempt to market it on PPV was a bust with technical glitches causing the match to be aired for free and refunding those that paid $19.99 to watch.

Payout Perspective:

This is an interesting venture for Turner Sports as TNT has a much broader base than Fox Sports or Paramount.  As of this past September, TNT is received in approximately 89.573 million homes.  In comparison, Fox Sports 1, where the UFC currently resides is in 83,290 million homes.  Paramount Network, home of Bellator, is seen in 80,240 million homes.  NBC Sports Network, home of the PFL, is in 83,404 homes. Notably, ESPN, the future home of the UFC, came in at 85,988 million.

 

In my opinion, the signing of ONE Championship is more for the B/R Live digital content than it is for TNT.  The company is trying to expand its digital reach and signing a deal with ONE Championship gets it into the sport.  Aside from its anchor sports of NBA and golf, TNT airs esports on Friday night to steady, but not outstanding ratings.  Yet, it maintained a viewership base of younger viewers.  This will be an interesting signing and we will see if the casual viewer will acclimate to ONE.