All Elite Wrestling’s “AEW: Dynamite” is moving from TNT Wednesdays to TBS Wednesdays in January 2022, Turner announced this morning. The move opens the (ice rink) door for NHL action to air Wednesday nights on TNT — Turner acquired some pro hockey rights for next season — but that’s not the only reason for it, Brett Weitz told TheWrap.
“Sure, NHL had something to do with it,” the TNT, TBS and TruTV boss told us. “The NBA had something to do with it. The new college schedule, with a ton of preemptions. And so we look to where we believe the consumer is going to be and where wrestling fans are going to be. We want to give them the most opportunity to consume as many shows as possible. We felt TBS had an opportunity, really, to be the network and the best platform for expansion.”
As much as AEW fans have gotten used to their wrestling on Wednesdays, primetime hockey traditionally occupied the same evening on the soon-to-be-defunct NBC Sports Network.
Also unveiled this morning, new hour-long series “AEW: Rampage” — the anticipated third weekly All Elite Wrestling hour (on cable, there is already “AEW: Dark” on YouTube) — is set to debut Friday, Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.
NBA games air Tuesdays and Thursdays on TNT, and the plan always called for this All Elite hour to not be paired with “Dynamite.” While “Rampage” will move to TBS with “Dynamite,” it has not yet been determined if the third hour will remain on Friday nights following the move.
As part of a new deal between All Elite and Turner, TNT will also be the home to four new AEW specials annually. You might refer to those as “pay-per-views,” to use an old cable term that still gets thrown around professional wrestling. The “supercard events,” which is AEW CEO Tony Khan’s term, will stay on TNT even after the weekly shows move to TBS.
“It’s a pleasure to be able to help Tony Khan expand his wrestling fiefdom across our networks and bring more content to our fans that fits the thrill ride brand of TNT and good time of TBS,” Sam Linsky, associate general manager and senior vice president of programming and operations at TBS, TNT and truTV, said in a statement. “It’s Wednesday. You know what that means.”
“As a lifelong wrestling aficionado who is privileged to present AEW to longtime and new fans alike, it means a lot to me — personally and professionally — to share the news that All Elite Wrestling will call TBS home beginning in 2022,” Tony Khan, the CEO, general manager and head of creative at AEW, added. “The history of wrestling in the United States cannot be told without acknowledging the contributions of TBS, which as WTBS years ago delivered wrestling to the Southeast and eventually to a massive national audience. TBS has the same passion for wrestling today, but will offer AEW and our fans more prime time programming, content and global opportunities that will establish TBS as the world’s undisputed destination for wrestling.”
He continued: “And, while we’re looking forward to our arrival on TBS, we’re not saying goodbye to our original and current home of TNT, which will air four new special supercard events annually. Plus, the financial upside to our new agreement will give us the opportunity to continue to invest in and grow AEW to serve the most important people in our industry: our fans, our wrestlers, our staff and our sponsors. With All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite and Rampage taking center stage via our new agreement on TBS next year, and the new quarterly supercards launching on TNT, our exposure and our opportunities to grow AEW are greater than ever!”
“AEW: Dynamite” currently airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TNT.