NEWS UPDATE: AEW Dynamite TV rating, Dark Side of the Ring TV rating, Tony Khan on AEW FAST channel

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A possible AEW FAST channel

Tony Khan talked about the possibility of an AEW FAST (free ad-supported television) channel, in an interview with Variety, saying, “As we build a great library of historical content, it presents more and more opportunities for a potential FAST entry I think… I think that’s a decision we need to make in part with our domestic media partners, with Warner Bros. Discovery, who have great presence in the world of streaming, and figure out what makes sense for us in terms of our partnership.”

I believe a FAST channel is something AEW has been exploring for a long time, and, clearly, there’s an unexploited opportunity domestically to monetize next-day rights to Dynamite, Collision, and Rampage. Launching their own FAST channel is an option and maybe leverage to push WBD to make them a strong offer for those rights, possibly for their newly-rebranded streaming service Max, where AEW All Access episodes will already be made available later this month.

Where will All In be broadcast?

WBD CEO David Zaslav said in April that sports and news “will be key to our long-term streaming strategy.”  To contradict what I said earlier today on the Pollock & Thurston podcast, soccer games have already aired live on HBO Max this year.

So it seems inevitable that Max will air more live broadcasts. It’s unclear if a live broadcast from the UK is something Max and AEW could make happen by August 27. Has the Max re-brand changed the infrastructure to such an extent that it sets back Max’s ability to do a live broadcast? I don’t know.

If All In doesn’t broadcast on Max, that seems to leave pay-per-view or TNT or TBS as the next most likely options. Pay-per-view would be less than ideal given AEW will do its regular Labor Day PPV event, All Out, just a week later.

There would be understandable kicking and screaming from fans if they were asked to pay for two PPVs on consecutive weekends, but PPV is such an end-of-the-funnel product that’s proved to be historically inelastic, that AEW would probably make more money running two PPVs than whatever incremental payment WBD would value All In at as a live traditional TV broadcast on a Sunday afternoon, monetized with TV ads, driving a gross revenue of probably under, maybe well under, $1 million.

Compare that to a PPV, and AEW only needs to sell something like 50,000 buys to make about $1 million in net revenue, and an All In show I think would well-exceed 50,000 buys, probably closer to 100,000, maybe higher depending on the card — in almost any case, enough to justify the impact is on All Out buys. Ultimately that profit difference has to be weighed against the sum of the cost of upsetting some fans by running PPVs on consecutive weekends and the marketing value of putting All In and the stadium crowd before the largest possible television audience, if WBD can in fact be sold on airing it on one of their tradition networks.

Additional news

  • Since last night’s confirmation on Dynamite that CM Punk will appear on the first AEW Collision in Chicago, according to WrestleTix, more than 500 tickets have moved for the June 17 event at the United Center, bringing the total tickets distributed number to 7,428.
  • Game 1 of the NBA finals starts tonight. Game 3 will go against Dynamite on Wednesday and Game 4 will go against Smackdown and possibly part of Rampage on Friday night. Game 5, if necessary, will go against Raw two Mondays from now on June 12.

Wednesday TV ratings: AEW Dynamite, May 31

AEW Dynamite last night on TBS, was watched by 923,000 viewers on average, including about 374,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.29 P18-49 rating.

Showbuzz Daily hasn’t posted the rankings for Tuesday or Wednesday yet at the time of this report.

This was Dynamite’s highest total viewership since March 22, but was down 11% from last week with viewers 18 to 49.

Compared to last week, Dynamite was up 9% in total viewership.

Viewer counts in thousands, calculated from national ratings, for this week’s episode with difference versus the median of the last 28 days in parentheses:

P2+: 923 (+11%)

P18-49: 374 (-6%)

M18-49: 284 (+0%)

F18-49: 90 (-22%)

P18-34: 134 (-17%)

M18-34: 95 (-14%)

F18-34: 38 (-27%)

P35-49: 240 (+1%)

M35-49: 189 (+10%)

F35-49: 51 (-23%)

Non-P18-49: 549 (+26%)

Most-viewed YouTube videos from Dynamite, as of 4pm today:

AEW International Champ Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin and STING returns: 182,746

Adam Cole & Britt Baker secured the win against Chris Jericho & Saraya: 149,010

Blackpool Combat Club continues their violent reign post Anarchy in the Arena: 119,938

HOOK & Jungle Boy fight off Preston Vance & Dralistico: 113,263

AEW CEO & GM Tony Khan with an AEW Collision announcement!: 113,149

Big Bill, Swerve & Trent Beretta Collide in a 3-Way Battle: 73,463

Jay White & Juice Robinson continue to taunt Ricky Starks and FTR!: 72,260

Kris Statlander successfully defends her TBS title against Nyla Rose: 67,251

This ratings report was written with the assistance of automated programs created by me, then manually edited.

Tuesday TV ratings: WWE NXT and Dark Side of the Ring, May 30

WWE NXT, Tuesday on USA Network, was watched by 607,000 viewers on average, including about 223,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.17 P18-49 rating.

Dark Side of the Ring on VICE at 10 pm, was watched by 147,000 viewers on average, including about 68,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.05 P18-49 rating.

The episode focused on Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch. The season 3 average for Dark Side was 177,000 viewers, across 14 episodes airing from May to October 2021.

This was NXT’s highest total viewership since April 25.

Compared to last week, NXT was up 5% in total viewership. Among viewers 18-49, viewership was up 9%.

Viewer counts in thousands, calculated from national ratings, for this week’s episode with difference versus the median of the last 28 days in parentheses:


P2+: 607 (+6%)

P18-49: 223 (+15%)

M18-49: 145 (+9%)

F18-49: 79 (+24%)

P18-34: 94 (+18%)

M18-34: 58 (+8%)

F18-34: 36 (+36%)

P35-49: 130 (+14%)

M35-49: 87 (+9%)

F35-49: 43 (+15%)

Non-P18-49: 384 (+1%)

Most-viewed YouTube videos from NXT, as of 4pm today:

Baron Corbin returns to NXT and destroys Carmelo Hayes: 225,573

Mustafa Ali makes shocking appearance in NXT: 198,199

Full NXT Battleground 2023 highlights – YouTube: 185,912

Mustafa Ali saves Wes Lee and Tyler Bate from Joe Gacy: 130,762

Carmelo Hayes vs. Bron Breakker – NXT Championship Match: 112,291

Blair Davenport is revealed as NXT’s mystery attacker: 105,385

Gigi Dolin vs. Jacy Jayne – Weaponized Steel Cage Match: 102,152

Stratton announces a Battle Royal to determine her challenger: 89,027

Valkyria vs. Stratton – NXT Women’s Championship Match: 80,738

Carmelo Hayes vs. Noam Dar – NXT Championship Match: 77,080

This ratings report was written with the assistance of automated programs created by me, then manually edited.

Sunday TV ratings: WWE on A&E, May 28

WWE Most Wanted Treasures Sunday on A&E, was watched by 295,000 viewers on average, including about 87,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.07 P18-49 rating.

Stone Cold Takes on America on A&E at 8 pm, was watched by 224,000 viewers on average, including about 73,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.06 P18-49 rating.

Compared to last week, Most Wanted Treasures was up 14% in total viewership. Among viewers 18 to 49, viewership was down 13% from last week’s 100,000.

Compared to last week, Stone Cold Takes on America was up 27% in total viewership. Among viewers 18-49, viewership was up 22%.

Most Wanted Treasures ranked #37 in P18-49 among cable originals for the day, according to Showbuzz Daily. Including broadcast primetime, it ranked #66.

Subscribers have exclusive access to the Wrestlenomics Viewership Spreadsheet.

Brandon Thurston

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

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