WWE Loses Massive International Rights Television Deal To AEW

While the war for ratings rages on between NXT and AEW Wednesday nights, WWE and AEW are throwing hands in a few different areas of television deals. So far, AEW is landing some pretty big punches.

Ratings are one thing. But, to have ratings, you need an actual television rights deal with a major network. Fans in North America hear a lot about the billion-dollar deals with FOX and/or NBC Universal, even the TNT extension between the network and AEW. But, international television rights deals are a huge component of each brand's portfolio.

AEW recently won a major victory in that regard.

According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Sky Sports Italy is no longer interested in airing WWE's shows. Their report suggests the network has decided to severe ties on a two-decade-long relationship with WWE and pick up AEW programming instead.

The reason appears to be the dropping numbers but the high cost to continue airing WWE content. The lost viewers and the high fees made extending the deal less profitable, so Sky Sports Italy jumped into a relationship with AEW and the network has decided to air AEW Dynamite on Friday nights starting July 31st.

The deal between WWE and Sky apparently ended several months ago but the news of AEW airing in a week seems to have thrust the story into the public's awareness. What's interesting is that Dave Meltzer also noted that in the last year, WWE had lost its contract with Sky in Germany/Austria and the UK for the same reasons.

Competition Is An Interesting Thing

For years, WWE seemed to have a monopoly on the wrestling market. While they're still the mecca of sports entertainment, that these TV networks now have a competitor they can go to that isn't WWE should make Vince McMahon very nervous.

These things might not seem like big deals to the average wrestling fan in North America, but if WWE starts losing international television deals, that certainly hurts their bottom line. And, as AEW wins more of these types of victories, they continue to expand their market reach and bring awareness to their product.

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