WarnerMedia, parent company of AEW television partner Turner Sports, is preparing a large-scale round of layoffs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impact on WarnerMedia’s bottom line, the company is planning to reduce costs by as much as 20%. This will result in thousands of people laid off, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Properties under the WarnerMedia umbrella include TNT, home of AEW Dynamite, as well as HBO, CNN, TBS, TruTV and many more.
TNT and TBS “dodged disaster” this summer when professional baseball and basketball returned, along with the viewers and ad dollars that come with them. Unfortunately, the television ad market has yet to fully recover.
WarnerMedia’s plan to aggressively cut costs has been seen across the entire entertainment industry. Disney and ViacomCBS have laid off thousands of people, while NBCUniversal, home of WWE Raw, is expected to follow suit.
It remains to be seen if these layoffs, which will likely hit TNT, will impact AEW. Fortunately, AEW is at the start of a multi-year deal with WarnerMedia. Television executives are said to be very happy with
With that being said, AEW is unlikely to be affected as their current deal is set to last for several more years and the network is very happy with their steady ratings.
AEW programming costs them a fraction of what USA Network and FOX pay for WWE programming. As seen in the chart below by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, AEW programming is a great value that delivers a far superior return on investment (cost per share in the key demo) than WWE.