Leagues and Governing Bodies

AEW seen as viable competitor to WWE as it celebrates third anniversary

Celebrating its third anniversary this month, All Elite Wrestling has "established itself" as being the "first viable alternative to WWE in 20 years," according to Murtz Jaffer of the TORONTO STAR. AEW President & CEO Tony Khan, who handles AEW's day-to-day operations, said, "The plan was to put on the best wrestling show on television. When we started, we had a great roster and a lot of great people but there was more parity in the world of wrestling in terms of where people were signed. Did I expect that we would be competitive with the company [WWE] that was number one in many of those metrics? Yeah, I did, and it’s gratifying that we have been." Jaffer wrote AEW has "made its mark on the wrestling landscape" by signing "big-name talent released by WWE, using mature storylines and producing matches that include a greater degree of violence." Coupled with national TV deals in both the U.S. (with TNT and TBS) and Canada (with TSN), the company has "become the undisputed main competitor for WWE." Paul Wight signed with AEW last March and said that the "philosophical difference" between the companies is the "key to the momentum shift and why wrestlers are choosing to sign with the new option." There are currently no scheduled dates for AEW in Canada, but Khan said that it is "on his radar" (TORONTO STAR, 1/15).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

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