On the latest edition of his 83 Weeks Strictly Business podcast WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff spoke about the merger between WarnerMedia & Discovery, and what that could potentially mean for AEW, who broadcast on WarnerMedia’s TBS and TNT stations. Highlights can be found below.
Regarding the merger, Bischoff doesn’t think Tony Khan should worry about things that are out of his control:
“If I were in Tony Khan’s shoes right now, I wouldn’t be worried about anything because there’s no sense worrying about things that you have no control over. I’ll talk about the things AEW does have control over in a minute but here’s what they don’t have any control over. No one knows, myself included, and I would venture to guess 99.9% of people that comment on this stuff, none of us know what the strategy is for Discovery. We don’t know what Zaslav’s plans are. I worked with David Zaslav (CEO of Discovery Communicaion) at Discovery, not directly but indirectly, I worked with Discovery while Zaslav was in charge so indirectly. Nobody knows what the plan is for TBS and TNT, just like nobody knows at CNN what the plan is for CNN.”
How AEW is an independently owned production company, and not wholly-owned by WarnerMedia:
“There’s a lot of chatter, a lot of strong opinions and I see people trying to compare where WCW was during the AOL TimeWarner merger and where they perceive [AEW], because they’re basically ignorant, I don’t mean that as a shot, they just don’t have the knowledge or information. The true definition of ignorance. They’re making statements and observations and have opinions that are based on a complete vacuum of any understanding of what’s really going on. WCW was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turner as part of the AOL TimeWarner merger. AEW is an independent production company, much like I was when I had my own production company with Jason Hervy. We create ideas, we develop them, we’d sell them and we’d produce them for a fee. That’s exactly what AEW is, no more, no less. They’re not a wholly-owned subsidiary which is probably a good thing because you’re under less scrutiny at that point.”
Says that David Zaslav will make a decision on AEW and whether or not he thinks it’s a profitable company:
“With AEW, it’s going to come down to two things. The creative direction of David Zaslav for TBS and TNT and the amount of revenue that that licensed property is producing for TBS on that beachfront property. If you’ve got somebody coming in from Discovery ad sales, because that’s what’s going to happen, ad sales makes more of the decision on content than just about anybody. I can’t tell you how many times I pitched really great shows with super great talent attached to it, everybody in the room loved it including the head of the network but the head of the network was going to wait until he got an opinion from ad sales before we got a green light. That’s the bottom line. Since none of us know that, we’re going to wait and see as well as we’ll wait and see for the creative strategy for Zaslav and company.”
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)