AEW President Tony Khan spoke with the pro-wrestling media yesterday to promote this Sunday’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view in Las Vegas, as well as answer a number of questions surrounding the industry.
At one point Khan was asked by Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp about AEW’s newest program, Collision, and how he feels about the show competing with the NFL since it runs on Saturday nights. Khan, who also works for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and is a part-owner of the team, says that he doesn’t wish to compete with the NFL but understands that it may happen later in the season when games are broadcast on Saturday.
It’s something we’re talking about. I’m generally not in the business of trying to compete with the NFL. Once you get to December, the college football schedule opens up and there is more NFL on Saturday. That generally starts around mid-December. I actually worked to leverage that a little bit last year, I did an experiment running Ring of Honor pay-per-view on that first Saturday where there is very limited college football with only the Army-Navy game and no NFL. Once NFL starts in December, it’s obviously that much more competitive of a landscape on Saturday TV. That was definitely one of the considerations.
Khan reminds listeners that AEW will not have to compete with the NFL during the entire season as most NFL games are broadcast on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. He adds that NFL Executives have taken notice of AEW’s surge in ratings over the last few years.
It’s not like we’re competing 18 weeks out of the season with the NFL. Generally across 18 weeks, most of the games take place on Sundays or Mondays when we’re not running head-to-head. It’s definitely something to consider as we get into the latter part of the season, the NFL is truly the toughest competition in the world and that will be as tough of a head-to-head matchup as you get. We’ve had tough head-to-head battles before, going up against the World Series or big playoff games in basketball. This would be the toughest thing we’ve gone against with the NFL. I’m not necessarily looking forward to it, but it will be interesting. I can definitely say the AEW is very much on the radar of the top NFL executives. They’ve definitely taken notice of AEW and the ratings we’re getting and the media attention we’re getting. I suspect they’ll have another reason to have a look at what we’re doing and very complimentary of how AEW is growing.
Wrestling Headlines was on the media call and asked Khan about the status of the Icon Sting. Click here to see what he had to say.
You can also find full highlights to the media call by clicking here (part one) or here (part two).