Tony Khan Says WBD CEO David Zaslav Told Father Shad That AEW Is 'Killing It'

With Warner Bros. Discovery no longer developing new scripted content and focusing more on unscripted/sports programming, the future of AEW on the network has been subject to a lot of discussions, with many wondering if the wrestling promotion complements the network's new strategy. 


On Tuesday's All In media call, AEW President Tony Khan was asked if his network bosses "view AEW as more of a sports-centric program or in a different category" and if his hopes to land a streaming deal with HBO Max remains a feasible option. 

"I believe we do fall in with sports," Khan responded. "We're a very, very prominent live sporting event. We do tremendous ratings. You may have seen the press release that Warner Bros. Discovery put out yesterday afternoon, publicizing the success of 'AEW Dynamite: Fight For the Fallen,' which was the No. 1 show in multiple demographics."

Khan proceeded to provide an update on AEW's relationship with WBD, giving insight into some of his conversations with David Zaslav, the CEO of the media and entertainment conglomerate.


"Warner Bros. Discovery is very excited about the potential of AEW," Khan stressed. "In the past year, I've been very fortunate to get to spend time with Mr. Zaslav, and Mr. Zaslav is very excited about AEW. I'll take it a step further — I saw Mr. Zaslav over the holidays, with my father, and I walked up to him and introduced my father to him. The first thing he said to my dad is, 'Your son is effing killing it!' So, I was very pleased and proud of that."

'I think we're doing a great job'

Tony Khan added that he felt a sense of validation when his boss told his father about AEW's success, emphasizing that he agreed with David Zaslav's appraisal of his company. 

"I believe it's true, I think we're doing a great job, and Warner Bros. Discovery is very pleased with the work we're doing," Khan said. "I think that bodes really well for everybody at AEW, the future of the company, and hopefully for the wrestling business — to have one of the most powerful people in [the] entertainment business taking notice of what we're doing, paying attention doing it and trying to create opportunities for us."


According to multiple reports, AEW and WBD are expected to announce an extension to their current media rights deal this fall. With HBO Max launching a new sports tier, there has also been talk of AEW programming — especially the pay-per-view events — switching over to the streaming service. Neither Khan nor any representative from WBD has disclosed details of a potential new contract.