Dave Meltzer Discusses How WWE Raw Moving To Netflix Could Affect AEW

It's been a week of frankly shocking WWE news, but things started optimistically for the company, as WWE announced a streaming deal with Netflix for its flagship show "WWE Raw" beginning in 2025. The move is worth in excess of $5 billion — $500 million per year — for a 10-year deal, with stipulations that could see the deal either reduced to 5 years or extended up to 20 years.

Dave Meltzer wrote of the potential impact WWE's deal could have on its competitor, AEW, in this week's "Wrestling Observer Newsletter", noting that Warner Bros. Discovery not picking up "Raw" can only bode well for AEW — who is still under an exclusive negotiating window with WBD. It was also noted that "Raw" moving to streaming with "WWE SmackDown" and "WWE NXT" already tied down to USA Network and The CW respectively, any other cable network looking to get into the market will have to consider AEW. This could offer AEW a unique bargaining chip in their negotiations with WBD, given they could attract interest elsewhere. 

Meltzer noted Tony Khan is free to negotiate TV deals elsewhere for ROH, but felt he would be unlikely to do so until his exclusive window with WBD has closed and he has the opportunity to advertise his entire inventory. It was further noted that AEW and WWE securing lucrative deals could only be a positive for the talent working within, and also provide negotiating power in free agency for those drawing interest from either promotion. The Netflix deal will also carry significant ramifications for WWE's international broadcasting, as the streamer becomes the exclusive home for WWE content in the UK and Canada for example, migrating from TNT Sports and Sportsnet 360 respectively, and the WWE Network will close as an international content platform. This could open avenues for negotiation for AEW content internationally, though it should be considered that deals are in place with Triller TV for several nations including the UK and Australia, ITV in the UK, and TSN in Canada, which could effectively rule out key markets.