AEW President Tony Khan recently spoke with Business Insider about the growth of AEW since it’s inception in January 2019. Tony has been vocal about AEW recently defeating WWE in the 18-49 demographic when the two brands went head to head, despite WWE winning in overall viewership.
LightShed Ventures analyst Brandon Ross and Barclays media analyst David Joyce joined Khan to give their take on where AEW now stands in comparison to WWE.
“The ratings gap has closed and AEW can argue it should be getting WWE dollars,” Ross said. “WWE’s ‘RAW’ and ‘SmackDown’ have been significant TV properties for a long time. The fact that AEW is able to sniff that shows that there’s real traction.”
“Now that AEW has the viewers and something to point to, it will help set a floor for them as long as they can keep maintaining that audience base and prove it’s economically viable for attracting advertisers,” said David Joyce.
Along with their value potentially increasing to advertisers, Ross thinks that the numbers AEW have been receiving also caught the attention of WWE.
“I think AEW is on WWE’s radar,” Ross added. “Vince will make the necessary adjustments that he felt they didn’t have to make when there wasn’t any competition.”
He continued his point, noting how some viewers may feel that WWE’s product has grown stale and repetitive to a degree. This has allowed a place for AEW to thrive in the pro wrestling world.
“There have been years of complaints of WWE’s storylines and the lack of new wrestler development,” Ross said. “The roster has aged quite a bit and the product doesn’t seem as fresh as it should. The door opened for AEW.”