Tony Khan Says 2021 Was AEW’s Best Year Yet, Talks Ratings Success

AEW President Tony Khan sat down with AOL to talk about AEW's 2021. In the past year the promotion has seen both its business and its roster grow, with additions like CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Ruby Soho and several others. Thanks to all that, Tony Khan feels that 2021 is safely the best year AEW has had since launching in 2019.


"I think 2021 was the best year we have ever had in AEW," Khan said. "Our four pay-per-views this year represented our largest buy totals we have ever had. In particular, the last two shows are the two biggest pay-per-view buy totals and biggest revenue shows we have ever done. We also expanded our television, adding our second show on a second night."

To start 2022, AEW will be moving AEW Dynamite from TNT to TBS, while AEW Rampage will stay on TNT. Tony Khan is excited for the move, given wrestling's strong history on TBS and the lack of time shifts and preemptions going forward.

"There's a great history of wrestling on TBS," Khan said. "Now we have the power of both networks behind us. There are a lot of advantages because on Wednesdays we'll see far fewer sports-related time shifts and preemptions than we have had in the past. It was something we dealt with. There were times we had some of our biggest momentum and we were hit with time shifts and there was nothing we could do about it. It's a great solution."


Tony Khan also touched upon AEW's ratings. He stressed how much pride the promotion takes in scoring a good number and how importan the 18-49 demographic is.

"It's a point of pride for us when we get a good number and it's a point of pride for the network," Khan said. "There used to only be one wrestling company that could do that, and one show that could rank number 1 in the 18-49 demographic. Now there's two companies and four shows that can boast that. I think that's great for the wrestling business, wrestlers and wrestling fans.

"The television rights fees are a big part of the business model for both AEW and WWE. The way these shows are measured are by the Nielsen ratings, particularly the 18-49 demographic, which is how they are presented to us."