Turner Sports, a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting which owns the broadcasting rights to All Elite Wrestling, has inked a deal with the NHL for their exclusive broadcasting rights in the United States. The deal, initially reported by ESPN, gives Turner Broadcasting exclusive broadcasting rights to the league for the next seven years.
The NHL’s traditional home in the United States, NBCSports is scheduled to shut down their exclusive streaming channel at the conclusion of this season and was planning to move the NHL to the USA Network.
A move that prompted the WWE to move NXT, which was airing on Wednesday nights on the USA network to Tuesdays.
All Elite Wrestling’s home network will now host the NHL on Wednesday nights.
Turner Broadcasting has reportedly paid $225 million annually for the streaming rights. This move by Turner throws an interesting wrench in the weekly wrestling schedule that fans have only begun to become accustomed to. Turner currently holds the license for the NBA as well, which currently airs on TNT on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
So with the addition of NHL Wednesday nights, All Elite Wrestling finds themselves in a bit of a lurch. Will they move the program to follow the NHL making the “Late Night Dynamite” special that we were treated to earlier this year less of a special program and more the norm?
Or, more likely, AEW will be moving nights and either going head to head with Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown. Both WWE shows are ratings juggernauts for the USA Network and FOX, respectively.
As of press time, there has been no comment on the purchase of the NHL rights by any of the AEW leadership team.