Tony Schiavone has discussed the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia, saying he hopes it can lead to good rather than bad for AEW.
WarnerMedia is the owner of both TBS and TNT – which air AEW’s programming – and is set to merge with Discovery. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is already a casualty and there have been warnings of more cuts to come to the new media conglomerate. The New York Post reported that the new CEO, David Zaslav, is expected to “take a scalpel” to the new company, Warner Bros. Discovery.
Media mogul John Malone, who is a stakeholder in Discovery, has previously said that “cost synergies” – aka “cuts” – for the newly merged company will “easily go past” $3-4 billion a year.
Speaking on a recent edition of his ‘What Happened When’ podcast, Tony Schiavone admitted that the merger makes him nervous because of his previous experience at WCW when TimeWarner merged with AOL, eventually leading to Vince McMahon being able to buy his competition. However, Schiavone said others within AEW are “calm”.
“From the people I’ve talked with, no. For me on the surface, yes, because I know what happened before [with WCW]. But I think we have a viable enough product that if Discovery says, ‘We don’t want wrestling,’ we could end up somewhere else.
“The Khans are pretty plugged in. That’s what’s different about this era is that if Time Warner/Discovery doesn’t want us, we still have a business. I think there’s always some concern, but we’ve built up a very good relationship with WarnerMedia.”
The AEW announcer added that the merger could end up being a positive for company as there is a possibility of it leading to AEW finally having its own streaming service.
“If this merger comes, and as we’ve been reading, they’ve been clearing out a lot of people, it seems to me they are really big into streaming services. What I hope this means is that we are finally going to have a streaming service. In other words, we are finally going to have our own network where we can show our old shows.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription.