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Ex-DAZN worker confirms early end to All Elite Wrestling distribution deal

The wrestling franchise pay-per-view ratings were below expectations, leading DAZN to end the distribution deal ahead of schedule.

The wrestling franchise pay-per-view ratings were below expectations, leading DAZN to end the distribution deal ahead of schedule.

The logos of sports streamer DAZN and All-Elite Wrestling.
The logos of sports streamer DAZN and All-Elite Wrestling. (Courtesy images)

A former employee with sports-centric streaming platform DAZN has publicly confirmed the company’s withdrawal from a distribution agreement that offered TV programs from All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in nearly four dozen countries.

The three-year deal started in early 2023, with DAZN distributing AEW weekly events and related programming in 42 markets across Europe and Asia.

Shows that were covered by the deal included “AEW Dynamite,” “Rampage,” “Dark,” “Dark: Elevation,” “Battle of the Belt” and four AEW pay-per-view events each year.

The agreement included an option that allowed DAZN to terminate the deal after one year, which the platform quietly exercised earlier this year.

Wrestling fans first noticed something was amiss when they tried to watch AEW shows via DAZN, with no luck. At the time, DAZN did not publicly disclose the end of the deal, and it wasn’t until the brand’s former social media manager, Steven Muelhausen, took to X (formerly Twitter) that there was confirmation about how the agreement was cancelled.

“It wasn’t AEW’s fault the deal wasn’t renewed,” Muehlhausen wrote. “I ran the wrestling social side for DAZN. AEW bent over backwards when I asked for interviews and liners from talent to promote their major TV shows and [pay-per-views].”

Muehlhausen claims DAZN treated AEW and other wrestling brands with little regard compared to its boxing and mixed martial arts programming and events, “which to me was a shame as wrestling had a real shot at DAZN — but besides me and the news team, it never got the opportunity it deserved.”

DAZN ultimately ended their distribution agreement with AEW because of lackluster pay-per-view figures, which were below expectations, Muehlhausen said.

AEW continues to be shown on ITV 4 in the United Kingdom, and on Triller TV in various other countries. In the United States, AEW’s flagship Dynamite show and its recap program “All Access” air on Warner Bros Discovery’s (WBD) TBS, while other AEW programs are distributed on sister-network TNT.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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