Report: AEW Dropped By DAZN Due To Lower-Than-Expected Viewership, Lack Of Budget For Pro Wrestling

Why DAZN ended their AEW partnership revealed

All Elite Wrestling lost one of their international broadcast deals at the end of 2023. AEW and DAZN came to a multi-year agreement at the beginning of 2023 that brought AEW programming to 42 markets across Europe and Asia. The partnership made AEW's TV programming and pay-per-views available on DAZN in the following markets: 

"Albania, Alderney, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Georgia, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Jan Mayen Islands, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Svalbard, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan."

The deal, estimated to be worth $250,000 per year by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, was scrapped at the end of 2023 without any announcement, though. According to Steven Muehlhausen, who previously worked for DAZN, the streaming service exercised an option to end the deal after one year as not enough people were watching AEW's weekly programming and pay-per-view buys were below expectations in the 42 markets. DAZN also had a low budget for pro wrestling compared to their outlay on MMA and boxing. 

"SCOOP: DAZN and AEW had a three-year deal with DAZN having the right to drop them after the first year. DAZN exercised the option that ended the deal on New Year's Eve. The reason DAZN dropped AEW was because except for All In, the PPV numbers were below expectations and not enough people were watching (except for select episodes and the first month of Collision) where AEW was available internationally so DAZN ended the deal early," Muehlhausen tweeted.

He later added: "Want to make PERFECTLY CLEAR, to me it wasn't AEW fault the deal wasn't renewed. 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 PPVs. DAZN NEVER gave wrestling even 5 percent of the budget given to boxing and MMA 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."

AEW recently lost another international TV deal. The promotion made a deal with TelevisaUnivision to bring their programming to the premium tier of the ViX streaming service, which is available in Mexico and some Latin America and Caribbean countries. AEW is no longer available on the streaming platform, however. The deal was estimated to be worth $150,000 per year by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics. 

While they may no longer have deals with TelevisaUnivision and DAZN, the expectation is AEW will receive a substantial increase for their media rights in the United States when they expire at the end of 2024. As of last word, AEW was still in the exclusive negotiation window with Warner Bros. Discovery.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons