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Jacksonville Jaguars owner and billionaire, Shahid Khan, wasn’t confident the startup pro wrestling outfit his son, Tony Khan, was starting would ever be successful.
In an interview with Business Insider, AEW President Tony Khan talked about his father’s input on the company. “My dad expected it to fail but I convinced him to take a leap,” Khan said. “He gave me the money because he said I’d inherit it anyway so I might as well ‘blow it now.” The convincing paid off in a big way.
The Business Insider story reveals that in January of 2020, Khan and AEW received a four year deal worth 175 million dollars from WarnerMedia for it’s flagship television product, Dynamite. Since then, their deal has been negotiated again with AEW adding a second product, Rampage, to it’s suite of shows. In the Insider piece, LightShed Ventures analyst Brandon Ross commented on AEW’s growth. “The ratings gap has closed and AEW can argue it should be getting WWE dollars,” Ross said. “WWE’s ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown’ have been significant TV properties for a long time. The fact that AEW is able to sniff that shows that there’s real traction.”
AEW and WWE recently went head-to-head with the first 30 minutes of Rampage and a special extended edition of Smackdown colliding head on.