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Tony Khan Discusses Report Of AEW Being ‘In The Red’ Financially
Posted By: Ben Jordan Kerin on Jun 22, 2021
We recently reported via Forbes article that AEW is "in the red" financially.
During a recent PWInsider interview, AEW President Tony Khan has discussed the current financial situation of AEW:
“I know the wrestling end is profitable this year. We’re going to make money in wrestling this year because of our great partnerships. Our pay-per-views are way ahead of anybody’s projections. They’re all up year over year. So far, our two biggest pay-per-view events we’ve ever done have been the two we’ve done in 2021. They’re both up year over year in a major way.
“Going back to live events with great advanced sales and the big things we’re doing like this announcement of AEW Dynamite Grand Slam in New York. The week before, the huge crowd we’ve already got over 9,000 tickets sold in Newark and we’ll definitely sell over 10,000 tickets. I expect to sell out Newark also the week before we’re here and just love the schedule as we go into all out this summer. It’s a great time to talk about it, so to your point, we’ve got this great wrestling operation.
“I’ve made this huge investment into video games and it’s comical to me that anybody would try to pull it… it goes to show that I think people will try and take a negative out of a positive sometimes because this is a hugely positive thing. Our wrestling company is very profitable. The only reason I won’t net money this year on AEW in our second full year of operations, which is pretty amazing, frankly, for a startup that has had the level of investment that we’ve had behind AEW and the amount of time that this has been going, that we’ll be significantly profitable already as a venture.
“The huge market cap this company would potentially have if I had any interest in taking it public, which I don’t… I care about the company so much, and it is a great asset, but I don’t see it as an asset to leverage or try and squeeze every dollar out of it. I’m a people person. So I would say this honestly, like I care about running a profitable business, but I also take a lot of pride in the fact that I didn’t lay people off through the pandemic. Almost everybody, we have a over 95% retention rate of people through the pandemic and I actually had significantly higher than 95%. Almost everybody that we started with is here.
“Not only that, but we’ve added so many people through the pandemic and expanded and grown in the past year in so many ways. I’m not trying to cut back at all. I want to grow the company and invest in people now with the fans coming back is a great time to do that. So that anybody would try and draw a negative out of the fact that the wrestling operation is profitable this year, but that the company technically won’t be in the black because I’m making this huge investment into gaming and video games.
“In particular, it’s crazy because like that’s going to be an even bigger investment that’s going to pay off huge that I’ve made this huge eight figure investment in video games because that we won’t see any revenue from that until 2022. That’s why it’s not going to pay off in 2021 on our books. For the purposes of the calendar year, that may be true. But in 2022, we’re going to have a huge year, uh, when we start seeing the receipts of the games and we have a great TV contract. We’ll continue to expand and grow as a live events and touring company, but also as a television and pay-per-view company.”
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