Wanting out of wrestling is different from selling the entire brand for peanuts. Even if they had never brought it back they could have made far more from DVD sales and streaming services of the tape library and merchandise sales than what they sold it to Vince for.
Jamie Kellner was a mole.
WWE is still profiting to this day from the WCW library and nWo t-shirt sales.
Bischoff sold WCW’s distribution rights from under them. Streaming was not a thing in 2001.
Jamie Kellner was not a mole. There is talk that someone else was, but it wasn’t Kellner.
At that point, Turner just wanted to rinse their hands of WCW, its expenses, its lawsuits, its losses, its PR
nightmares and Eric Bischoff. They didn’t want to give them TV, but they could have still bought it. Didn’t want to without TV, which they weren’t getting, because they sucked.
Could Turner have sold it for more without airing it on TV? Maybe. When Vince tried to float WCW later that year, no one wanted it even under WWF management. I think it’s a bit overstated what people were willing to pay for things like the wrestling rings, incomplete sets and talent contracts.
According to Eric Bischoff, he and Jason Hervey had a deal in place to buy WCW, but Time Warner would not give them a time slot on the network, which essential killed any deal for Bischoff to save WCW. Then they ended up selling less to Vince.
So at one point, Time Warner definitely did not want to be associated with wrestling. That's almost 20 years ago though, I'm sure none of those execs are even around anymore.
“According to Eric Bischoff...” is a dangerous way to start a sentence. They were in the position that Turner wanted to cut bait because Bischoff had run things into the ground. Bischoff was not “saving” WCW.
Turner not wanting anything to do with WCW and Eric Bischoff is not synonymous to them not wanting anything to do with wrestling. The two aren’t mutually exclusive either. But you cannot leave out what a nightmare WCW was from 1998 onwards.
FYI Impact got Rights fees from POPtv. So the spinmeisters and AEW mouthpieces aka Meltzer and Brian Alvarez are trying their best to spin AEW not getting paid by TNT, but it should be addressed. Fans should understand they are the ones that need to really step up and support AEW or else its their fault if it doesnt succeed.
TNT are covering production costs. That could be upwards of $40,000,000 a year. That’s not nothing.