Ever since NBCUniversal announcing it was shutting down their cable sports channel, there’s been speculation USA would move NXT off Wednesday nights. We’ve since heard multiple reports the network would move WWE’s third brand to Tuesdays.
We heard from folks on both sides of wrestling’s Wednesday Night War about the potential move. The television numbers from when NXT and AEW Dynamite aired on different nights last fall backed up their positions that a change would be good for everyone.
Now it’s official, as part of a press release announcing that the black-and-gold brand will remain on USA for several years.
USA NETWORK AND WWE®’S NXT® EXTEND PARTNERSHIP
STAMFORD, Conn., March 30, 2021 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) and USA Network today announced a multi-year extension for NXT, which will move to Tuesday nights live on USA Network at 8/7c beginning April 13. The new agreement for the live, weekly two-hour show furthers WWE and USA’s nearly three decade-long relationship.
“We are incredibly proud of our three-decade partnership with WWE and in extending USA’s NXT deal, we are further establishing our portfolio as an unrivaled home for quality WWE content,” said Frances Berwick, Chairman, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal. “By transitioning NXT to a Tuesday timeslot where WWE has performed well in the past, we are giving our passionate fanbase more of what they love with back-to-back nights of exhilarating, live programming.”
“We are thrilled to continue WWE and NBCUniversal’s longstanding partnership with the extension of NXT on USA Network,” said Paul “Triple H® ” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Global Talent Strategy & Development. “The move to Tuesdays provides a new opportunity for us to grow the NXT brand and enables our partner, USA Network, to continue to build its strong portfolio of sports and entertainment programming.”
Since launching on the network in September 2019, NXT has lifted USA to rank among the top cable entertainment networks in its regular Wednesday timeslot. In 2020, the weekly block averaged 847,000 total viewers and its special Tuesday episodes were even stronger, delivering gains of nearly +30% among the key 18-49 and 25-54 demos.
NXT is revolutionizing the world of sports entertainment with innovative styles from trend-setting and unapologetic Superstars including Finn Bálor®, Adam Cole®, Io Shirai™, Karrion Kross™, Johnny Gargano® and Candice LeRae™. The brand’s diverse roster consists of elite athletes from the NFL, collegiate and amateur sports, MMA and international sports such as rugby and kushti. It is also the birthplace to more than 80 percent of the current Raw® and SmackDown® rosters including Roman Reigns®, Seth Rollins®, Charlotte Flair®, Bayley®, Sasha Banks®, Alexa Bliss®, Bray Wyatt®, Bianca Belair™, The Street Profits®, Matt Riddle™ and Baron Corbin®.
All new episodes will be available on demand in the United States exclusively on Peacock, the day after its airing on USA Network.
NXT will continue to emanate from the state-of-the-art Capitol Wrestling Center™ in Orlando, Florida.
The contract extension announcement gives WWE some cover in what many will paint as a defeat in wrestling’s latest “war”. And it can’t be denied that AEW did regularly outperform Triple H’s show in every metric that mattered.
But a lot of fans will now be able to watch two of pro graps’ best shows live each week without having to pick one or the other. We’ll see what it does for each’s business, but for viewers it’s a definite win.