In what is being heralded as a historic move for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), NXT is set to make its broadcast television debut. The robust, ever-growing division renowned for its high-caliber talent and captivating storylines will be gracing screens nationwide exclusively on The CW Network, beginning in October 2024. The groundbreaking contract, stretching over five years, not only cements NXT’s position in the wrestling landscape but also significantly widens its viewership horizon.
The transition to The CW marks the first occasion in the brand’s 13-year journey that it will be showcased on a broadcast network, signaling WWE’s strategic push to amplify its reach and influence. Dennis Miller, President of The CW Network, expressed enthusiasm about integrating the WWE brand with the network’s live sports offerings, expecting NXT to significantly boost The CW’s presence in the sports entertainment arena. In the same vein, Nick Khan, WWE President, noted the opportunistic upheaval, realizing the potential to captivate an even larger audience with the live, action-packed events NXT is celebrated for.
Originating in 2012 and masterminded by WWE Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE NXT has laid the foundation for Superstars who have gone on to become marquee names at major events such as WrestleMania. A substantial proportion of top-tier talent, including the likes of Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch, have honed their skills within the NXT brand before ascending to the main roster limelight. With NXT ranking as a leader in cable primetime ratings and witnessing a 30% spike in viewership among key demographics, the move to broadcast TV is poised to bolster the brand’s youthful and vibrant appeal.
The CW’s pivot toward sports-centric programming, a result of Nexstar Media Group’s ascension to controlling power in 2022, makes this collaboration with WWE NXT a strategic alignment. Moreover, Deadpool’s report reveals that the new negotiation surpassed previous media rights fees for NXT by a substantial margin. While specific figures remain undisclosed, the new deal asserts a resounding message: NXT is now more than a developmental series—it is a premium sports entertainment product.
In a broader context, The CW’s emphasis on live sports positions it as a burgeoning hub for dynamic sporting events. With the inclusion of NCAA games, LIV Golf, Inside the NFL, and future NASCAR Xfinity Series broadcasts, NXT’s addition represents the latest feather in The CW’s cap, expanding its sports programming catalog beyond the 500-hour mark annually.
This seismic shift comes after diligent deliberations, with the transition from USA Network to The CW setting NXT up for its most lucrative era yet. Mike Johnson of PWInsider underscores that The CW’s expansive national footprint, reaching over 98% of television homes—including all top 100 markets, combined with NXT’s refreshed image, primed the brand as the ideal candidate to headline The CW’s wrestling initiative.
As NXT prepares for its maiden voyage on broadcast television, the WWE Universe and casual viewers alike can anticipate a high-energy spectacle, week in and week out, featuring the industry’s brightest prospects. With October 2024 on the horizon, the countdown to WWE NXT’s new era begins, poised to captivate a broader audience and firmly establish itself as an indispensable fixture in broadcast sports entertainment.