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By Mike Johnson on 2023-11-07 15:00:00

World Wrestling Entertainment is on the verge of announcing a new television home for WWE NXT, can confirm.

Multiple sources in the broadcast industry have confirmed that the CW Network and WWE have been in deep discussions for weeks about NXT shifting from its current basic cable home on the USA Network to a traditional broadcast television home, airing live weekly on the CW Network when the brand's current media rights deal ends in September 2024.  

The belief among some we have spoken with is the deal is VERY close to being completed with the deal expected to be around five years in length.  

Once signed, it would easily be the biggest increase for WWE NXT media rights fees ever, is told.

WWE has been hard at work at raising the prestige of WWE NXT so that the brand would be seen as something greater than just a developmental series for the company, with Becky Lynch, John Cena, The Undertaker, Paul Heyman, Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley, among others, making appearances in recent months.  A number of WWE NXT personalities have also been featured on Raw and Smackdown to assist in raising the profile of the brand to create a closer tie to the more established brands.

The CW Network has been focusing more on sports programming since Nexstar Media Group purchased controlling interest in CW back in October 2022.  The Network, best known in recent years for DC Superhero and teen-focused dramas, has instead brought Inside the NFL to CW, acquired the rights to LIV Golf events and in 2025, will be the home to the NASCAR Xfinity Series.  WWE programming would fit right into that current strategy.  

The CW covers over 98% of television homes in the United States, including all of the top 100 markets.

WWE NXT, since its current format as a spotlight for younger, developmental WWE talents was created by Paul Levesque in 2012, has aired on Hulu, the WWE website and the then-debuting streaming WWE Network before moving to the USA Network in the Fall of 2019.  This will be the first time the brand has been available regularly on a basic broadcast network.  The CW footprint should theoretically change how WWE can create and expose younger talents, giving them a chance to be seen by a far greater number of viewers well before the talents are moved up to Raw or Smackdown. is told that the CW has had conversations with several wrestling promotions beyond WWE over the course of this year with discussion on series programming for both the network and the CW App, but WWE became the frontrunner and focus of conversations.

The CW is the spiritual successor to the now-defunct UPN Network, where Friday Night Smackdown first debuted back in 1999.  After UPN and the WB Network merged, Smackdown aired on The CW for several years before moving on to other homes.  WWE also aired the short-lived Saturday Morning Slam on CW.  Smackdown will be moving to the USA Network in the Fall of 2024.  With the CW deal, WWE would now have weekly series locked in on broadcast and cable platforms.  One has to wonder if the one series left to be locked into a new home, Raw, could land on a streaming service.  There has been talk of multiple streaming providers, including Amazon's Prime Video, having interest.

WWE parent company TKO Holdings has an earnings call set for later today at 5 PM Eastern, so it should be interesting to see whether the NXT rights fees are brought up.  That seems to be the perfect place to officially unveil a new partnership.

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