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WWE Moving NXT To USA Network Could Disrupt AEW, Fox Plans

WWE Moving NXT To USA Network Could Disrupt AEW, Fox Plans

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) shares are higher on news that WWE is prepared to announce a new TV deal for its NXT brand.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has reported WWE is planning to announce its weekly NXT brand programming will be moving from the WWE Network to USA Network and airing from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights.

Why It’s Important

The report is good news for USA Network parent company Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), which will be losing WWE’s weekly "SmackDown" content to Fox Corp (NASDAQ: FOX) (NASDAQ: FOXA) starting this fall.

Meltzer said weekly NXT episodes will expand from their current one-hour format to a two-hour format, fully replacing the lost two hours of “SmackDown” content. Meltzer said it's unclear at this time whether or not NXT will switch from its current pretaped format to a live format.

Meltzer has also said executives at Fox are displeased with the NXT move because part of their strategy in the “SmackDown” TV deal was to gain as much WWE-related content to replace lost UFC content as possible, outside of the three weekly hours of “Monday Night Raw” that air on USA Network.

“Now all of a sudden WWE has made it so that Fox is not the WWE channel, USA is,” Meltzer said.

The new NXT deal also ups the competition between WWE and newcomer All Elite Wrestling, which recently announced its own weekly Wednesday night TV deal with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) subsidiary TNT.

What’s Next

WWE investors and fans will be watching “Raw” on Monday night for official news from WWE on the NXT move.

Investors will be particularly interested in any commentary related to the size of the deal. MKM Partners has estimated a weekly NXT TV deal could be worth between $50 million and $100 million per year for WWE.

WWE's stock traded higher by 3.8% to $72.29 per share at time of publication.

Related Links:

Benchmark Upgrades WWE, Sees Improving Engagement Metrics Ahead

WWE Goes Back To The 'Attitude Era' To Try And Freshen Up Sagging TV Ratings

Photo credit: Miguel Discart, Wikimedia


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