WWE and NBCUniversal have signed a new multi-year deal that will keep NXT on USA Network. In addition, NXT will be moving from Wednesday to Tuesday nights beginning April 13.
Speaking with Variety, WWE executive vice president of global talent strategy and development Paul Levesque said that the decision to initially have the show on Wednesdays was to keep things consistent with its original timeslot on WWE Network. But now that it is firmly established on cable, they feel moving it is less of an issue.
“We now feel like we’re in a good place where we can move that consistent fanbase over to Tuesdays,” Levesque said. “We believe they’ll follow us. That way we can grow the brand more given the lead in from ‘Monday Night Raw,’ which we’ve seen in the past.”
NXT is one of three weekly wrestling shows WWE currently has on the air. Along with NXT, there is “Monday Night Raw” on USA as well and “SmackDown Live” on Fox. NXT will continue to emanate from Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida.
“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 of entertainment networks for 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.”
NXT will air its trademark TakeOver pay-per-view on April 7 and 8, with the first night airing on USA Network and the second airing on Peacock, with all WWE Network content recently moving over the NBCU streaming service. The transition to Tuesday nights will take place the following week, with episodes then available to stream on Peacock the next day.
“The ability for us to be on [Peacock], a bigger platform where so many more people have the opportunity to experience it and and to let it grow into something more, is very exciting,” Levesque continued. “And once you sample it, we believe that the product is something that people will stick with and become involved in.”
Per Nielsen totals, NXT averaged 847,000 total viewers per week in 2020. Special Tuesday episodes of NXT saw lifts around 30% in both the adults 18-49 and 25-54 demographics.