It’s official. NXT will become a two-hour show, which will air on the USA network starting on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter broke the news yesterday that the developmental brand would make its network debut this fall. However, WWE made an official announcement this morning.
“The move to USA Network provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with NBCUniversal and further build the NXT brand,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “Over the long term, our goal is to develop a following that can be monetized to the same level as our flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown.”
“USA Network and WWE have one of the longest and most successful partnerships in television history,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks – USA and SYFY. “As the No. 1 cable entertainment network, we’re excited to add NXT to our weekly lineup alongside powerhouse flagship Raw and to bring a new generation of Superstars to a wide audience.”
The new two-hour weekly show will be available on WWE Network on Thursday nights at its current timeslot, 8 pm EST. This is important to note giving there is a 30-day delay before both Raw and SmackDown are available.
This seems to mean that WWE understands NXT is still integral to their streaming service and some viewers will still watch it there.
There are many pros and cons to this news, but most fans and critics will see this as an attempt to create an established audience before AEW launches their weekly show in October. To be fair, it could also be a way to replace SmackDown, which is moving to Fox, on USA programming.
It’s unclear how this will affect the developmental brand or its viewership, but this adds yet another wrinkle to a year full of big changes for the wrestling industry.
What do you think of this announcement? Drop a comment below and be sure check back with Bell to Belles for more WWE news.