The WWE said that WWE NXT, which showcases its up-and-coming wrestling talent, will move from the USA Network to The CW in October 2024.
The move comes after the WWE announced that its Friday Night Smackdown program will return to the USA Network that same month after striking a five-year deal with NBC Universal. By having WWE NXT on The CW, the wrestling company continues to have a presence on broadcast television and potentially reach more viewers.
It’s also an example of how The CW, now under Nexstar, is rebooting its lineup to include more of a sports presence. The network already has Atlantic Coast Conference football games and LIV Golf lined up to bolster its programming schedule. In 2025, it will also carry NASCAR’s Xfinity Series.
“We are thrilled to welcome the WWE brand into the CW Sports portfolio as they play an integral role in our mission to bring live sporting events to the network year-round,” said Dennis Miller, president of The CW Network.
It’s a far cry from the days when The CW was known more for its teen dramas and superhero shows that spawned from DC’s Arrow. Its newer programming includes shows like FBoy Island and Penn & Teller: Fool Us.
The WWE does have some history with The CW, with Smackdown a fixture on the network from 2006 through 2008. Prior to then, Smackdown appeared on UPN, which was the earlier incarnation of The CW. But it’s the company’s more recent moves that drew the interest of the WWE.
“The CW has made impressive moves over the past year with its live sports programming schedule,” said WWE President Nick Khan. “It’s a truly exciting opportunity to expand NXT’s audience by bringing the show to broadcast television for the first time in NXT’s history.”
WWE NXT was launched by WWE Chief Content Officer and famed pro wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque, and is led by WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels.