As previously reported, the move for NXT to the USA Network is now official, with the debut slated for next month. However, the original rumors stated that FOX Sports 1 was going to be the new broadcast home for NXT. Instead, WWE ultimately decided to pick NXT for a number of reasons, specifically because USA is seen as the more traditional home for wrestling and WWE, along with a broadcast fee payout that could be up to $50 million a year or more. But how does FOX feel about this decision?
Apparently, FOX officials involved with the deal had already informed affiliates that NXT was moving to FS1 before the deal was complete. Of course, McMahon and WWE later made a broadcast deal with USA Network for NXT.
Meltzer read a listener question asking how much Vince McMahon going with USA Network for NXT hurt his standing with FOX. According to Meltzer, FOX officials “went so far as to tell affiliates that they were probably going to have it [NXT].” He added, “And not getting it, yeah, there’s egg on their face to a degree. It’s private egg, you know what I mean? Like they didn’t announce it publicly. But they definitely — It’s not something that they’re probably happy with, but time will tell.”
Even with NXT moving to the USA Network for a live, two-hour broadcast and going head-to-head with AEW, Vince McMahon is keeping his hands off … for now. WWE NXT is expected to remain untouched for the foreseeable future, with Triple H in charge and neither McMahon nor Kevin Dunn getting involved, “as long as ratings are good.” However, it’s Vince’s company and he will likely offer suggestions or directions, but at this time the plan is for him to remain hands off. He’s currently unable to make the time and definitely won’t be able to in January once the XFL launches.
Of course, this could all change if AEW wins the ratings war between the two shows. Any number of things could also change in the meantime, including the use of min roster stars, moving out of Full Sail and other creative changes and outside input.
NXT will debut on the USA Network on Wednesday, September 18. It will expand to two hours. Meanwhile, AEW will debut at the same timeslot on TNT starting Wednesday, October 2nd.
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)