NBC Sports Network, the channel which carries many live sports, announced that it is shutting down the service at the end of 2021 and moving its live sports to USA Network and it’s streaming service Peacock.
Why this could be of an interest to WWE is that NBCSN airs the NHL on Wednesday nights right now and if the NHL decides to renew its deal with NBCUniversal, it’s pretty much nearly a lock that NHL would move to USA Network on Wednesday nights. Despite being in around 6 million less homes, NHL on NBCSN draws far more viewers than NXT does on USA Network, which is available in 86 million homes.
Taking everything in consideration – the younger audience, the lucrative contract, a larger audience, and more advertising money – NXT would have to be bumped to a different day. WWE’s deal with NBCU regarding NXT expires this year and negotiations are ongoing for a renewal. With Monday, Wednesday, and Friday being occupied with Raw, NHL, and Smackdown, Tuesday would be the other day where NXT could air as Thursday there’s NFL as well and WWE would want to avoid running against the NFL as well on Thursday nights.
Raw’s place on Monday nights has been safe since its inception and it is highly unlikely that any other broadcast will move Raw to a different night.
NBCSN has not said which sport is going to which station yet. The channel owns the rights for NHL, NASCAR, the English Premiere League, and the Olympics among others.