The NXT to FS1 saga had a huge turn this week as multiple industry insiders including The Wrestling Observer and PWInsider are now reporting that the rights for the show have been “poached” by USA Network with an announcement coming very, very soon.
WWE and FOX were in negotiations to bring the yellow brand to FS1 starting in October on Wednesday nights at 8PM, a time slot which goes head-to-head with AEW’s new weekly show on TNT. But with FS1 contractually obligated to air certain sports shows on that day during the same time on some weeks during the year, it now looks like USA Network will be the new home of NXT. USA Network is also in more homes than FS1 which gives the brand a bigger reach so to speak.
PWInsider is also reporting that there are rumors that the show might get a start date of September 11, giving WWE a head start on the new Wednesday night “war” with AEW which kicks off their show on October 2. Moving NXT from the Network to cable and in direct competition with AEW means that the show will have to go live every week and expand to two hours rather than the one hour time slot they currently have.
PWInsider adds that NXT staff were made aware of the changes that are coming and told to start preparing for a longer show. Mike Johnson, who wrote the report, said that there are people in the company who say that the deal is pretty much done while others are more cautious about it.
USA Network paid $1.325 billion to keep Monday Night Raw on the network last year in a new five-year deal. If NXT does indeed move to USA, the company will obviously be paying more money for two hours of original content every week.