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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The CW Continues Sports Rights Quest, Locks In WWE NXT

  • WWE NXT has signed a five-year media rights deal with The CW worth between $20 million and $25 million annually.
  • It marks the first time NXT will air on broadcast television in company history.
WWE NXT wrestlers perform during a show.
Joshua Yeager

The CW Network is serious about being a sports media rights holder and is taking over television responsibilities for one of pro wrestling’s hottest properties.

WWE NXT — the pro wrestling company’s developmental circuit — has signed a five-year media rights deal with The CW worth somewhere between $20 million and $25 million annually, according to Variety, and is reportedly a 70% increase in value from its previous rights deal with NBCUniversal’s USA Network.

The partnership will commence in Oct. 2024 with live programming 52 weeks per year. It marks the first time NXT will air on broadcast television in company history.

“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.”

The CW — long known for angsty teen dramas and the like — has completely revamped its programming image by snapping up sports media rights at an astonishing rate.

It all began when the company — 75% owned by Nexstar Media Group — became the surprise winner for LIV Golf’s first American TV deal in January; it was also The CW’s first venture into sports rights ownership.

In July, The CW locked up the broadcast rights to ACC football and basketball through 2026-27. About two weeks later, it snagged the rights to the NASCAR Xfinity Series on a reported $805 million deal from 2025 through 2031.

The network also hosts the popular “Inside the NFL” show.

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