There might be a big impact on WWE programming after it was revealed on Friday afternoon that NBC Sports Network is shutting down sometime this year, according to multiple reports. The television network is owned by NBC Universal.
The network currently airs properties like the NHL and NASCAR. The idea is that this move will shift those sports to the USA Network, which airs Monday Night Raw and NXT on Wednesday every week. Thus, NXT could be directly impacted since many of the NHL games on NBCSN air on Wednesday nights. NASCAR coverage could also potentially impact Raw.
Because the USA Network is in more homes than NBCSN, the belief is the sports leagues mentioned above should see their ratings go up and eventually TV rights. If that theory happens then bigger money deals could also be given to WWE.
There have been rumors since last year of NBC Universal moving NXT to another night where they would not have to go head-to-head with AEW Dynamite on Wednesdays. What that new night would be or when a move could be made remains to be seen.
The belief has been since AEW got a TV deal with TNT, WWE moved NXT to the USA Network as a way to compete, but more importantly, to keep AEW down to a certain level, which could see AEW have less leverage once it’s time to get a TV deal/extension done.
Of course, that original belief was before AEW got an extension with TNT. There is no word yet on the exact date when NBCSN will be shutting down.