POLLOCK’S UPDATE: NXT’s move to CW Network in 2024

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POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Thursday: Pollock & Ting – TALK (POST Wrestling Café)
Friday: POSTmarks with guest Nate Milton
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: NJPW Lonestar Shootout with Bruce Lord & Karen Peterson (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: Collision Course with John Siino & Kate from Montreal
Sunday: UFC 295 with John Pollock & Eric Marcotte
Sunday: MCU L8R with WH Park & Rich Fann (POST Wrestling Café)

Brandon Thurston and I spoke in-depth on the NXT deal with the CW Network and the Q3 earnings report from TKO on today’s show.



WRESTLING NEWS

**On Tuesday, WWE and the CW Network released details of a new five-year pact between the parties to begin October 1, 2024, that will see NXT move over to the network – five years after moving from the WWE Network to the USA Network. Ari Emanuel called it a 70% increase over its previous deal and a variety of estimates of what NXT’s average annual value was on USA, including Deadline citing $15 million that NXT was making. In 2020, Brandon Thurston wrote a piece going through all the estimates of the initial deal that NXT had with USA. In April 2021, the two entities announced a multi-year extension in conjunction with NXT moving to Tuesday nights but no financial terms were disclosed.

There are still several questions including what night of the week NXT will be on and whether this new deal encourages WWE to take NXT and outside of the Performance Center. The show has seen significant increases over its previous year with an infusion of main roster talent for story arcs and one-offs, but the show has risen in popularity, especially among the 18-34 audience, which was a priority. There are too many variables regarding all wrestling programming for the 2024-25 schedule not to mention where the NBA rights are divided and how that will inform broadcasters/streamers of their interest in pro wrestling programming. We know SmackDown will be on the USA Network and NXT will air on CW Network but the option of either or both moving nights could be decisions made over the next year.

CW Network is considered a broadcast network but a distant one compared to the big four of NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. In the 2022-2023 broadcast season, it averaged 548,000 viewers and 0.10 in the 18-49 demographic (excluding the big “Super Tuesday” episode, the last four episodes of NXT on USA averaged 770,000 viewers and 0.21).

The reach of the CW Network is not appreciably higher than the USA Network on cable. In the second quarter of this year, CW Network was available in approximately 78 million homes while this quarter, USA Network is in 71,130,000 homes.

Under new ownership, the CW Network has made an in-roads going after live sports. They surprised some by acquiring the rights to LIV Golf when the outfit could not find a broadcaster in the U.S. CW has also licensed college games from the ACC with the first game on September 13 attracting 617,000 viewers. This past summer, they struck a six-year deal with NASCAR that will begin with SBJ reporting the average annual value of the deal is $115 million.

The owner of the network is Nexstar and just reported its Q3 earnings with the CW Network losing $60 million during the quarter, which is lower than the losses of $83 million in Q1 and $78 million in Q2.

This leaves Raw as the outstanding domestic rights deal. Ari Emanuel and Mark Shapiro spoke on Tuesday’s call about the show’s value and its flexibility that it could move networks “overnight” without issue. J.P. Morgan and others have isolated Disney, NBC Universal, WBD, and Amazon Prime as the prime candidates with each having different strategies in mind and how Raw can achieve those goals. For Disney, it would be looking at FX as the home of Raw with J.P. Morgan throwing out an idea of placing the third hour on Hulu. It was clearly stated on the TKO earnings call that they would be patient with the Raw rights and have nearly a year to complete a deal but didn’t give the impression that any deal was imminent.

**Following the Q3 report and announcement of the NXT deal, TKO closed at $84.60 on Wednesday and was down 1%. Endeavor held its own earnings call on Wednesday and its stock was up by 1% at $24.31.

**AEW Dynamite is at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon tonight with Sting’s first match in the state since January 12, 1989, and odds are, this will be his final match in the state. Oregon was essentially a pariah for WWE and WCW from 1993 through 2003 with neither promotion running. While publicly, some claimed it was cost-prohibitive due to licensing requirements, the fact is, they ran in Oregon prior and it was a minimal amount. The key was that Oregon’s commission administered drug testing for professional wrestlers and neither company ran through most of the decade. WWE returned to the state in May 2003 for a house show that drew over 14,000 paid.

Here is the lineup for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET on TBS:”
*AEW Championship: MJF © vs. Daniel Garcia
*ROH Television Championship: Samoa Joe © vs. Keith Lee
*Swerve Strickland vs. Penta El Zero Miedo
*Jay White vs. Mark Briscoe
*Sting & Darby Allin vs. The Outrunners
*Red Velvet vs. Julia Hart
*Tony Schiavone’s sit-down interview with Hikaru Shida & Toni Storm
*Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho to speak

**All Japan’s annual Real World Tag League begins this Sunday and runs until December 6 with the finals at Korakuen Hall. The tournament runs concurrently with the Junior Battle of Glory tournament featuring the junior heavyweights. The Tag League consists of World Tag Champions Jun & Rei Saito, Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi, Ryuki Honda & Yuma Anzai, Suwama & Hideki Suzuki, Shuji Ishikawa & Ren Ayabe, Yukio Sakaguchi & Hideki Okatani, Hayato Tamura & Galeno del Mal, Tokyo Kuroshio (Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio) & Seigo Tachibana, Cyrus & Ryan Davidson, and Katsuhiko Nakajima & Hokuto Omori. The Juniors tournament has Fuminori Abe, Dan Tamura, Rising HAYATO, Hikaru Sato, Naruki Doi, Atsuki Aoyagi, Ryo Inoue, and Koji Iwamoto.

**Ethan Page’s Alpha-1 Wrestling out of Hamilton, Ontario has announced a return on February 4, 2024. The group has not run since 2021 and the return will include Daniel Garcia, Ortiz, Alec Price, and Joshua Bishop on the card. Alpha-1 will hold additional events on March 19 and March 24.

**Stardom will hold its next pay-per-view on November 18 from Osaka with MIRAI defending the Wonder of Stardom title against Saori Anou in the main event. The card includes Mei Seira defending the High-Speed Championship against Momoka Hanazono, Syuri against Smilla Sundell in a UWF Rules Match, Starlight Kid vs. AZM vs. Suzu Suzuki, a battle royal, and a one-night Moneyball Trios Tournament featuring four teams. The two semi-final matches feature Saki Kashima, Konami & Ami Sohrei against Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki & Hanan, and Natsuko Tora, Momo Watanabe & Ruaka against Giulia, Thekla & Mai Sakurai.

**Independent wrestler Devlyn Macabre took part in a Q&A with Aris Emmanouloudis at SLAM Wrestling. Macabre was trained by Devon Dudley, Jay Lethal, and Sarah Stock. She is 22 years old and made her debut in 2021 with experience working on AEW Dark and many U.S.-based indies. Macabre spoke about her issues with the U.S. independent scene when it comes to the treatment of female wrestlers:

I think we have a lot to do. We have a lot of great women but there are also men who pray for our downfall. I’ve been around many locker rooms and some of them are very supportive of women’s wrestling while some of them aren’t. I had been to the main event of a card and was given very little time, whereas all the men had 15 to 20 minutes. Men say “Oh, you women have it so easy.” Well, we don’t. We are being disrespected, short-paid, sexually harassed. It’s not as easy as they think. We deserve more time, opportunities and exposure.

**MLW has added a three-way match for the World Featherweight Title involving Janai Kai, Delmi Exo, and Tiara James for the Fusion TV tapings on November 18 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The tapings will occur on the same night as the Fightland card. The Fusion tapings will include Tom Lawlor & TBA vs. O’Shay Edwards & Mr. Thomas, Jimmy Lloyd vs. Cannonball in a Thumbtacks Pit of Death Match, and a Triple Threat Tornado Match with The Mane Event vs. Wasted Youth vs. Lucky 13 & Austin Luke.

MMA NEWS

**Just hours after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor battery charge in a plea agreement, Jorge Masvidal appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday to further threaten Colby Covington. The charges stemmed from a March 2022 incident where Masvidal attacked Covington outside of a Miami restaurant which reportedly led to Covington suffering a concussion and broken teeth. While speaking to host Ariel Helwani, Masvidal stated:

I don’t know when, but me and Colby are going to see each other at some point, whether it’s in a f* cking cage or I don’t know where the f*ck it’s going to be. We’re going to see each other. For him lying on my name, for him pressing charges, for everything he’s done, we are going to see each other. It’s going to be fun, man. It’s going to be interesting. I’m going to knock the rest of his teeth out. I got to knock two of his fake ass teeth out.

But whenever I see his ass, he’s got to answer for all those comments he said in the past and for putting me through this case and bullsh*t. (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

For Masvidal’s guilty plea to the one misdemeanor charge, the other two felony charges were dropped with the retired fighter credited with previous time served and will assume the court costs of the case.

**Jake Paul will be boxing Andre August on December 15 at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. Unlike previous fights for Paul, this will not be a pay-per-view and will only require a DAZN subscription to watch the fight. The fight is set for eight rounds and they are promoting that August has the most knockouts of anyone Paul has fought. August is 10-1-1 with five KOs while Paul is 7-1 with four KOs and is coming off a decision win against Nate Diaz in August.  

**Dustin Poirier spoke about how close he came to fighting Islam Makhachev last month at UFC 294. The lightweight spoke with MMA Fighting and confirmed that he was contacted by UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell inquiring about taking the fight on short notice after Charles Oliveira withdrew from the fight. Poirier said he was in Florida with his team and told Campbell he was confident he could make weight. Campbell said he would get back to Poirier and then, Poirier found out that Alexander Volkanovski would receive the fight. Poirier last fought in July at UFC 292 where he was stopped by Justin Gaethje.

**According to his management team, Roosevelt Roberts is stepping in on several days’ notice to fight Mateusz Rębecki this Saturday at UFC 295. Rębecki was left without an opponent after Nurullo Aliev had to withdraw due to injury. Roberts (12-3, 1 NC) left the UFC in 2021 and won two fights in the LXF and Eagle FC promotions with his last fight taking place in May 2022. Rębecki (18-1) is 2-0 since entering the UFC and is coming off a TKO win against Loik Radzhabov in June.

**The UFC has removed Taila Santos from its roster, which was first noted by the Roster Tracker account on X. Santos (19-3) came off the Brazilian version of Dana White`s Contender Series in 2018 to compete in the women`s flyweight division. After winning four consecutive fights, Santos challenged then-champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 275 last year where she lost by split decision. Santos fought one time after the title loss, losing by unanimous decision to Erin Blanchfield this past August.

**Episode 2 and Episode 3 of UFC Embedded going into UFC 295.

*****
POLLOCK & THURSTON
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston go through TKO’s Q3 Earnings Report and call with analysts, and NXT is moving to the CW Network.
*****
upNXT
Braden Herrington is joined by John Siino to discuss WWE NXT from November 7th, 2023 and the show’s move to The CW in 2024.
*****
REWIND-A-RAW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn for the World Heavyweight Championship and the announcement of teams for WAR GAMES.
*****
MCU L8R – Loki Season 2 Ep. 5
This week, Rich Fann and WH Park are joined by Karen Peterson to discuss recent changes in the Hulu/Comcast dynamic, the future of MCU shows pre-showrunner era, and Loki Season 2 Episode 5.
*****
COLLISION COURSE
John Siino and Kate From MTL review AEW Collision featuring Darby Allin vs. Lance Archer, and the Acclaimed’s National 69 Day Celebration.
*****
NJPW POWER STRUGGLE
Bruce Lord and Karen Peterson kick off November with NJPW Power Struggle featuring Will Ospreay defending his IWGP US (UK) Championship against Shota Umino.
*****

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About John Pollock 5572 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.