Wrestlenomics' Brandon Thurston Breaks Down The Reported Value Of WWE NXT's TV Rights

It was announced last week that "WWE NXT" will make the move from cable to broadcast television by airing on the CW starting in 2024. As part of the transfer, WWE is expected to see a major increase in rights fees, and Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics has written up a breakdown comparing current "NXT" rights fees to what they're expected to get next year, as well as adding in the context of other wrestling shows.

The report confirms that, under the expiring deal, WWE receives about $15 million annually from NBCUniversal for "NXT," and that amount has stayed the same for years. With TKO's Ari Emanuel stating on a recent earnings call that the new deal is a 70% annual increase over the previous contract, it seems that the CW is paying somewhere around $25 million per year for "NXT."

$25 million doesn't quite compare to rights fees for "WWE SmackDown," for which WWE recently signed a deal worth $287 million annually, or "WWE Raw," which received $265 million for its last deal. "NXT" is closer to AEW in TV rights fees, but it's difficult to compare directly as AEW's shows are all packaged together. AEW is currently in the midst of a contract with Warner Bros-Discovery which nets them $44 million per year for "AEW Dynamite" and "AEW Rampage," with an undetermined amount added to the deal with the addition of "AEW Collision" over the summer.

While several entertainment news outlets estimated different figures for previous "NXT" rights, Thurston offered a thorough explanation of why he's confident about that $15 million sum, citing statements made on both WWE and NBCU earnings calls. Although "NXT" was renewed by NBCU in 2021, it is not believed that they received an increase in rights fees, likely leading to the "2.0" revamp that happened in the months that followed.