Report: USA Network Responds to WWE NXT 2.0 Ratings Decline

The first episode of WWE's rebooted version of NXT, now dubbed NXT 2.0, drew in an average viewership of 717,000 back on Sept. 14. Unfortunately, the show drew in just 632,000 fans this week, the second-smallest audience the show has seen on USA since moving to Tuesdays back in April. Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics then pointed out that the median age of viewers watching the show was 62, the oldest for any WWE program in quite a while. This isn't ideal for a program that, according to Andrew Zarian of The Mat Men Podcast, is trying to target a younger audience. 

"Spoke to a source this morning regarding NXT's direction & what the expectations are," Zarian tweeted, quoting a source from the USA Network. "'The is all to bring a new younger viewer who is connected with pop culture & trends. Needless to say, the demo numbers are disappointing but we are hopeful this is just a bump in the road.'"

Sean Ross Sapp recently posted a report on Fightful Select (which Zarian helped contribute to) stating USA Network officials reacted positively towards NXT 2.0's new direction, especially regarding the debut episode. The changes have included a completely different presentation from inside the WWE Performance Center and an increased focus on wrestlers trained at the PC over wrestlers who built their names on the independent scene. 

WWE president Nick Khan discussed NXT's changes during SummerSlam weekend while speaking with Ariel Helwani. 

"We are doing a complete revamp on NXT, led by Triple H, who is really one of the architects of the original NXT. What we found — it's part of why we did the tryout yesterday — what we want to make sure is easy for folks who want to be WWE Superstars, is figuring out how to become WWE Superstars," Khan said.

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"In terms of an NXT re-brand, look for it in the next couple of weeks. It's going to have a whole new look, it's going to have a whole new feel — and we believe — because of a lot of the indie wrestlers, if you will, have come through our system and are in our system with SmackDown and Raw now. We don't want to just keep doing that same thing, we want to look elsewhere for great, young talent," he continued.