NBC Universal will be moving NHL and Nascar to the USA Network and shutting down NBC Sports Network this year. The move to USA Network is to make the USA Network more "live sports content". You can see a direct quote from Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports Group:
“We’re absolutely committed more than ever to live sports as a company, and having such a huge platform like USA Network airing some of our key sports content is great for our partners, distributors, viewers and advertisers alike."
If USA Network is truly aiming to make itself more of a "live sports" network, you would believe that WWE and NXT is safe from any movement as they would be a prominent partner in this.
Joe Flint of the WallStreet Journal Writes
By putting high-profile sports on USA Network, NBCUniversal—a unit of Comcast Corp. —is hoping to solve two problems with one move: Get rid of an underperforming asset and boost an already powerful one. The Premier Soccer League will also have matches on USA.
You can read his entire article here.
Many will ask how this affects scheduling as the NHL is on Monday Nights. The bigger question will be when does the entire transition happen. The articles state that it will happen over the course of the year meaning it could happen until the end of the NHL and NBCU contract.
If that's the case many believe that NBC and Fox will team up and split the rights fees of the NHL. This was written last December in the Sports Business Journal. If that is the case then the NHL can run on Fox on Monday's and on USA Network on Fridays to help offset the other programming they are paying for with the WWE.
Overall it's unknown how this move will affect things moving forward with TV rights deals. While I firmly believe that Monday Night Raw will not be affected in the slightest due to it being an overwhelming high peforming show on Monday's. You will wondering if the Network might move NXT to another night, which of course would make many wrestling fans happy.
Please stay tuned as more unfolds I will be covering this closely. Let me know your thoughts on this on Twitter @view_raw.