April 21, 2005
TSN responds to Raw rumours
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Amidst speculation that WWE Raw's broadcasts on The Sports Network may be in jeopardy, TSN has released a statement to SLAM! Wrestling regarding the situation.
Rumours and buzz about Raw's future on the Canadian sports channel began after ESPN, an American sports network that owns part of TSN, announced that it would be broadcasting Monday Night Football beginning in 2006. Several outlets began to question whether TSN would gain the Canadian broadcsting rights for the flagship broadcast of the National Football League.
TSN President Phil King noted that any speculation is premature. "It's far too early to comment or determine the impact this will have on TSN's broadcast schedule," King said in an exclusive statement sent to SLAM! Wrestling. "It's a year-and-a-half down the road - Monday Night Football on ESPN doesn't begin until September 2006. We're evaluating all our options and will create the best schedule possible for our viewers.
Raw, which has been broadcast on TSN for more than a decade, has been a steady ratings draw for the Toronto-based network. The station has also broadcast a variety of WWE special programs and hosted interviews with various WWE personalities on its talk show, Off The Record.
King went on to tell SLAM! that the network's broadcasts will remain intact for now, while noting the two sides have discussed programming. "TSN has enjoyed a long, successful partnership with the WWE for 10 years. We are working together with the WWE to find a solution that benefits both companies, the viewers and fans," he said. "For the immediate future, TSN will continue to televise WWE Raw on Monday nights."
Monday Night Football aired this past season on Canadian networks A-Channel and Toronto-1.