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Gridirion takes over ring time
TSN picks up MNF, WWE staying with network
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff


TSN announced Wednesday in a press release that it had acquired NFL Monday Night Football, but WWE is staying put with the all-sports station.

Monday Night Football, starting at 9 pm ET, conflicts directly with Raw, and airs for 17 weeks during the fall and winter.

Though the agreement will cause pre-emptions, TSN is committed to keeping WWE on their roster. "WWE Raw is still very much a big part of TSN's programming lineup," said TSN's Andrea Goldstein in an e-mail exclusive to SLAM! Wrestling. "During the NFL season, WWE Raw will air at 12:30 a.m. ET after the Monday night NFL game. WWE Raw will also have two encores: Tuesday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. ET (same timeslot as now), as well as an additional encore in prime time on Tuesday nights."

Goldstein also told SLAM! Wrestling that WWE was well aware of the network's pursuit of Monday Night Football, saying that, "TSN had discussions with the WWE prior to yesterday's Monday Night Football announcement. The WWE is a valuable partner of TSN's, and out of courtesy, we wanted to ensure they were aware and comfortable with the announcement before it was made public."

To ensure that WWE stays on TSN, the cable network is securing a new deal with the Stamford, CT.-based wrestling company. "TSN and the WWE are working together on a new broadcasting agreement," Goldstein said. "We are currently finalizing the details and hope to have an announcement in a few weeks."

Pre-emptions are nothing new to WWE and TSN's relationship. Over the years, Raw has been routinely been shifted around the schedule to accomodate coverage of hockey games (primarily in the Ontario region), curling championships and the Olympics.

WWE Canada president Carl DeMarco is currently in China on a Ontario-government led trade mission and could not be reached for comment.

-- with files from Jon Waldman and Greg Oliver