Raw jumps to The Score ... an hour later
GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
|The Score's David Errington listens to Shane McMahon at the press conference on Wednesday in Toronto.
- photo by Mike Mastrandrea
The Canadian television landscape changed dramatically on Wednesday -- Raw moves to The Score and switches to 10 p.m. ET, and Smackdown moves to Friday nights at 8 p.m. ET.
In an announcement in downtown Toronto, The Score Television Network and World Wrestling Entertainment said that Monday Night RAW leaves TSN after 11 years for The Score starting on August 7, 2006.
In addition, The Score will launch its own WWE show on Sunday nights, primarily focusing on talent interviews and profiles.
"The Score is truly the home for the hardcore now that we've united the RAW and SmackDown properties on the same channel, and introduced our new WWE program," said David Errington, VP and GM at The Score in a press release. "The Score caters to sports fans with unique viewing demands. We're delighted to be providing our loyal viewers with content that they identify with. We are looking to duplicate the same success that the USA Network experienced last fall when they acquired Monday Night RAW, by moving the No. 1 rated program on specialty television in Canada, Monday Night Raw, from TSN to The Score."
"We believe that this move will be a great one for our fans," said WWE Canada President, Carl DeMarco. "RAW will be seen by our fans each and every Monday night and this was a significant factor for WWE in making the decision to place RAW on The Score."
However, what the majority of fans will note is the new timeslot. Rest assured, it's a dedicated timeslot -- there won't be pre-emptions for curling or hockey. However, what many fans may find puzzling is the lead-in show that has caused the later time slot.
"The 10 o'clock time slot was an issue for us because we actually have horse racing on until 10 o'clock at night now," explained Errington. "We don't want to pre-empt that. Horse racing is a lot of CanCon [Canadian content] for us. We couldn't replace CanCon with foreign. It's really a CRTC-regulated CanCon versus foreign issue. We'd prefer to have it at 9 o'clock."
Other recent news had pegged NBA basketball as being the villain in the later time slot, but Errington dispelled that tidbit, at least in relation to Raw. The NBA will air primarily on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Moving Smackdown spread the programming on the channel out a bit, said Errington, adding that the recently-launched ECW program was never under consideration. "We're happy with Raw," he said. "We got the number one property, and that's what we wanted."
DeMarco assured SLAM! Wrestling that a deal for a TV slot for ECW will be announced soon. "You will be seeing it on Canadian TV. There will be an announcement made very, very shortly regarding that. I think the fans will be very happy about that."
July 19, 2006: TSN responds to Raw announcement
July 16, 2006: WWE about to Score with RAW leaving TSN
July 14, 2006: Raw moving from TSN?
Greg Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in
1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. Therefore he's old enough to remember when TSN first launched and had cool old AWA footage shot in Winnipeg. Whatever became of that footage anyway? Wouldn't it be great to see John Ferguson referee Rick Martel versus Boris Zukhov in a cage again? He can be emailed at email@example.com.