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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

WWF poised to acquire a slice of Headline Sports?


By PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

  The World Wrestling Federation is about to make headline news in Canadian television programming.

 The Toronto Sun has learned the WWF has called a news conference for tomorrow to announce three initiatives, including a possible partnership in ownership with Headline Sports.

 Sources have confirmed Headline Sports will televise games of the newly formed XFL, the brainchild of WWF owner Vince McMahon. The league, which already has entered into a partnership with NBC, begins its season next February.

 Tomorrow's announcement also will include news that Headline will feature WWF Smackdown on Thursday nights. The show currently is available in Canada only on a specialty channel offered by Rogers.

 Rumours are also rampant about a possible alliance in which the WWF would buy into Headline, which has been planning an initial public offering. Sources said tomorrow's announcement could have ramifications involving both the New York and Toronto stock exchanges.

 "This is going to shock a lot of people," one source said. "Nobody expected this."

 There were rumbles that the WWF looked into buying CTV Sportsnet but backed off because of the asking price.

 A WWF Canada spokesman offered a terse "no comment" when asked about the planned news conference.

 Headline received permission earlier this year from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to add live programming to its lineup, which explains the interest in the XFL.

 One TV source said the only markets for XFL programming in Canada were Headline and Sportsnet because all the other networks have deals to simulcast NFL games.

 "Even though the XFL will be on NBC, it is not a proven regular broadcast property," the source said.

 However, another TV source insisted there was a bidding war for the XFL product and that Headline "stepped up in a big way."

SLAM! Football covers the XFL