look out WWE

From the Toronto Star today (full link is here but it’s probably needs a login)

Things are definitely looking up south of the border, too.

The CFL has agreed to deals with a bunch of regional cable networks in the U.S. such as Comcast and Cox Sports and is now available in 70 million homes, 20 million more than last year.

“We’ve found a hole in the programming on Friday nights,” says CFL broadcast director Chris McCracken. “There’s a hole in the schedule that needs to be filled and Americans love football.”

The CFL isn’t making any money off those deals, but McCracken believes that could change.

“It would be great to have big rights fees down the road … but for the time being we just want to build the product and tell the story on a national basis,” McCracken says.

Whether Canadian football will be anything more than cable filler in the U.S. is doubtful, but there’s no denying it’s a big hit here.

A hole in the programming eh? Guess who’s moving to Fridays come September? That’s right. The WWE’s main sports competitor for Smackdown will be the CFL. What makes this more interesting is the fact that the season will be heading towards the playoff picture in the fall after what looks like might be a really exciting season. I think it would be the funniest damn thing in the world if the CFL outdrew the WWE, though I probably wouldn’t be so happy if they actually had Smackdown be a proper show instead of gutting it over the last few weeks of the draft.