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It’s been a whole week of bad news for AEW Collision in Canada, and now the reaction to its latest broadcasting deal has quickly turned sour.
AEW Collison will air in Canada on TSN+. Canadian AEW personalities Renee Paquette and R.J. City announced the news today on Canada’s SportsCentre.
Canadian fans will be able to watch AEW Collision in their home country, which should be great news, however many are lashing out due to the seemingly snakebitten show airing on a streaming service that exists behind a paywall. In order to watch AEW Collision, fans will need to subscribe to the TSN+ app where they will have to pay a monthly fee.
“While the announcement will be viewed as positive to some, many Canadian fans have expressed frustration at Rampage and now Collision not airing on traditional television in the country,” wrote Ian Carey of F4WOnline. The frustration was rampant throughout any comment section where the news was announced.
AEW Collision News Infuriates Fans Amid Struggles In Canada
AEW Dynamite airs on TSN 2, which is more accessible to fans in Canada, while AEW Rampage airs on TSN+. Given the murderers’ row of weekly head-to-head competition on Saturday nights, the last thing AEW Collision needs is comparisons to Rampage, however airing on the exact same platform in Canada has already brought about said comparisons.
“Yes, I was worried they would treat it like Rampage,” one fan tweeted.
“So the Rampage treatment. That sucks. Especially because TSN+ only streams it, doesn’t have it available on demand after. So if you can’t watch it live you’re out of luck,” responded another fan.
AEW Collision’s struggles in the Canadian market are not limited to its broadcasting deals as ticket sales continue to move slowly. Though Collision’s debut show inside Chicago’s United Center has moved 8,200 tickets, bolstered by the announcement of CM Punk, ticket sales are sparse for the show’s Canadian dates.
“I’ve had people in Calgary tell me that one’s a little bit struggling for the Saturday night, but I think with the Owen Hart tournament, I think they should do okay,” said Dave Meltzer of “Wrestling Observer Radio.” Last month, Tony Khan announced the second annual Owen Hart Cup will be held in Hart’s home country of Canada, which will also be the site of AEW Forbidden Door on June 24.
“Hamilton and Regina are going to be very, very tough,” Meltzer continued. “They’re like 700 tickets for the ‘Collision’ in Hamilton, and I think also part of it is that in Canada, they only get ‘Dynamite’ on television, they don’t get ‘Rampage.’”
AEW Forbidden Door marks the promotion’s debut in Canada, and tickets are moving very well for that showcase. As of this writing, almost 13,000 tickets have been distributed with just over 100 remaining. But the success of Forbidden Door seems to have more to do with the novelty of AEW entering a new market on pay-per-view—one advertising multiple dream matches for hardcore fans—than the product being hot in Canada. So far, AEW has announced Bryan Danielson vs. NJPW’s Kazuchika Okada, and Kenny Omega vs. NJPW’s Will Ospreay as its two headlining matches. CM Punk vs. Kenta has also been heavily rumored.
Between the abundance of wrestling on television, the abundance of competition on Saturday nights, likely preemptions and limited access for fans in Canada, AEW Collision will need to put out a compelling product from jump to maintain a viewership befitting of an A-show.