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TSN looks to be the new home for UFC programming in Canada

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

While no announcement has been made yet, The Sports Network (TSN) in Canada sent out schedule revisions for January to television listings services on Friday which included extensive UFC coverage.

TSN, the country's equivalent to ESPN, was the leading candidate to get the UFC contract, which had been held by Sportsnet, a rival sports network run by Rogers Cable, since the sport's popularity explosion.

UFC officials would not confirm the deal at this time.

It had been known for months that there were issues regarding renewal of the deal.  UFC had lost significant popularity in Canada with Georges St-Pierre no longer fighting regularly, as well as the burnout of running so many events. At the same time, Sportsnet earlier this year inked a $5.2 billion 12-year pact with the National Hockey League, the most valuable sports franchise in Canada, and then spent an undisclosed amount to renew World Wrestling Entertainment to a new deal which included all Canadian rights to the WWE Network. Unlike in the U.S., where the WWE Network is a streaming service, Rogers signed away rights to have the network as a premium television channel. The price, while not announced, was a significant increase over what Rogers had been paying, to the point Vince McMahon categorized it as "a deal we couldn't turn down."

After the two deals were made, negotiations between UFC and Rogers slowed to a crawl given the huge financial commitments the station made for the other properties. While no announcement has been made regarding the future, the expectation was that a deal would not be renewed, and that a deal with TSN would be made.

The new listings only included one event on TSN 1, which will be the live coverage of the main card on Jan. 18 from Boston, headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver. TSN 3 is also listing live coverage of McGregor vs. Siver.

The new listings appear to start on Jan. 3, with extensive coverage on TSN 4 related to UFC 182. The station lists both a show called "UFC Presents:  Bad Blood - Jones vs. Cormier," and "Countdown to UFC 182:  Jones vs. Cormier," in the early afternoon, a UFC "Best of 2014:  Year in Review" show as well as live coverage of the UFC 182 prelims. TSN 5 is also listing similar UFC specials throughout the day and the live coverage of the prelims.

TSN 4 is also listing coverage of both the prelims and main card of the Jan. 24 show from Stockholm, Sweden, headlined by Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, the show that airs on FOX in the U.S..

TSN 4  is also listing both the Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Countdown show and the UFC 183 prelims live.

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