Saskatchewan-based media personality Rod Pedersen had a CFL source tell him Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are the driving force from Canada for discussions with the XFL.
MLSE officially purchased the Toronto Argonauts in January 2018 and have been steering the ship for the double blue ever since. Based on his intel, Pedersen believes the league has let the Argos take the wheel in exploring the potential partnership.
“What’s behind this is MLSE. With everybody going nuts at [Randy] Ambrosie, everybody going nuts at The Rock, if anybody’s mad or you want to know who is behind it, it’s MLSE,” Pedersen said on his self-named show.
“MLSE for whatever reason is wagging the dog of the CFL-XFL collaboration slash merger. It’s noteworthy. You knew that MLSE was some way going to be involved in the next version of the CFL, and this is the way that I guess that it’s being envisioned.”
Bell Media and Larry Tanenbaum bought the Argos from David Braley in May 2015 after nearly a year of talks. Rogers did not get involved at that time, with speculation that it was not interested in the team because the CFL was tied to Bell, through its broadcast affiliate TSN.
Dwayne Johnson has stated he’s excited for the ‘unique opportunity’ the CFL and XFL ‘can potentially create together.’ The most recent incarnation of the XFL lasted just five games before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold, which led to Vince McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling.
Johnson, Garcia and RedBird Capital were selected as the winning bidders last August for all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL. It cost $15 million and the goal is to make the XFL a stable league in the future, which could be an agreement with the CFL.
“People are running off in a lot of different directions, including us, wanting answers, wanting to know details,” Pedersen said. “It’s just that Ambrosie and The Rock probably don’t even have them. Maybe you should go ask the top towers of the people at MLSE.”