SBD/23/Franchises

NBA CANADIAN EXPANSION TEAMS HAVE MUCH SMALLER TV POT

     The Raptors have "ambitious broadcast plans and hopes to
wrap up" its TV deal quickly "to start building what it expects
to be a major promotional vehicle for the club."  Raptors
VP/Communications Tom Mayenknecht: "In an ideal world, we'd like
to be in a situation where we have our radio and television deals
in place by the beginning of the 1994-95 season."  That means
November 1, "and that's also unrealistic."  Christmas may be a
more "reachable target, but the point is the negotiations have
become a priority and talks are getting more serious by the day."
Up for negotiation are national, local and cable TV deals.
Nationally, the NBA handles the talks on a 12-game schedule and
the league has already met with CTV, CBC and TSN.  On the local
level, the NBA has granted the Raptors permission to broadcast 41
games.  The league has defined the Raptors' "region" as Ontario;
the Grizzlies have British Columbia as a protected area (Rob
Longley, TORONTO SUN, 9/23).
     NO SUPERSTATIONS:  "Because of the absence of a regional
sports network in Canada, the Raptors don't have the same range
of distribution as most U.S. teams."  Mayenknecht: "We are in a
situation where we are all dressed up with nowhere to go on
cable."  TSN is not an option because it is considered a national
network, though it has "recently hinted at looking into regional
programming"  (Rob Longley, TORONTO SUN, 9/23).
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