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NBA CANADIAN EXPANSION TEAMS HAVE MUCH SMALLER TV POT
Published September 23, 1994
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).