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CANADIAN NBA TEAMS FINALIZE THEIR LOCAL TV DEALS
Published October 18, 1994
The two Canadian teams are in the process of making final decisions among broadcasters "willing to cough up millions of much-needed dollars" for TV/radio rights. The Grizzlies' regional market includes British Columbia and Alberta, while the Raptors have the rights to Ontario. The Raptors are considering six local packages, each of which includes half-season (41 games). They expect a decision by the end of '94. In Toronto, Tom McKee suggests the Raptors will "be looking for something in the neighbourhood" of $200,000 a game, or $8M for the season. Baton Broadcasting is the "logical" choice to carry the Raptors, having a proven record "with its financially successful Blue Jays telecasts." The Grizzlies "might not get figures as high as the Raptors, but similar enthusiasm is evident" and BCTV "has the inside track." Nationally, the NBA is only talking with CTV and CBC for 12-14 games and is expected to make the decision in the next two to three weeks. Speculations "would favour" CTV since the net recently lost its bid to air the '96 Olympics. TSN "could snap up a cable package similar" to TNT's U.S. arrangement (Tom McKee, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/18).