SBD/5/Franchises

RAPTORS IN-HOUSE MEDIA TV DEAL MAY BE WAY OF THE FUTURE

     The Raptors' in-house TV broadcasting deal in which they
will "sell their own ads, design the look of the broadcast, and
hire the best host, announcers, producers, and director" is
examined by Neil Campbell in this morning's Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.
The deal will require much work, and there is no guarantee the
return in ad sales will match expectations, "but the benefits of
controlling every aspect of a broadcast are considerable," and
that is why it bringing TV in-house is becoming a trend for teams
and leagues.  Raptors President John Bitove:  "Let's say we're
doing a game and we're going to a commercial break.  We will be
able to say to a director before we go 'There's a cue picture of
a kid with a Coke cup. And Coke is our sponsor.  Pick up that
shot.'"  Bitove added:  "Let's say a game goes into overtime and
Ford and AST got their commercial but Sega's really upset because
they didn't get a commercial.  So we can decide on our own,
'Okay, let's give Sega an extra commercial in this game to keep
them happy.'"  Bitove said as advertisers get more
"sophisticated" in their buying, they want additional benefits.
With so many sponsors doing different advertising, Bitove said it
becomes so "cluttered" that there is doubt whether the sponsors
are leaving an impression on the fan.  He added:  "The reality is
that if you took the sum of all those parts sold them to one car
company they'll pay a lot more of a premium for the exclusivity."
The Raptors are "clearly setting the pace in the broadcast arena"
over the Grizzlies, and Bitove believes revenue will only
increase.  Bitove, stressing the young male viewer of the NBA:
"Corporate-wise, this thing is huge and it's because basketball
delivers the demographic that is hardest to reach ... It's the
age group where they're young and you can influence them on a
brand and you've got them for life" (Neil Campbell, Toronto GLOBE
& MAIL, 1/5).
     GRIZZLIES GET EXTENSION:  The NBA granted the Grizzlies a
two-month extension to sign a local TV and radio deal.  The
league had originally set a deadline of December 31, but the team
requested and was granted an extension (Gary Kingston, VANCOUVER
SUN, 1/5).
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