SBD/14/Franchises

NO EXPANSION FEE FOR RAPTORS/GRIZZLIES UNTIL CBA IS REACHED

     NBA officials advised the league's Board of Governors
yesterday that the Canadian expansion clubs won't have to pay the
$112.5M expansion fee they owe the league until a CBA is reached
with the players.  The league had pushed back the due date for
payment to March 1, but "now another respite has been granted,
although the league may ask that the money be put in escrow."
The league was given an update yesterday on the progress of the
two teams.  The Grizzlies do not yet have the "mandated broadcast
agreement in place," but the league is "being patient because its
own national Canadian deal has not yet been completed."  The
Raptors have their broadcast deal, but are running "into trouble
on a proposed pay-per-view deal."  The team wanted to offer 82
games at $150, with 20 live and the rest on tape-delay.  But
Viewers Choice Canada has not agreed to those terms (Neil
Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/14).
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