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NBA SMALL-MARKET TEAMS SHORE UP THEIR TV SITUATIONS
Published September 26, 1995
With the Kings' recent move to cable in Sacramento and surrounding areas, only three NBA teams are without cable packages -- the Pacers, Bucks and Clippers -- and that list could soon shorten to two. According to the INDIANAPOLIS STAR, the Pacers are reportedly working on deals with at least two cable companies in the Indianapolis area to provide broadcasts of 20-30 games. Of the Pacers' 82 games, 30 are committed to WTTV-TV and five to NBC. Cable could pick up as many as 30 of the remaining games. However, with the Pacers reporting a $3.1M loss in '93- 94, a cable deal is not believed to be "the difference between them making money and not making money," according to Patrick Early, President of Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board, which operates Market Square Arena. Pacers Dir of Broadcasting Larry Mago expects cable to provide "significant" revenue, but should the team make deals with all cable companies within their 75-mile radius broadcast rights area at 15 cents monthly per subscriber (the figure cited by several local cable execs), they are only looking at $1M or more. In addition, the team is negotiating on a share of revenues from ads sold during the broadcasts. Local media buyer Diane Nichols-Hayde said a 30- second spot during games on WTTV go for as much as $1,200, but she had no estimate for how much those rates would be on cable (Mary Francis, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/26). GROUP W EXPANDS ITS NBA FAMILY: Group W Sports Marketing has signed a multi-year agreement with the Bucks to handle national and local TV ad sales for all Bucks games, which are carried on WVTV-TV in Milwaukee. WVTV will carry 35 regular season games and playoff games. Production responsibilities will also be handled by GWSM as part of the agreement (Group W Sports Marketing).