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CANADIANS MAY LOVE NBA GAME; BUT THEY DON'T SEE IT OFTEN
Published January 11, 1996
Coverage of the NBA in Canada, especially for the Grizzlies, is criticized by Vancouver PROVINCE columnist Lowell Ullrich. He writes the league "bombed when it comes to providing Canadian basketball fans a steady diet of their new found product on the tube." The Grizzlies will be shown just 32 times in British Columbia and CTV will do 19 games, "five of which it will pick up from other networks." Ullrich writes "there are more reruns of Mr. Ed than there are games involving" the Grizzlies and Raptors, "who'll be on CTV eight times each because the league overpriced its product." Although the NBA, which "managed to prevent" the Grizzlies from televising their first game in November, "is the biggest culprit" in Ullrich's eyes, he writes there's "plenty of blame to go around for everyone." Orca Bay, which owns the Grizzlies Owner, will go before the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission to "acquire a pay-per-view license" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/10). BRING ON THE HAWKS: The Blackhawks' failure to secure a broadcast TV outlet in the Chicago market is criticized by Bob Verdi of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The decision by Hawks Owner Bill Wirtz has been "he doesn't want to give away a product out of loyalty to season-ticket holders." Verdi notes even with empty seats at the United Center this year, Wirtz "could sell TV rights to a home game for a lot more, not to mention what he could charge advertisers for increased visibility. So then, by refusing to televise home games, [Wirtz], the alleged cheapskate, actually is costing himself money" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/11).