SBD/Issue 29/Sports Media

Fans Could Drop Raptors NBA TV After Most Team Games Go To TSN

Raptors NBA TV Limited To Two Raptors
Games In '08-09 Due To TSN Deal
With 25 Raptors games moving to TSN2 during the '08-09 NBA season, club-owned Raptors NBA TV will air "just two regular-season games", and NBA fans are "already talking on the blogosphere about dropping the Raptors channel," according to William Houston of the GLOBE & MAIL. But Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Exec VP & COO Tom Anselmi "doesn't believe the channel will lose subscribers." Anselmi: "Raptors NBA TV still airs 150 to 200 U.S. games. We're getting great new programming from Turner (Broadcasting) in the United States. We're in 1.5 million homes. We'll be just fine" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/24).

NEED SOME MAGIC: In Orlando, Dave Darling reports progress in the negotiations between Bright House Networks and FSN Florida "can best be described as ... nonexistent," as both sides "have dug in their heels and still are far from reaching an agreement." The net will air 35 Magic games this season though it is available to "fewer than 20[%] of the households in the Central Florida market." There "still might be hope" of a deal being reached, as Sun Sports and FSN Florida, who split Magic TV rights, "loaded up the first couple of months of the season with Sun Sports broadcasts." FSN Florida is "not optimistic a deal will be worked out any time soon but still is hopeful something will get done by year's end." But fans "will miss a lot of games in the second half of the season" if a deal is not reached (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/24).

BAD DECISION: In N.Y., Peter Vecsey writes of Comcast SportsNet New England removing Basketball HOFer Bob Cousy as a Celtics analyst, "How many New Englanders think Celtics' telecasts will be better off this season without Bob Cousy expressing his expert opinion for 10 games ... as he's done for the past nine seasons of his 34-year broadcasting career? None with the slightest sense of franchise history, I can assure you." The net will work with a two-man booth, and Vecsey writes, "Would the genius at Comcast who decided three on-air talents was one too many please resign gracelessly?" (N.Y. POST, 10/24).

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