SBD/April 9, 2014/Media

Raptors Fans Unhappy With Lack Of Coverage During Team's Playoff Push

Many fans are upset that Raptors games are shown on secondary networks
Frustration is "growing among Raptors fans who feel their winning basketball team is getting snubbed in favour of the NHL and the Maple Leafs even though they’re out of playoff contention," according to Gemma Karstens-Smith of the TORONTO STAR. Fans feel baseball and hockey are "still dominating highlight shows and prime-time coverage" despite the fact that the Raptors are "heading to the NBA playoffs in a few weeks." Many fans "took to social media Saturday night to criticize Sportsnet" after the station "cut out with just 10 seconds to go" in a close Bucks-Raptors game. After a commercial, the "Sportsnet Connected" news show "began and, after telling viewers what happened in the Raptors game, went straight into Leafs highlights." The net later "tweeted an apology, explaining that a transmission problem caused the feed to go down." But the feed going down was "just the latest issue fans have with the TV broadcasts this season." Many are "upset that Raptors games are usually shown on secondary networks such as Sportsnet One and TSN2 that aren’t part of basic cable packages." But the numbers "don’t back up the demand to give Raptors broadcasts a higher priority in a country where hockey is king." Prior to trading F Rudy Gay away in December, the Raptors had averaged 145,000 viewers per game on TSN and 45,000 for four games on TSN2. TSN Dir of Communications Greg McIsaac in an e-mail wrote that, on average, "210,000 viewers have tuned in to TSN for Raptors games" this season, up 19% over '12-13. Sportsnet Dir of Communications Jennifer Neziol said that the net "has also seen numbers climb for Raptors broadcasts in recent months" (TORONTO STAR, 4/8). 
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