CANADIAN NBA TEAMS FINALIZE THEIR LOCAL TV DEALS
The two Canadian teams are in the process of making final
decisions among broadcasters "willing to cough up millions of
much-needed dollars" for TV/radio rights. The Grizzlies'
regional market includes British Columbia and Alberta, while the
Raptors have the rights to Ontario. The Raptors are considering
six local packages, each of which includes half-season (41
games). They expect a decision by the end of '94. In Toronto,
Tom McKee suggests the Raptors will "be looking for something in
the neighbourhood" of $200,000 a game, or $8M for the season.
Baton Broadcasting is the "logical" choice to carry the Raptors,
having a proven record "with its financially successful Blue Jays
telecasts." The Grizzlies "might not get figures as high as the
Raptors, but similar enthusiasm is evident" and BCTV "has the
inside track." Nationally, the NBA is only talking with CTV and
CBC for 12-14 games and is expected to make the decision in the
next two to three weeks. Speculations "would favour" CTV since
the net recently lost its bid to air the '96 Olympics. TSN
"could snap up a cable package similar" to TNT's U.S. arrangement
(Tom McKee, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/18).