NBA CUTS TOUGH BARGAIN WITH CANADIAN SPORTS NETWORK
TSN announced a deal with the NBA for the '94-95 season to
show some 40-regular season games, plus playoffs. "But it didn't
come easy, nor will a national cable contract for next season"
when the Raptors and Grizzlies begin play, according to Rob
Longley in the TORONTO SUN. Terms of the current deal were not
announced, but TSN Coordinating Producer Scott Moore called it a
"much more complicated negotiation" with the NBA than in the
past. A '95-96 cable deal is "still under negotiation." Longley
also reports that the Raptors' first local broadcast contract --
buying time on City-TV and CKVR -- "may be an innovative and
controlling way" for the team to broadcast its games locally.
"But it may also reflect the fact that basketball is yet to be
seen as a hot property. ... If, as sources suggest, the Raptors
paid $2 million for air time, aggressive selling and major
advertising support will be needed to turn a profit. And it's a
lot more work for the money than taking the $5 million or $6
million the Raptors would have hoped to get for simply handing
over their local rights to a broadcaster" (TORONTO SUN, 11/25).