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What can MLSE do to address the "Canada problem"?

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  • What can MLSE do to address the "Canada problem"?

    https://youtu.be/cdZ87BVZK44

    This video showed up in another thread and it pressed all sorts of buttons. But the fact that Billups (who seems to not be a "hot take" guy), spells it out that the panel doesn't know anything about the team because they play in Canada and are never on "their" network. The panel chides him a bit, leading to the answer of League Pass but he responded truthfully that that's not where most people see their games. Then the other host says something like they've been trying to get some Raptors on but have had no luck. I'm not sure if she meant Raptors games or player interviews. Either way, it was frustrating to hear a respected guy say so clearly that one team in the league is at a disadvantage because of where they are located.
    In this world of globalization, how is this still a problem. Whichever product being advertised on ABC/ESPN, the third or fourth largest market for buying that product lives here. It is a fraud that one franchise has to start off a step behind when there is nothing they can do about it. Or can they? The MLSE boss is president of the league's owners (whatever that title is). Masai has influence. Why can't they get in a room and find a way to work it out? Fine, if our team sucks then don't show us the same way they may not show Sacramento or Atlanta. But this team deserves to be seen. Not for us but for the players on the team who shouldn't have to think they are wading into oblivion if they decide to sign with the Raptors. Sure it might change if we challenge the Cavs again but I'm not sure.

  • #2
    Maybe I'm in the minority but it doesn't really bother me that the Raptors are underexposed in the US. Yes, it'd be cool if they had some moments like a Christmas Day game but beyond that, their American exposure does not affect my experience as a fan at all. We get to watch every single game of theirs on Canadian television.

    I'm also not sure what else they can do. It's not like they can just demand that ESPN put them on more or whatever. The American TV markets get to choose which teams play in what time slots, and I'm guessing that the decision making process to pick those teams doesn't involve a lot of guesswork. If the Raptors don't draw in eyes like the Knicks, Lakers, etc. then they won't get on TV as much, regardless of what is 'fair' or not.

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    • #3
      I'm not sure anything can be done, and I'm sure MLSE themselves prefer it. They get all Canadian viewers and they have their own rights to broadcast all their games. They probably won't get any cake from ESPN viewership. I guess indirectly via the BRI but that's not going to go up because the Raps are on ESPN or TNT either.

      This is just the way it is.. and would be if Mexico had a team, or if some team in Europe had one. ESPN specifically is a US network and needs to cater to their audience. Just like TSN and Sportsnet cater to Canadian markets hence all the hockey programs.

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      • #4
        ESPN is a business and is in the business of making as much money as is legally possible. As such, ask yourself would having the Raptors play on ESPN on Christmas day increase viewership (and hence revenue) or would it decrease viewership?

        So your title question, properly framed, is "What can MLSE do to increase the appeal of the Raptors to an American viewership?"

        The answer is simple. Move them to an American city near a large population base.

        No thanks.

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        • #5
          Puffer wrote: View Post
          ESPN is a business and is in the business of making as much money as is legally possible. As such, ask yourself would having the Raptors play on ESPN on Christmas day increase viewership (and hence revenue) or would it decrease viewership?

          So your title question, properly framed, is "What can MLSE do to increase the appeal of the Raptors to an American viewership?"

          The answer is simple. Move them to an American city near a large population base.

          No thanks.
          But I think that's too simple. Why can't an company that advertises on ESPN (say Nike or Gatorade) say there's a local market of over 6 million and a bonus national population of 30 million people who all can buy Nike shoes or drink Gatorade? We want to market to them (along with the american audience).

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          • #6
            Jclaw wrote: View Post
            But I think that's too simple. Why can't an company that advertises on ESPN (say Nike or Gatorade) say there's a local market of over 6 million and a bonus national population of 30 million people who all can buy Nike shoes or drink Gatorade? We want to market to them (along with the american audience).
            Do Nike and Gatorade not advertise on TSN?

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            • #7
              Primer wrote: View Post
              Do Nike and Gatorade not advertise on TSN?
              They do..but they would have to pay more to do that than to just put the raps on national US tv. Yeah...I know we see different ads but there must be some logic to it

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              • #8
                If you could get ESPN on Canadian cable TV you would see Raptor Christmas games. Potential home town market of 35 million + US fans.

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                • #9
                  I couldn't care less what American networks think and I couldn't care less if the Raptors are on TV on Christmas day. In fact, I'm super glad they aren't.

                  If it makes players less likely to sign here, then I start to care ....

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                  • #10
                    G__Deane wrote: View Post
                    If it makes players less likely to sign here, then I start to care ....
                    This.

                    However, when it comes to factors of players signing, we have other things that can help us. We've developed into a perennial 50 or so win team, which bodes well for guys wanting to come to a winning organization. I really think the biggest thing in our corner right now might be Masai. I don't think it can be understated how much it helps to have a young, travelled, hard-working, knowledgable, inspiring man from Africa for our GM. This just doesn't exist outside of us and I think has the power to sway guys. Remember that video in the pre-season of Masai talking to those teens in Africa and basically yelling at them like he's Braveheart or something "Nobody is going to do this for you - you've got to do it yourselves!!" This man is incredible and one of a kind in the world of basketball.

                    So with that, and the fact that players have come to realize Toronto is a pretty dope, world class city, that we're perennially winning, that getting as far away from Trump as possible is mighty appealing, that some of their favourite recording artists call it home, we've got a lot of things in our corner.

                    We'll always have low US network visibility and our weather against us. I'd still rather be in our shoes than so many other organizations in the NBA. If nothing else, we have something extremely unique going for us.

                    The thing we need to strike off the list, obviously, is playoff failure. To answer the initial question, that's the thing that needs to change. We've gotta get our heads on straight and push on through to playoff respectability. I'm so curious to see whether the growth and development of our stars, our organization, our team play and our team psyche can come along to the point where we're prepared to dominate the teams we need to dominate, run with the teams we should be running with, and give a good solid battle to the death with the teams we're not supposed to beat. If we grow enough to change that storyline, that's the best and only way to address what you call "The Canada Problem", JClaw.

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                    • #11
                      Jclaw wrote: View Post
                      But I think that's too simple. Why can't an company that advertises on ESPN (say Nike or Gatorade) say there's a local market of over 6 million and a bonus national population of 30 million people who all can buy Nike shoes or drink Gatorade? We want to market to them (along with the american audience).
                      Then these companies buy advertisement time on Canadian television like TSN or Sportsnet? As far as I know, most of Canada doesn't get ESPN anyway.

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                      • #12
                        Hey we came a long way from not been to attract and keep talent to not being able to attract American viewership. Its only getting better, Raptors are playing more exciting basketball and they do need to win in the playoffs to grow interest. Upsetting the Cavs in the Eastern conference finals will go a long way to achieve that.
                        Last edited by Hotshot; Tue Dec 26th, 2017, 02:31 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Fully wrote: View Post
                          Then these companies buy advertisement time on Canadian television like TSN or Sportsnet? As far as I know, most of Canada doesn't get ESPN anyway.

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                          • #14
                            Demographic Shift wrote: View Post
                            No one in Canada can watch ESPN.

                            Why is this you ask?

                            Because every federal Liberal and PC government since the 80’s believe that ESPN would somehow destroy and pervert the moral fibre of Canadians. So through the ever vigilant CRTC, ESPN is “verboten” content. Not available for you. Your betters in Ottawa just know better than you do what you want to watch as entertainment by offering subsidized programming that no one would pay to watch on the CBC. Don’t forget to tune into the Inuit throat singing festival live from Iqualit on Boxing Day. God forbid you make your own choices what to spend your money on.
                            All western countries are like this. No surprise here.

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                            • #15
                              rocwell wrote: View Post
                              All western countries are like this. No surprise here.
                              So do we take this as neutrality on freedom of choice ..or that protectionist policy at the expense of many for a few is acceptable.

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