Stern: Ops to Carry NBA TV by Labor Day - Multichannel

Stern: Ops to Carry NBA TV by Labor Day

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National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern said Thursday that
the league will have carriage deals for its 24-hour NBA TV network by Labor Day
2003.

During a pre-NBA playoffs media conference call, Stern said he's close to
reaching agreements with several MSOs, although he would not reveal specific
names.

He added that the advent of MSO sports tiers has made NBA TV -- which offers
four live, weekly regular-season games and which will carry at least seven
playoff games beginning next week -- a more attractive proposition to
operators.

Currently, only DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. have carriage
deals for the service, which also offers live high-definition-TV games, vintage
NBA games and movies.

The NBA initially trotted out a 25-cent-per-subscriber, per-month rate card
to operators, but Stern said operators are 'reluctant' to pay fees. "Someplace
in the middle, you will see a deal that satisfies both parties," he
added.

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