New look, name and feel for Canada’s premiere basketball content provider

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE)’s Broadcast Division announced Friday that its basketball digital channel Raptors NBA TV will now be known as NBA TV Canada. The name change aligns with the change in programming on the network. The announcement was made during a panel discussion that looked at how technology advances such as 3-D TV will have an impact on the NBA and its games in the future.

“Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in Canada with nine out of 10 Canadians following the sport and more than 2.1 million participating in the game across our country,” said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “We believe the name change of our network better reflects the expansive programming we’re offering and will appeal to a wider range of basketball enthusiasts.”

Anselmi added that NBA live game viewership on the channel has increased by more than 140% over the past two seasons. Basketball fans across Canada will now have an opportunity to see all 30 NBA teams in action during the 2010-11 NBA Season on NBA TV Canada. The channel will carry 102 live games that include more than 25 Lakers, Heat, Celtics and Suns games, all in High-Definition. As the official home to the Raptors pre-and-post game show, NBA TV Canada programming will also include Euroleague and WNBA games and Raptors Game In An Hour and Raptors This Week.

NBA TV Canada is available in more than two million homes across Canada. Earlier Friday, Videotron announced that it will carry NBA TV Canada on three screens -- TV, Web and Mobile. Videotron Digital TV customers will be able to access NBA TV Canada in standard format on channel 86 and in HD on channel 686. A free preview will be offered for the next three months on illico TV, illico web and illico mobile.