Raps will be in your face

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

Raptors fans in the Great White North will not be frozen out of any games this season.

For the first time, all Raptors games will be available nationwide, with 52 on national broadcast outlets (TSN, The Score and Rogers Sportsnet), 20 more available on Raptors NBATV and another 10 on Rogers Sportsnet's digital package.

"(This) reflects our commitment to making the Raptors Canada's Team," said Tom Anselmi, Raptors executive VP and COO. "To create a television package that not only takes every Raptors game nationwide, but also adds a great balance of NBA games from the U.S., is a testament to the increased interest in basketball throughout the country."

EXPOSURE

With the NHL players locked out for possibly the entire season, the Raptors have a golden opportunity to attract new fans to their team, and to the game. However, head coach Sam Mitchell said nobody with the Raptors is hoping to attract fans at hockey's expense.

"We want to win them over because we're playing well, we're winning and we're doing the things that the people of Toronto are proud of," Mitchell said. "And not because hockey is locked out."

TSN will televise a minimum of 20 Raptors games, highlighted by two games against defending the NBA champions Detroit Pistons (Nov. 5 and April 3), a visit to Toronto by Shaquille O'Neal and the Miami Heat on Dec.12, a matchup against Toronto native and NBA all-star Jamaal Magloire and the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 16.

The Score will air 20 Raptors games to a national audience, including the first and final meeting between the Raptors and O'Neal's Heat (Nov. 30 and March 29) and both matchups from Cleveland with LeBron James (Dec. 4 and Feb. 8).

The Score will also air 35 non-Raptors regular season games and select playoff games as well as the Court Surfing Show.

Rogers Sportsnet will carry five games nationally and 30 regionally in Ontario. Raptors NBA TV will simulcast 20 games throughout Canada, picking up the Ontario-only games on Rogers Sportsnet.


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