CBC jumps on bandwagon

Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors will face the Celtics in his hometown of Rome, Italy, in a...

Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors will face the Celtics in his hometown of Rome, Italy, in a preseason game. (Sun File/Veronica Henri)

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

The Raptors, who have long desired to gain a country-wide foothold in order to truly become "Canada's team," took a big step in that direction yesterday, as the CBC announced it will televise up to 10 regular-season home games this season in the first of a three-year agreement.

The deal, rumoured since June, will give the club more exposure than ever before, thanks to the national broadcaster's extensive reach.

CBC's agreement also calls for broadcasting up to 20 regular-season games in each of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

"We're thrilled to welcome the Raptors to CBC," executive director of CBC Sports Scott Moore said in a statement.

"They're an exciting team on the rise."

For 2007-08, all 10 games will be Sunday contests.

The broadcast team will be announced shortly.

The NBA's pre-season and regular-season schedules are expected to be released within the next week.

Meanwhile, the Raptors will get the first crack at the new high-powered Boston Celtics on Oct. 6 in Andrea Bargnani's home town of Rome.

The Raptors and Kevin Garnett's new squad, which feature fellow all-stars Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, is part of the NBA Live Europe tour. Ironically, Boston will take on Garnett's former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, four days later in London, England.

The Raptors also will play Lottomatica Virtus Roma and Real Madrid.


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