Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Toronto Raptors basketball team, were granted a licence in November 2000 for a cable specialty channel, then called the Raptors Basketball Channel, which planned to include panel and phone-in shows, player profiles, statistics and analysis, and historical material about the Raptors and other teams. The channel was specifically prohibited from providing any live coverage of professional basketball games. The channel, now titled Raptors NBA TV, launched in September 2001, by which time MLSE had received permission to provide live coverage of games for no more than 5% of the schedule.
The channel started offering a High Definition option in October 2005. In February 2006, channel owners Toronto Raptors Network Ltd – now majority owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, with minority holdings by Bell Globemedia Inc (now CTVglobemedia Inc), TD Capital Group Ltd. and Kilmer Sports Inc., applied to expand its maximum live basketball coverage to 15% of its schedule. In June 2006, the CRTC announced that it would meet the channel half-way, when it increased the permitted live basketball coverage to 10% of the program schedule.
On October 15, 2010, the channel was renamed NBA TV Canada.
Ownership: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Start Year: 2001