The NBA wanted the Toronto Raptors to appear on national television more frequently during the 19-20 season than either ESPN or TNT would have preferred.
The NBA insisted on having the Raptors appear on their Christmas Day schedule along with opening night as the defending champions.
The NBA doesn't air on ESPN and TNT in Canada, which deflates the ratings for Raptors' games.
“What a lot of people like to cling to is because the Raptors don’t play in the United States, it makes them ratings challenged,” said senior vice president of programing for Turner Sports Scooter Vertino. “But my argument would be they’re a compelling team and they play a great and exciting brand of basketball, and to me, maybe we can flip it and say, ‘Maybe we can open some more eyes here that weren’t going to watch in the first place. They’re on this platform for a reason.’”