As most have heard over the past several months/years, ex-Toronto Raptor Head Coach (and former Indiana University/NBA star) Butch Carter has been pounding the pavement to establish a second Canadian professional basketball league. Plans have been in the works for going on almost two years now and given today’s announcement, it appears that the league is getting set to kick off shortly.
With today’s press release/launch which we received by e-mail, Carter is announcing a four-team inaugural season – start date not immediately announced – and a partnership with Yes TV to broadcast the games (see more below).
More important in my opinion is the league’s affiliation with FIBA, also announced. By partnering with the global professional governing body for basketball, the league gains some measure of credibility although it is not clear whether there are now commercial advantages that CBL will enjoy as a result. Interestingly, there are no references that we can find on the FIBA web site or other that confirm CBL’s FIBA affiliation.
While the press release cites 4 teams in the first season, the league’s slick CBL web site refers to 5 teams as follows: Scarborough B.C., Ottawa, Wellington, Hamilton United and Durham United (all 5 teams have logos however no other information).
Yes TV (excerpted from Wikipedia) is owned by Crossroads Christian Communications and consists of three stations located in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, and Edmonton, and two partial affiliates in Newfoundland and Victoria, British Columbia. Formerly known as the Crossroads Television System (CTS), the three stations air a lineup consisting predominantly of Christian faith-based programming, such as televangelists and Crossroads’ flagship program 100 Huntley Street. During the late-afternoon and evening hours, Yes TV broadcasts secular, family-oriented sitcoms, game shows, and reality series; the system’s September 2014 re-launch as Yes TV emphasized its newly acquired Canadian rights to a number of major U.S. reality series, such as American Idol and The Biggest Loser. Outside of the three Yes TV stations, the system has also syndicated its acquired programming to other Canadian independent stations. It is operated out of Crossroads’ headquarters in Burlington, Ontario. The channel can be streamed free of charge in Canada via the Yes TV tvOS app on the Apple TV. The Crossroads Television System originally consisted of a single television station, CITS-TV in Hamilton, Ontario (also serving Toronto), with rebroadcast transmitters in London and Ottawa. CITS, launched in 1998, was the second religious terrestrial television station launched in Canada, after CJIL-TV in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Yes TV’s web site has features Carter’s league on their home page:
Canadian Basketball League
Exclusive – Launches October 2016
Former Toronto Raptors head coach Butch Carter has developed a domestic professional basketball league that would help groom Canadian talent while also attracting quality players from abroad. The Canadian Basketball League will start with — 10 Ontario-based teams, followed by six in western Canada — it will thrive by providing affordable entertainment in mid-sized markets while allowing hopeful pros on modest salaries to nurture NBA dreams. YES TV has a long term agreement as the exclusive broadcaster of the LIVE game of the week produced by Dome Productions. CBL will also provide YES TV with a weekly game recap in 30 minutes tentatively title “CBL in 30”. Our partnership with CBL includes co-operative participation in local charitable community events focused on family and youth.
Here is the entire press release:
Canadian Basketball League Update
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
Toronto, ON – With the Canadian Basketball League’s inaugural season right around the corner, the CBL is set to launch in December with four teams. The CBL is excited to announce the partnership with YesTV as of June 4th, 2016. YesTV currently has coverage in 93% of Ontario homes and 84% of Alberta homes which ultimately replicates the footprint for the CBL. Furthermore, the CBL is also proud to announce the partnership with a large media company in the Greater Toronto Area for the upcoming season.
With the growth rate of basketball in Canada rising higher than the growth rate of hockey, this presents a unique problem. “The problem is that historically some basketball supporters have requested money in the past years but have failed to accurately report how the money was being used. This issue created an atmosphere of distrust with corporate sponsors.” – Butch Carter, CBL founder and former NBA head coach.
Corporate Sponsorship in Canada is in the 1.3 to 1.7 billion-dollar per year range. With that in mind, less than 1% of that money goes to basketball outside of the Toronto Raptors. In the near future, the CBL will file with Canada Basketball for FIBA Certification. This FIBA application process is not complicated and was thoroughly explained to the Canadian Basketball League in a meeting in May. This step is critical in the growth of basketball in Canada. Canada is still the largest country in the world that does not have a professional basketball league fully FIBA and WADA compliant.
The CBL would finally like to wish Canada Basketball the best of luck in their qualifying campaign in the Philippines. Canada is set to tip off against Turkey on Tuesday, July 5th at 6:30am (EST) and Wednesday, July 6th at 6:30am (EST) against Senegal. Join us in giving Canada Basketball our best wishes in their qualifying campaign for Rio 2016.
For more information, please contact the Canadian Basketball League Head Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 203 0442.