Basketball: Bown calls for greater TV share

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The Independent Online

The collapse of the Manchester Giants franchise has sparked a row over TV revenues between the Basketball League and the Birmingham Bullets' owner, Craig Bown, ahead of his unbeaten club's Northern European Basketball League match with Denmark's Great Danes tonight.

Bown was part of a consortium who bailed out the Giants in June last year after their previous owners withdrew. Bown said: "The Bullets believe the income from [the League's] media partners is not being distributed fairly. The Bullets are placing an immediate demand on the board of the BBL to create policy and structure that recognises that clubs which are providing the bulk of the media opportunities are given a better proportion of the income."

The League's new deal with ITV2 was launched at Bullets' first home game of the season and the club have invested to ensure they are always ready to host a live broadcast. By contrast, ITV2 cannot screen live games from Chester, Derby or Milton Keynes' regular venue at Bletchley.

Bown continued: "Some clubs like the Giants have problems that are a result of the high costs of playing from the MEN arena last year, at a time when the League was desperate to have TV-friendly venues while it was looking for a new TV deal. In stark contrast some clubs have made no commitment to meeting TV's requirements. If the Bullets do not receive a higher proportion of the TV income next season, the club will have to consider if further investment can be justified."

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