ABA signs deal with Toronto firm to launch media division

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The American Basketball Association, an Indianapolis-based professional basketball league, and Toronto media company Caricom have signed a deal to create ABA Media, an initiative launched to maximize potential of a variety of media opportunities for the league, including television, radio, Web streaming, podcasting and other technologies.

“Caricom is a new breed of media organization that embraces both traditional media as well as emerging digital media with equal zeal,” said Joe Newman, the ABA’s CEO. “We have found them to be the perfect partner and are excited about the relationship. Caricom will essentially manage the digital assets and broadcast initiatives of the ABA.”

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Paul Riley, a Toronto attorney who focuses on entertainment, sports law and business operations, has been named vice president of ABA Media. Riley also is ABA vice president of business development.

“This is the second major ABA initiative in place,” Riley said. “First, the league established a relationship with Spalding as the official ball of the ABA and now we have ABA Media set. We will be able to bring the excitement of ABA basketball to fans worldwide starting this season with games from the U.S., Canada and Mexico included.”

ABA officials, who will kick off another season in November, also recently announced that the league settled a lawsuit with three minority shareholders, including former National Basketball Association star John Salley.

Attorneys for both sides said the case was settled in part because it would be too expensive to go to court. Since the ABA began its most recent incarnation in 2000, it has yet to make a profit, league officials said.

Newman, an ABA majority shareholder, said the suit arose out of an attempt by Salley’s group to take over the league.

Newman said the ABA Media deal is a sign the league is moving forward.

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