Lietuvos Rytas decided not to participate in the Lithuanian Cup, which is run by the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF), claiming that the Federation had breached a televising contract with Lietuvos Rytas TV.
However, Mindaugas Balciunas, the general secretary of the Federation, denied such accusations, saying that no contracts with the aforementioned TV station were in made.
“We have no obligations to Lietuvos Rytas TV and no active contracts, therefore we chose the broadcaster of the competition following the wishes of our sponsors and viewership statistics,” said Balciunas.
There will be no sanctions against Lietuvos Rytas for pulling out of the Lithuanian Cup, as the tournament is not mandatory for any team. Both Lietuvos Rytas and Zalgiris had automatic qualification to the Final Four, which is planned to be hosted in Kaunas.
The translated version of Lietuvos Rytas' letter to the Lithuanian Basketball Federation:
To the Lithuanian Basketball Federation President Arvydas Sabonis and the General Secretary Mindaugas Balciunas
We would like to inform you that Lietuvos Rytas basketball club will not participate in the LKF Cup competition.
This decision was made after LKF unilateraly and without a reason decided not to comply with the agreement with Lietuvos Rytas TV, taking away the Final Four broadcast rights from it.
Lietuvos Rytas used to participate in the LKF Cup with good will and wanted to help the Federation to increase the prestige of the competition. This season Lietuvos Rytas is choosing to play in tournaments, which are more important than the LKF Cup – the LKL, Eurocup and the VTB United League.
We hope that in the future LKF will represent the interests of basketball and not their selfish ambitions and will stick to their word.
President of Lietuvos Rytas basketball club
General Director of Lietuvos Rytas media group