Set to expire after the 2015-2016 season, the NBA’s current national media deals with ESPN/ABC and TNT pay the league nearly $1 billion per year. But it could look to more than double that total this summer, when it starts discussions with TV networks about new deals.
Jockeying for a piece of that sweet NBA pie will almost certainly be newbies such as Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network, though ESPN and Turner aren’t about to let go of their rights deals without a fight. ESPN, in particular, has shown it will pay premium prices to get the sports properties it feels best benefits its collection of channels.
Read more about it at Ad Age.
Brief Take: Sports programming has become the single most important form of content for networks, and with the NBA having the most international appeal of any US sports league and ratings back to levels seen during the Michael Jordan era, it’s no surprise rights deals for its content are expected to be lucrative.