New NBA Broadcasting Deal Worth $6billion Annually Begins to Take Shape

NBA Broadcasting Deal
NBA Broadcasting Deal

The current NBA broadcasting deal is set to expire at the end of the 2024/25 season, and the league has opened negotiations with new media companies with a fresh agreement imminent.

What is the Current NBA Broadcasting Deal Worth?

Despite declining audience numbers for the NBA finals in recent years, the league is seeking bumper new terms amid negotiations with interested broadcasting partners.

The NBA’s current TV rights are worth $24 billion, spread across a nine-year agreement with ABC, ESPN and TNT who collectively pay $2.7 billion-per-year for the privilege.

ESPN and ABC have been televising basketball for over two decades, with the latter showing the finals every season.

Warner Bros Discovery – who own TNT – and Disney – who control ABC and ESPN – are the NBA’s incumbent broadcasting partners and they remain in negotiations with the league to continue their long-standing agreement.

New NBA Broadcasting Deal – What We Know So Far

Several reports have suggested the NBA is nearing a tentative agreement with Disney and newcomers Amazon, who have been widely expected to enter the frame with a view to expanding their live sports offering on Prime Video.

None of the three parties have publicly declared the agreement, which still leaves the NBA’s broadcasting future open to other TV heavyweights.

Warner Bros Discovery have televised the NBA in some form since 1984, first with WTBS and now with TNT who have aired games for 36 years. There is little to suggest that this will continue at the moment given the lack of reports, but the belief is they remain in negotiations with the league.

NBC are also expected to negotiate with the NBA over the third package of games. There is even a suggestion that the league could open up companies to bid for a fourth media partner slot, with USA Network also entering the frame after securing the English Premier League.

However, losing WWE rights to Netflix is reflective of the growing power of streaming platforms, and they will be eager to add NBA to their offering

Even with falling viewing figures, the collective marketability of the league throughout the season means some of TV’s most lucrative companies are battling for supremacy.

This of course means the NBA is able to drive up the price of its deal significantly, and the expectation is the new agreement could rise by as much as three times the current rate.

The Wall Street Journal have reported that NBCU made a $2.5billion proposal to secure a portion of the rights – that’s $1.2billion more than Warner Bros currently pay for being one of the main TV providers.

ESPN are also expected to increase their bid from $1.2billion to $2.6billion according to Forbes, despite a reduction in the number of games they televise.

In short, companies will be forced to pay significantly more than the current deal, despite receiving a smaller slice of the rights.

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