InsideHoops.com NewsWire — Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a ground-breaking expansion of the longest-running league/network programming partnership in professional sports, through which the companies will jointly manage a portfolio of the NBA’s digital businesses that TBS, Inc. will operate out of its Atlanta production facility. The new domestic digital rights relationship, will allow TBS, Inc. and the NBA to further enrich the fan experience through NBA assets that complement the current NBA programming airing on Turner’s TNT. The partnership will be fully effective for the 2008-09 NBA season and run through the 2015-16 season.

David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc. and president of Turner Sports, and Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO, will jointly manage the venture and will appoint a General Manager responsible for the oversight of the NBA digital businesses.

Under the new agreement:

- TBS, Inc. will assume responsibility for programming, marketing and technical operations of NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour digital television network;

- TBS, Inc. will host and operate the NBA.com Network, which includes NBA.com, WNBA.com and NBADLeague.com;

- TBS, Inc. will operate NBA League Pass, the league’s out-of-market game package, and the NBA’s broadband and wireless businesses;

- TBS, Inc. and the NBA will jointly sell advertising for all of the digital assets;

- On-air talent from the Emmy Award-winning NBA on TNT and TNT’s Inside the NBA will appear on NBA TV;
NBA Entertainment, the league’s award-winning production and programming arm based in Secaucus, N.J., will continue to provide content for all of the NBA’s digital businesses.

“This expansion of the longstanding programming relationship between our company and the NBA represents a new strategic business model, and an innovative template for growth,” said Levy. “Turner Broadcasting’s operation of NBA Digital expands the growing Turner digital portfolio and provides the NBA industry-leading digital resources and expertise with which to grow its brand. We’re pleased to deepen our professional relationship with the league, and to pioneer a new success model for the digital age that will create an even richer experience for NBA fans.”

“We think the best way to optimize our suite of digital and television assets in the U.S. is with a media company that can provide us with the scale, expertise and resources to enhance and grow these properties,” said Silver. “Our longtime media partner Turner is an innovative industry leader and our expanded relationship will create opportunities to better serve our fans.”

The current TNT-NBA national television agreement extends their partnership through 2016, for a record 32 years. Turner’s TNT airs 52 regular-season games exclusively on Thursday nights in prime time; airs more than 40 Playoff games; and airs the annual All-Star Game and All-Star Saturday events exclusively. In addition, TNT NBA Overtime, a broadband feature on NBA.com, streams TNT-televised games, highlights and related programming live, delayed and on-demand.