NBA may soon discuss new TV rights deal
The NBA plans to start informal negotiations on its next media rights deal this summer, two years before its current ESPN and Turner Sports deals wrap up, according to several sources.
The current contracts run through the 2015-16 season. On average, the networks are paying the league a combined $930 million annually as part of the deals, which started with the 2008-09 season.
The current deals also represent a 20 percent increase in rights fees over the league’s previous contracts. Given the bullish state of the market for live sports and new digital rights opportunities, the NBA is likely to see a much higher percentage increase this time.
The league plans to wait for its playoffs to end in June before turning its focus to the media package, sources said. While those informal talks are likely to take place, a formal deal is not expected until next year, when current NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver replaces David Stern as commissioner.
Reported by John Ourand & John Lombardo of Sports Business Daily