NBA Set to Announce New TV Rights Deals

The National Basketball Association is cashing in on the big demand for sports programming.

The league has called a press conference for Monday morning to announce new media partnerships, and its television revenue is expected to double in new deals with its current partners ESPN and Turner Broadcasting.

The NBA’s current eight-year deals expire at the end of the upcoming season. Its ESPN contract paid it $485 million per year on average. Turner’s deal paid about $445 million on average. Rights deals generally escalate with networks paying more in the last years of a deal than at the outset.

Both new eight-year agreements are expected to average about $1 billion a year, according to a recent report by Sports Business Journal. The deal would be the first TV agreement Adam Silver has negotiated as commissioner of the NBA.

ESPN and Turner both were in exclusive negotiating windows with the NBA and both have said that continuing the relationship was crucial to them. ESPN’s rights include the NBA Finals, which have aired on ABC, which is also owned by ESPN parent the Walt Disney Co. Turner shows exclusive games in primetime on Thursday night, the All-Star Game and the bulk of the playoffs. Turner also programs the NBA Network.

At a time when more viewers, especially younger ones, are using digital devices, ESPN and Turner are expected to retain digital rights to the games they broadcast.

A spokesman for ESPN had no comment.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.