7 JUN 2024

Will the NBA's $76 billion rights deal with NBC, ESPN, and Amazon be a game changer?

The National Basketball Association is in talks with Comcast, The Walt Disney Company and Amazon to close deals that could more than double the league's revenue to $8.5 billion per year.

7 JUN 2024

  • Facebook
  • X
  • Linkedin
  • Whatsapp

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is expected to close media rights deals with Comcast-owned NBC, Disney's ESPN, and Amazon.com that would generate around $76 billion in media revenue over 11 years, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Currently, the NBA’s TV rights are held by TNT (WBD) and ESPN, with the league receiving $2.6 billion annually from these deals. However, the new agreements, set to take effect in 2025, could more than double the league's revenue to $8.5 billion per year. This would not only enhance the financial landscape of the NBA but also position it alongside the National Football League (NFL) in terms of lucrative media contracts.

A significant portion of the new deal is expected to pivot towards streaming services. While ESPN is likely to retain a substantial share of the rights, TNT's future in broadcasting NBA games remains uncertain. Instead, Amazon and Google have emerged as frontrunners to secure a major package of games.

This move aligns with broader industry trends, where streaming platforms are increasingly becoming the go-to choice for sports consumption. For the NBA, which boasts a younger, tech-savvy audience, this transition could expand its reach and engagement. Platforms like Amazon Prime and YouTube TV could offer more flexible viewing options, catering to fans who prefer streaming over traditional cable services.

TNT might be the notable absentee in this new media landscape. Despite its long-standing partnership with the NBA, Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly less inclined to match the financial bids of streaming giants, which could lead to TNT exiting the NBA broadcasting scene. However, this potential departure is not set in stone. There are still negotiations to be had, and the final landscape could see a blend of old and new, with TNT possibly maintaining a scaled-back package of games.

From a financial perspective, the enormous influx of revenue from these deals will further solidify the NBA's economic foundation, potentially leading to higher salary caps and increased investment in the league's growth and global outreach. As the NBA finalizes these deals, the sports media landscape braces for a monumental shift. The forthcoming agreements will not only redefine how NBA games are broadcasted but also set a precedent for how other sports leagues might navigate the evolving media environment in the digital age.