Last season, the NBA got $930 million in broadcast rights fees from Disney (owners of ESPN and ABC) and Time Warner (owners of Turner and therefore TNT).
Not shabby, you say? Major League Baseball gets $1.5 billion (from three different entities) and the NFL gets $4.9 billion. The NBA wants a bigger slice of the pie.
In their new television deal, the NBA is looking to double that, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The NBA and its existing broadcast partners have been in negotiations on a new deal since last summer and where those negotiations stand will be part of the conversation when NBA owners sit down for their annual summer meetings in Las Vegas this week.
Among the conversations to take place, according to the report.
• Splitting the NBA Finals broadcasts between TNT and ABC. While TNT (which helps operate NBA TV) covers games Tuesday/Thursday night games all season and a number of games in the playoffs, ABC has the Finals. TNT wants in on the Finals. (Most fans seem to prefer the TNT broadcasts, particularly the pre/post game shows on TNT, where Inside the NBA is one of the best shows in sports.) However dividing up a series (some games on one network, some on another), so some fans have to go hunting for the station, is a pretty big role of the dice.
• The NBA can’t negotiate with other entities yet. However, before leaving office former commissioner David Stern said he like the NFL model where the sport was split among every network. It is thought the NBA wants to add a nightly national game, maybe Saturday night, broadcast with a new partner (Fox Sports is rumored to be the frontrunner there).
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