Saturday, July 13, 2024

NBA agrees to record 11-year, $US76b media deal: report

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The NBA has agreed to terms on its new media deal, a record 11-year agreement worth $US76 billion that assures player salaries will continue rising for the foreseeable future and one that will change how some viewers access the game.

A person familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the networks have the terms sheets, with the next step being for the league’s board to approve the contracts.

The 11-year, $US76 billion ($A112.6 billion) deal, which set NBA records for both its length and total value, goes into effect for the 2025-26 season.

Games will continue being aired on American networks ESPN and ABC, and now some will be going to NBC and Amazon Prime.

TNT Sports, which has been part of the league’s broadcasting family since the 1980s, could be on its way out, but now has five days to match one of the deals.

ESPN and ABC will continue to have the league’s top package, which includes the NBA Finals and one of the conference finals series.

The return of NBC, which carried NBA games from 1990 through 2002, gives the league two broadcast network partners for the first time.

NBC would showcase games on Sunday night once the NFL season has ended. It will air games on Tuesdays throughout the regular season, while a Monday-night package of games would be exclusively streamed on Peacock.

Prime Video would have games on Thursday night after it is done carrying NFL games. Its other nights would be Friday and Saturday.

NBC and Prime Video would alternate who carries the other conference final.

In the short term, the deal almost certainly means the league’s salary cap will rise 10 per cent annually – the maximum allowed by the terms of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and its players.

That means players such as Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dallas’s Luka Doncic could be making about $US80 million in the 2030-31 season, and raises at least some possibility that top players may be earning nearly $US100 million per season by the mid-2030s.

It also clears the way for the next major item on the NBA’s to-do list: expansion.

Las Vegas and Seattle are typically among the cities most prominently mentioned as top expansion candidates, with others such as Montreal, Vancouver and Kansas City expected to have groups with interest as well.

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