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Here’s what you need to know about the NBA’s upcoming 11-year, $76 billion media rights deal – Winnipeg Free Press

Here’s what you need to know about the NBA’s upcoming 11-year,  billion media rights deal – Winnipeg Free Press

The NBA may not be happy about the NFL making Christmas a regular part of its schedule. But a new set of media rights deals almost put them on the same economic arena.

The NBA’s 11-year, $76 billion contracts will begin running through the 2025-26 season, the same number of years as the NFL’s newest deal, which began running through the 2023 season.

Deals with ESPN/ABC, NBC and Amazon Prime Video will average $6.9 billion per season. The NFL averages $10 billion per year, but that’s with five networks. Depending on how things work out with TNT Sports, the NBA could cross the $7 billion mark.

FILE – The NBA logo is seen at center court before an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The NBA has agreed to terms on a new media deal, an 11-year, $76 billion deal that ensures player salaries will continue to rise for the foreseeable future and is sure to change the way some viewers watch the game for years to come. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images via AP, Pool, File)

The NFL remains the biggest draw due to its ratings and advertising effectiveness. The NBA is a close second and can command high prices due to its younger audience and abundance of content.

WHY IS THIS A LONG-TERM CONTRACT?

Leagues want economic certainty to factor in long-term contracts. For networks and media companies that own the rights, live sports are still prime real estate for advertisers.

WHAT BENEFITS WILL THIS BRING TO FANS?

You’ll often have to check your channel guide for more, but for the last three months of the regular season, there will be a nationally televised NBA game every night on ABC, ESPN, NBC, Peacock, or Prime Video.

WHO HAS THE BEST PACKAGE?

ESPN and ABC will continue to host the league’s biggest games, as well as the NBA Finals.

Even though the NBA will have two broadcast partners for the first time, the Walt Disney Company has steadfastly opposed splitting the Finals. It would cost Disney $2.6 billion annually, which is slightly less than the $2.70 per season the NFL pays for “Monday Night Football,” two playoff games and the Super Bowl in 2027 and 2031.

Under the current nine-year deal, which expires next season, ESPN/ABC is paying $1.4 billion annually.

WELCOME BACK, NBC

The network, which televised all six of Michael Jordan’s championships with the Chicago Bulls, as well as Shaquille O’Neal’s and Kobe Bryant’s first three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, is returning after broadcasting from 1990-2002.

NBC will air a package of games on Sunday nights when the NFL regular season ends, as well as NBA All-Star Weekend. It will regularly air games on Tuesday nights and will have a package of games on Mondays streaming on Peacock.

NBC’s deal averages $2.5 billion per season, which is more than the $2 billion NBC gives to “Sunday Night Football.” But considering that “Sunday Night Football” has been the most popular primetime show for 13 years in a row, it’s money well spent.

DOES THIS MEAN “ROUNDBALL ROCK” IS BACK?

Yep, you don’t have to wait until fall 2025 to hear him, as NBC is licensing his coverage of the Olympic basketball games.

IS THE NBA ALSO ENTERING THE WORLD OF STREAMING?

Yes, with Prime Video. It will broadcast Thursday night games after the NFL regular season ends, as well as games on Friday and Saturday.

Prime Video will also be the main network for the tournament during the season. It will pay an average of $1.8 billion per season (its deal with the NFL averages $1.1 billion per year).

SINCE ABC HAS THE NBA FINALS, WHO WILL WIN THE REST OF THE PLAYOFFS?

All networks will have games in the first two rounds. As for the conference finals, ESPN/ABC has one each season, while NBC and Amazon Prime Video will alternate broadcasting the other.

WHEN WILL THIS BE FINAL?

At least not for a few weeks. The NBA has a board of governors in Las Vegas next week and could approve it there. Once the league sends the completed contracts to TNT Sports, it will have five days to match one of the deals.

DOES TNT SPORTS HAVE ANY CHANCE?

Very slim. And if the NBA really wanted to keep one of its legacy partners in the game, it could have already carved out a limited fourth package of games.

After TNT’s recent acquisitions of the French Open, early rounds of the College Football Playoff, Big East and Mountain West, it appears owner Warner Bros. Discovery is preparing for life without the NBA in the fall of 2025. Turner Sports has owned the NBA since 1984.

TNT Sports is paying $1.4 billion per season. Given the amounts of the three proposed packages, that would make Prime Video rights the ones it would likely try to match.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE NBA?

The labor peace is done, with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Media rights are almost done. That puts expansion by at least two teams to 32 on board. The expansion fees will also bring a nice financial boost to the teams.

For players, this means the league’s salary cap will increase by 10% annually. Prepare for the possibility that top players will earn around $100 million per season by the mid-2030s.

IS THE WNBA PART OF THIS RIGHTS DEAL?