SPORTS PRO 🔵 NBA ‘finalises’ US$76bn TV rights deals with ESPN, NBC and Amazon – SportsPro – Shango Media
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SPORTS PRO 🔵 NBA ‘finalises’ US$76bn TV rights deals with ESPN, NBC and Amazon – SportsPro

  • Contracts set to be sent to the NBA’s board of governors for approval
  • WBD will have five days to make a matching offer and could reportedly target Amazon’s package 
  • Deals could be announced ahead of the Olympics

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has finalised 11-year media rights deals worth a combined US$76 billion with ESPN, NBC and Amazon Prime Video, according to The Athletic.

The contracts now need to be signed off by the North American basketball league’s board of governors, a process which the report said is ‘expected to be a formality’. The board is set to meet in Las Vegas next week.

The biggest obstacle to the deals being announced remains the NBA’s existing broadcast partnership with Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), which has the right to match rival offers as part of its contract.

Once signed off, the new deals will be sent to WBD-owned TNT Sports, whose agreement to show the NBA expires at the end of next season. The Athletic said the broadcaster will then have five days to make a matching offer for one of the packages.

Should WBD choose not to make a bid, the league could reportedly announce its new broadcast deals at the end of July, ahead of the Olympics.

However, Sports Business Journal (SBJ) reports that the NBA is expecting WBD to make a matching offer for Amazon’s package, which could even lead to the media conglomerate launching a potential lawsuit.

As has been previously reported, Amazon is said to be paying US$1.8 billion annually for its package, which includes exclusive rights to the NBA In-Season Tournament. Its Prime Video streaming service will show regular season games on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as Thursday night games once the National Football League (NFL) season is concluded.

Meanwhile, NBC is expected to pay US$2.5 billion per year to secure regular season games on Tuesdays and Sunday night fixtures after the NFL regular season wraps up. Its direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming service Peacock will also show exclusive matches on Mondays, as well as simulcasting all fixtures shown on NBC.

The league’s biggest package will go to current broadcast partner ESPN, which will pay around US$2.6 billion each year. The Disney-owned network will show fewer regular season games overall, which will air on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Once the NFL season ends, it will also show matches on Friday nights.

All three broadcast partners will show playoff matchups, with Amazon and NBC to alternate showing one conference final series. ESPN will retain the rights to the other conference finals, as well as keeping the NBA Finals.

As for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), SBJ reports that games could be shared between ESPN, Amazon and NBC as part of the NBA’s contracts with the trio.

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