NBA

Report: NBA nearing $76 billion TV deal with NBC, Amazon & Disney

Jun 5, 2024, 8:13 AM | Updated: 8:13 am

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 22: A general view of a basketball during a game between the Chicago Bu...

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The NBA on NBC is on the verge of a return, while TNT’s time hosting professional basketball could be coming to an end.

According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, the NBA is nearing a $76 billion TV deal that would see ESPN, Amazon, and NBC acquire broadcast rights following the 2024-25 season.

This would mean that if the deal is finalized, longtime NBA partner TNT, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, will likely lose its share of games—including the beloved Inside the NBA program that features Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith.

On May 22nd, The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Friend reported that the NBA’s TV deal was entering its final stages. ESPN parent company Disney, new partner Amazon, and the returning NBC will take over the share of nationally broadcasted games following the 2024-25 season.

The NBA is formalizing written contracts with Disney, NBC and Amazon this week, with sources calling it the final stage of media rights negotiations that may inevitably lead incumbent Warner Bros. Discovery to take legal action

The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Friend – May 22, 2024

Friend’s report indicates that if WBD doesn’t up its bid to $2.8 billion, NBC will gain the rights to broadcast NBA games for the first time since 2002.

Part of the NBA on NBC partnership would include Basketball Night in America, similar to the network’s Sunday night coverage of the NFL, Football Night in America.

Negotiations are ongoing–with potential lawsuits on the way but the NBA’s three-decade run on TNT could end after the 2024-25 season.

Original Story from May 1, 2024

From the 1990s through the early 2000s, NBA Playoff basketball went hand-in-hand with the sound of John Tesh’s “Roundball Rock,” the theme song for NBC’s broadcasts–The NBA on NBC.

The NBA on NBC was the broadcast home of basketball during a transitional time for the game, as popularity was on the rise thanks to the Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson battles of the 1980s and the emergence of a young star named Michael Jordan.

From 1990 to 2002, NBC led the way in NBA coverage before losing the broadcast rights in 2003 to a package of outlets that included ABC, ESPN, and TNT.

Over 20 years later, “Roundball Rock” appears to be on the verge of making its official return to the National Basketball Association.

According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, NBC is planning to pay $2.5 billion annually to broadcast a package of NBA games, doubling TNT’s parent company Warner Brother’s current annual pact of $1.2 billion.

Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC, the current home of the NBA Finals, is expected to retain its share of games, while new partner Amazon Prime Video is expected to secure a package of games that will include a share of the Conference Finals.

If NBC’s offer is accepted, basketball on TNT could end after the 2024-25 season.

Disney, the parent of ESPN and ABC, is the other major TV partner and is expected to pay an average per-year fee of about $2.6 billion to renew its deal, the people familiar with the situation said, up from about $1.5 billion a year.

Each TV partner would air fewer games under their new deals than under the current pacts. The league took some games away from its TV partners during this year’s rights negotiations to create a package for a streaming partner. Amazon’s Prime Video has already reached the outlines of a streaming rights deal with the NBA.

The league’s negotiations with its streaming and TV partners are fluid, and the parties are still haggling over who gets rights to air the most high-profile games and series. Amazon is likely to get a share of the Conference Finals alongside the other partners, and Disney’s ABC is on track to retain the rights to the NBA Finals, some of the people said.

The Wall Street Journal on the NBA’s TV negotiations – April 30, 2024

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