Deal will have a knock-on effect for salary cap and player contracts…
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The NBA have announced their new TV deal with both ESPN and TNT that is reportedly worth $26 billion over nine years, averaging out at $2.7 billion per season.
The deal will take effect from the 2016/17 season onwards and increases ESPN’s television, digital, highlights, data, audio and international NBA rights. Games are expected to continue to air on ESPN and TNT through to the 2024/25 season.
Meanwhile, ABC will remain the exclusive network for the NBA Finals and both ESPN and ABC will combine for up to 44 post-season games including the respective conference finals.
In addition, ESPN will continue to air the Draft, draft combine and draft lottery, with the New York Times also reporting that the deal is worth more than $2.5 billion per year.
“The NBA has never been more popular and it continues to grow under Adam’s [Silver] leadership,” ESPN president John Skipper said Monday in a statement.
“By acquiring significantly more NBA content for both existing and yet-to-be created platforms, we will establish a vibrant, year-round NBA presence for fans. For ESPN, this agreement continues our fruitful, longstanding relationship with the NBA and bolsters what is already the sports industry’s most impressive and impactful collection of media rights.”
Highlights of the deal include 10 additional regular season games for ESPN and ABC, 10 more exclusive regular-season windows and increased team appearances.
Meanwhile, the deal is also likely to have a significant impact on both the respective franchises and players too as the salary cap will be expected to be increased in the coming years.
The likes of LeBron James have purposely signed short-term deals in order to account for the TV deal, as they will now also look to exploit the collective bargaining agreement and enjoy a significant bump of their own.
Nevertheless, it is huge news for the NBA as a whole as they will undoubtedly benefit from the increased investment and it will likely result in a more polished and enhanced experience for fans.