National Basketball Association Inks Big Deal

National Basketball Association

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has just inked a monstrous deal with Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and the Walt Disney Company to bring access of games to more fans and bring in more revenue over the next eleven years through the 2025 season. The NBA’s current television and media deal expires after the 2015-2016 season. The new deal will bring more games to stations like TNT, ESPN, ABC, and NBATV and will enhance the National Basketball Association’s digital presence, and most importantly for NBA owners, will bring in an additional $2 Billion of revenue yearly. It is a big deal.

News of this extension and expansion of services, giving fans more access than ever before, was released by the National Basketball Association at a time where interest in the NBA brand of basketball is as high as ever. The infamous Miami heat haven broken up over the summer, which coincided with a heart warming home-going for LeBron James, as he signs back with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The USA Basketball team brought home gold from the FIBA World Basketball Championships. Derrick Rose is back (again), and Kobe Bryant is also back. Then, off the court, the ongoing Donald Sterling fiasco is still fresh in peoples’ minds.

The release of the National Basketball Association, Disney, and Turner’s mega deal has also come at the same time that Turner would be terminating almost 1,500 jobs and almost 1000 in Atlanta alone, an enormous NBA market nonetheless. According to reports Turner Broadcasting, mother company to CNN, TBS, TNT and other slightly smaller brands such as Cartoon Network, TruTV, and others, has already offered buyouts to roughly 600 veteran employees in this past August in a “restructuring” of sorts. Beyond the financial woes, Turner has also been under pressure to produce more original programming. A deal that brings the National Basketball Association to the homes of more fans than ever is part of the restructuring efforts.

NBA star LeBron James claims to be “very educated” about how these type of deals work, and the revenue that can be gained for the NBA. He is fine with the expansion as many NBA players are, because such a boost in National Basketball Association revenue SHOULD mean more for all to share. LeBron lets it be known that he does not believe that NBA owners should “line their pockets” now, and then “cry poverty” when the next negotiations take place after the current collective bargaining agreement is over.

The NBA’s new deal, bringing in more revenue than ever, will most likely bring about an opt out by the NBA Player’s Union following the 2016-2017 season, as the players made most of the concessions during the last meetings in 2011. At that time, the NBA players agreed with the owners on a fifty percent share in revenue, leaving many players unsatisfied. The constant argument from about seventy-five percent of ownership groups during the 2011 negotiations is that they were “losing money.” The last negotiations lasted around six months. According to LeBron, the NBA players will need to be “taken care of.”

The National Basketball Association will now air more games on the usual networks TNT, ESPN, NBA TV and ABC when the new deal starts. The expansion includes more rights for Turner’s and Disney’s media brands, which will bring more live streaming of games, ESPN broadcasts of D-League and Summer League games, more televised WNBA games, interactive digital elements like live stat feeds, complimentary camera angles, and so much more to TNT games. NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s announcement of the big deal is set to give NBA fans more basketball than ever, and the deal has been inked, but obstacles before the deal that start taking effect in 2016, seem imminent.

By LaBaron Jackson

Sports Illustrated
NY Times

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