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NBA nearing insane new broadcast deal

The NBA is nearing a massive new TV deal that will cause some massive shifts in the league.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the NBA is nearing a deal to sell broadcast rights to ESPN, NBC, and Amazon. The new deal will not include TNT, as has been rumored for months.

The deal will reportedly pay the league $76 billion in revenue over the next 11 years.

According to WSJ, Disney (ESPN and ABC) would pay about $2.6 billion annually for games, including exclusive rights to the NBA Finals. NBC would pay about $2.5 billion annually for about 100 games per season (half of which will appear on their streaming service Peacock), while Amazon would pay about $1.8 billion annually.

The Journal reports that Warner Bros Discovery (TNT) can still match the price to stream games or have a new package created for it, but that options are dwindling.

The deal is not yet official, but has been rumored for a while. Various reports have indicated that the NBA’s next broadcast deal will be even richer than the $24 billion extension they signed in 2014.

The deal would obviously ring in a new era, transitioning from solely cable networks to streaming platforms.

If Warner Bros Discovery does not match, it would also mark the end of an era with “Inside the NBA,” arguably the most well-known NBA show. Charles Barkley has been a vocal critic of Warner Bros’ reported reluctance to match the deal, while NBA fans have paid tribute to the long-running shenanigans of Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson.

Massive Contracts Are Coming
With the new broadcast money will come historic contracts and salaries

NBA contracts and salaries have already ballooned in recent years, and they’re set to get even bigger.

As the NBA salary cap is tied to Basketball Related Income (BRI), the new TV money will only further inflate contract totals.

As Keith Smith of Spotrac outlined weeks ago, if the salary cap grows 10% each year, by 2028-29, the starting salary for a max contract would be over $72 million.

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown signed the NBA’s first $300 million deal last offseason. Soon, $300 million max contracts will be the norm for star players. And it won’t be long before players start signing $400 million contracts.

For reference, LeBron James is the only player in NBA history have career earnings exceeding $400 million (Kevin Durant and Chris Paul will pass that number this season).

As salaries continue to grow larger, it could even change the mechanics of team-building. In an NBA era when even role players can make $20+ million per season, will players be more likely to take discounts to play wherever they want? Will star players who’ve already signed $300 million contracts take less to join contenders or play with their friends?

If this new deal goes through as is, it will truly usher in a new era of the NBA. GiveMeSport

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