NBA announces 9-year TV deal with ESPN, Turner Sports
The National Basketball Association reached a new nine-year, $24 billion television and media rights deal with ESPN and TNT, ESPN and Turner Sports announced Monday.
The New York Times' Rich Sandomir reported the new agreement on Sunday evening.
The new deal will be worth nearly three times as much as the league's current deal, which expires after the 2015-16 season. The average annual value of the deal would increase from the current figure of about $966 million to more than $2.6 billion.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league had discussions but not negotiations with Comcast and Fox concerning a deal.
"The Walt Disney Company and Turner Broadcasting share responsibility for the growing popularity and interest the NBA enjoys, and we are thrilled to extend our partnerships," Silver said. "With these new agreements, our fans will continue to benefit from the outstanding NBA coverage and programming provided by ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV and their digital platforms."
The deal will add 10 additional regular-season games for ESPN or ABC each season, and ABC will continue to be the home of the NBA Finals.
Turner Sports will add 12 live regular season games each year and will televise a 64-game regular season schedule under the new agreement. The network's playoff coverage includes first and second round games as well as one Conference Finals (alternating between the Eastern and Western Conference each year).
The league will also create a televised end-of-the-year awards show.
The WNBA also extended its agreement with ESPN through 2025 as part of the new rights deal.
The new deal likely means the NBA's salary cap -- and player salaries -- will soar when the league and players' association reach a new collective bargaining agreement. Some of the league's top free agents, including LeBron James, structured their contracts to give themselves flexibility heading into the 2016-17 season.
- Brett LoGiurato and Scooby Axson