Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer rejected a $60 million television deal with Fox Sports in order to start his own streaming service to broadcast Clippers games, Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reported Thursday.
The Clippers are currently under contract for $25 million a year with Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket regional sports network to broadcast their games in the Los Angeles area. The current deal expires at the end of the 2015–16 season.
Fox Sports was reportedly willing to increase its pay to the Clippers by 140 percent with the new deal.
Since the timetable for the re-negotiations of the contract ended in June, Ballmer has been exploring other options.
“Steve Ballmer is exploring any and all options, including a new deal with Fox,” a Clippers spokesperson told the New York Post.
From the streaming endeavor, Ballmer would become the first professional sports franchise owner to deliver games to fans by means of the team's own web-based service, rather than through the use of traditional cable or satellite companies.
Ballmer purchased the Clippers for $2 billion in ‘14 after previous owner Donald Sterling was forced by the NBA to sell the team after he made racist comments.
Los Angeles went 56–26 last season before losing to the Houston Rockets in the second-round of the playoffs.
- Christopher Chavez