NBA Enters Streaming World With Amazon Prime Deal, per Report

The NBA will be exclusively broadcast on a streaming platform for the first time ever.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is officially entering the modern era of sports broadcasting. On Friday, Andrew Marchand of The Athletic reported Amazon Prime is expected to sign a rights deal with the NBA that will give the streaming service a "significant" chunk of regular season and postseason games. It is a landmark moment for the league.

Marchand reports the deal is expected to begin during the 2025-26 season and run through the next decade. The NBA's existing rights holding deals with ESPN/ABC and TNT will expire after the 2024-25 campaign.

For consumers, this is a pretty significant development. To this point, the NBA was the only one of the three major American sports to not have an ongoing deal with a streaming service. Major League Baseball has a league-wide deal with Apple TV and the New York Yankees have an agreement with Amazon for a small part of their inventory. The NFL signed a deal with Amazon a few years ago to broadcast Thursday Night Football.

The NBA, conversely, has exclusively been on cable or broadcast television for the entirety of its existence. Plenty of people watch via streaming platforms, but as a proxy. The games have always been available on regular television. There have been plenty of rumors recently suggesting the league was interested in signing a big deal with a streaming service for its next era of broadcasting. It seems Amazon is the winner of that race. Fans who want to watch every NBA game after next season will have to look into a Prime subscription.

As noted in the report, it is not an exclusive deal, however. The NBA is expected to sign a deal with ESPN/ABC to ensure the NBA Finals remain on those networks for the next decade-plus. Additionally, it is expected that either TNT or NBC will sign a deal to broadcast the games left after the Amazon and ESPN/ABC agreements.

It will be fascinating to see how much everything costs. The NBA's current rights deal with ESPN/ABC and Turner is worth about $23 billion. Recent reports have suggested the league hopes to get up to $75 billion total in this next round of rights negotiations. Amazon will likely have to pay a steep price as a non-traditional viewing platform, especially since the company is unproven broadcasting NBA games.

A historic moment for basketball, with more yet to come.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.