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NBA Finalizes TV Deals With Disney, NBC, Amazon; TNT’s Future Uncertain

The NBA has secured significant new media rights deals with Disney, NBC, and Amazon, although the future of the NBA on TNT is still uncertain.

These deals were confirmed on Wednesday, according to sources from The Hollywood Reporter . The NBA board of governors still needs to approve these agreements, a vote anticipated to occur on Tuesday. After this approval, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) will have five days to decide whether to match the deals. It remains unclear what action WBD will take; there are speculations about possible attempts to match Amazon’s offer or potentially pursue legal action. If WBD does not match, it could mean the end of NBA broadcasts on TNT.

The Athletic first reported the completion of these deals, which are estimated to be valued at approximately $76 billion over the duration of the agreements.

These deals conclude months of negotiations, with the NBA finalizing an agreement with Disney/ESPN during its exclusive negotiation period. However, talks with WBD broke down early, leading to bids from Amazon and NBC Sports.

Various sources from the sports and media industries consider the NBA’s media rights the second most valuable sports package currently available, trailing only behind the NFL. The NBA’s appeal lies in its young fanbase, strong ratings, and international ambitions, making it highly attractive for media companies seeking to strengthen traditional TV or expand their streaming services.

The NBA has been strategic in its discussions, ensuring that streaming remains a focal point to avoid being confined to pay-TV.

Details of the new deals are still confidential but are believed to offer enhanced streaming rights for ESPN and NBC, including exclusive games on Peacock. All three partners will have access to some playoff games, with ABC continuing to broadcast the NBA Finals.

Executives from NBC and Amazon are eager to integrate NBA games into their live sports offerings, expanding beyond the NFL season. NBC is particularly optimistic that the addition of NBA games will boost Peacock’s growth.

Even though the fate of regional sports networks remains uncertain, the national agreements provide the NBA with some stability for the foreseeable future.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, The Athletic