NBA Teams Up With ESPN, NBC and Amazon for New TV Contracts, but TNT Sports May Try to Blow Them Up

The NBA and network executives have finalized contracts laying out network partners for the basketball league. The new deal will last over a decade.

What’s Happening:

  • The Athletic reports that NBC and Amazon Prime Video will be new partners for the NBA.
  • ABC/ESPN will still be the home of the NBA Finals.
  • The agreement will last for 11 seasons and is worth $76 billion.
  • However, the NBA’s current partner TNT Sports is looking into using language of their current contract to try and stay involved with the league. If the network chooses to fight the new partnerships, it is assumed that they will go after Amazon specifically.
  • At this time, the league’s governors need to approve the agreements with ESPN, NBC, and Amazon. It is possible the deals will be handled at the next board of governors meeting in Las Vegas next Tuesday.
  • The NBA is expected to make an official announcement on the new partnerships prior to the beginning of the 2024 Paris Olympics on July 26th.
  • The NBA, TNT Sports, ESPN, NBC and Amazon have all declined to comment.
  • Under the new deal with ESPN, NBC, and Amazon Prime, the regular season would feature national telecasts nearly seven days a week.
  • Amazon Prime Video is to have its share of games streamed on Friday nights and Saturdays.
  • NBC will have games streaming throughout the entire NBA season on Tuesdays. NBC’s streaming service Peacock should have exclusive telecasts on Monday and will also stream NBC’s games.
  • ESPN will shorten its list of regular season games from 100 to 80. During the NFL season, ESPN will showcase its games on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays with Friday being added post football season.
  • The three platforms will share playoff games. Amazon Prime Video will exclusively present the In-Season Tournament. NBC and Amazon will switch off casting conference finals. ESPN will have a single conference final on top of featuring the NBA Finals each season.
  • ESPN and the NBA executives failed to restore their exclusive agreement this past April after ESPN refused to relinquish any of the Finals. However, the network paid the league $2.6 billion to keep the Finals on ABC/ESPN. NBC and Amazon are expected to pay $2.5 billion and $1.8 billion per season respectively.
  • If TNT Sports backs down, it is anticipated that all three networks will attempt to recruit Charles Barkley and the entire crew of Inside the NBA to their platforms.

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Maxon Faber
Based in Los Angeles, California, Maxon is roller coaster and musical theatre nerd. His favorite dinosaur is the parasaurolophus, specifically the one in Jurassic World: The Ride.