NBA TV Contracts

The New Players Bidding on the New NBA TV Contracts

As we approach a pivotal juncture in the history of sports broadcasting, the NBA finds itself in a position of strength. With existing TV contracts due to expire after the 2024-25 season, the NBA is about to embark on a journey that could redefine the way we consume sports content.

With new players on the horizon, the league is set to negotiate a set of landmark TV contracts that will shape its future.

The NBA’s Current TV Landscape

The NBA’s current television landscape is dominated by two major networks: Disney (ESPN and ABC) and Turner (TNT). These broadcasting behemoths have been instrumental in catapulting the NBA to global prominence. The league’s games are a staple on ESPN and TNT, with the former also hosting the coveted NBA Finals. These contracts, signed in 2014, were valued at an impressive $24 billion, almost triple the value of the previous agreements. However, the media landscape has drastically evolved since then, and as the expiration of these contracts approaches, the NBA is gearing up for a seismic shift and will be open for business. 

The Power of Sports in Live Television

In a world where traditional cable television is losing its grip, and the popularity of streaming services is skyrocketing, sports have emerged as a unique asset. Live sports are among the few programs that consistently draw large live audiences, making them an attractive proposition for broadcasters and streamers alike.

Credit to the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, the NBA has experienced a significant rise in its profile since the last contract negotiations. The league has a vast, digitally savvy, youthful audience that appeals to both streamers and advertisers. This makes the NBA an attractive prospect for any major broadcaster looking to acquire rights that will provide basketball fans the ultimate watching experience. 

The Potential New Players in the Game

While ESPN and Turner are likely to remain key players in the NBA’s broadcasting future, new entrants are expected to shake up the competition. The next cycle of TV contracts could see the NBA working with a multitude of partners. Here’s a look at the potential new players in the game:


The e-commerce giant has already dipped its toes into the world of sports broadcasting, and the NBA could be its next target. Amazon is keen to add NBA coverage to its NFL portfolio, aiming to establish a year-round schedule for its Prime Video platform. The company’s existing partnership with the NFL for Thursday Night Football could provide a blueprint for any potential agreement with the NBA.


Apple’s entry into the sports broadcasting arena could be a game-changer. Although the tech titan has previously shown a preference for global deals (as evidenced by its agreements with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer), its deep pockets and global reach make it a formidable contender for NBA rights.


NBC is no stranger to NBA broadcasts, having previously held rights until 2002. The network’s strong relationships within the industry, coupled with its comprehensive broadcast and streaming capabilities through Peacock, make it a serious contender in the race for NBA rights.


Already serving as the presenting partner of the NBA Finals, Google is no stranger to leveraging YouTubeTv in the game of live sports. With the recent success of landing the exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, now may be the time to continue their aggression in the game of live sports. What could that entail? Placing their bid for exclusive rights to the NBA Finals. 

The Potential Impact of New Contracts

The negotiation of new TV Contracts is not just about money, although a significant revenue increase is expected. The NBA is also keen to ensure it achieves the right blend of free-to-air, pay-TV and streaming distribution. This will be crucial in ensuring the league continues to cater to its diverse fanbase effectively. Moreover, the NBA is also expected to carve out a dedicated package of games for a streaming platform. 

The Bottom Line

The NBA is poised for an exciting new chapter in its broadcasting history. As the league prepares to negotiate its new TV deals, the potential entry of new players such as Amazon, Apple, and Google could radically reshape the way we consume NBA content.

The league’s decisions will be influenced by a variety of factors, including the need to maximize revenue, the desire for broad reach, and the changing preferences of its audience. The coming months will be crucial in determining the NBA’s broadcasting future, as each bidder will make their pitch to the NBA how they will deliver the NBA best to their fans. 


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