• Loading stock data...
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Register Now for Future of Sports: Cybersecurity
exclusive
Media

Sources: NBA Preparing To Sell $1B Exclusive Package Of Streaming Games

  • Bidding for streaming-only package could start at $1 billion, says Patrick Crakes.
  • The NFL sold exclusive rights to ‘Thursday Night Football’ through 2033.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is poised to sell a billion-dollar package of streaming-only games under its next media rights package, sources tell Front Office Sports. 

The lure of an exclusive package of live games is likely to attract the world’s biggest streamers, including Amazon and Apple. Bidding for the streaming-only package is likely to start at $1 billion a year, estimated sports media consultant Patrick Crakes.

The NBA will be seeking $50 billion to $75 billion for its next long-term rights package starting in 2025. That would double or triple its current nine-year, $24 billion deal with Disney’s ABC/ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNT that pays the league $2.6 billion a year.

Under the current deal signed in 2014, streaming comes under the league’s own media platforms, ESPN, TNT, and the various regional sports networks (RSNs) showing local games.

But the top sports leagues want to attract as many bidders as possible for their media rights — while also getting into business with the technology giants. That’s why the NFL moved “Thursday Night Football” to Amazon Prime Video under a $1 billion a year deal that runs through 2033.  

When asked about streaming, an NBA spokesperson said: “We value our media rights partnerships with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery and we know our fans have come to expect us to deliver content through both traditional and emerging methods.”

Amazon has made it clear it wants an NBA package along with the NFL, said one source. 

Amazon just signed a deal to stream 87 live games, including playoff games, in Brazil during the 2022-2023 season. LeBron James, the league’s biggest star, will co-host an alternate stream of TNF for Amazon during the Green Bay Packers-Tennessee Titans game on Nov. 17

“Amazon is locked and loaded for a shot at the NBA,” said a source.

Would The NBA Embrace Streaming for $100B?

The next wave of media rights will be incredibly lucrative.
October 15, 2022

Amazon’s TNF audiences have been sliding since a big debut this season. But the e-commerce giant believes the broadcast TV-like quality of its NFL telecasts, and ability to attract younger viewers, will make it attractive to Commissioner Adam Silver’s technology-forward NBA.

But Apple dwarfs even Amazon in annual sales and market capitalization. Apple has slowly but surely moved into live sports, signing a landmark $2.5 billion, 10-year deal with Major League Soccer and a package of Friday Night Baseball games from Major League Baseball for $85 million a year.

NBA owners are chomping at the bit to enter the growing direct-to-consumer sports market. Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer just launched his own streaming platform dubbed “ClipperVision.”

How big would the NBA’s streaming package be? 

Look for a starting package of 20-40 games during the NBA’s 19-week regular season, said Crakes, the former Fox Sports executive turned media consultant. That’s one or two games a week.

ESPN and TNT would both want games for their own streaming platforms. Plus, the league’s incumbent media partners can use their back-end rights for leverage, noted Crakes. That means the games are likely to be peeled off the inventory controlled by RSNs.

Said Crakes: $1 billion would get the NBA close to $7 billion a year (in annual rights fees.) Also, I think (the NBA) will do a short-term deal. 4-5 years.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Nick Saban

Coaches Aren’t Happy With College Football—Some Are Getting Out While They Can

NIL and the transfer portal have many college football coaches getting new jobs.
FuboTV signage

FuboTV Lawsuit Against Sports Streaming Giants Likely Faces Uphill Climb

Legal and regulatory drama heightens around the high-profile streaming alliance.

Messi Returns to MLS With the Weight of the League on His Shoulders

Inter Miami kicks off the MLS season against Real Salt Lake.
Athletes Unlimited

Athletes Unlimited Is Getting All Four of Its Women’s Pro Leagues on ESPN Platforms

The league is reducing its ESPN+ games to make room for other partners.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

The Company That’s Selling Inspiration

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.
February 16, 2024

Wilson Introduced an Airless Basketball for $2,500. We Had Questions

The black, 3D-printed ball appeared in last year’s Slam Dunk Contest.
Emily Henegar, a baker and content creator, made a batch of NFL-inspired cookies featuring Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
February 11, 2024

The ‘Life-Changing’ Economy of Taylor Swift’s NFL Outfits

Appearing in Swift’s game-day wardrobe has been “life-changing” for small businesses.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
FanDuel
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Adidas
Portland, OR
Chad Powers

Tuned In: Hulu Turning Glen Powell Into Eli Manning With ‘Chad Powers’ Comedy

The ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star will play the comedic QB Manning created for ESPN+.
Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi following the victory against Los Angeles FC at BMO Stadium.
February 21, 2024

Lionel Messi Phenomenon Spurs Specialized Media Attention

Messi joins Taylor Swift and Beyoncé for celebrities to have their beat writer at ‘USA Today.’
A Bundesliga camera operator during a match
February 22, 2024

Fan Power in European Soccer Grows As German Football Deal Scuttled 

Weeks of increasingly strident protests lead to end of proposed private equity deal.
Sponsored

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
Amazon-NFL
February 21, 2024

Tuned In: Amazon Said to Be Paying Record $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

Is JJ Redick aiming to become ESPN’s Charles Barkley?
Oakland-A's
February 20, 2024

A’s Continue to Make History With Their Broadcast Team While Vegas Future Is Uncertain

NBC California hires Harry Caray’s grandson to join the broadcast team.
Bleacher Report
February 20, 2024

TNT Sports Getting More Serious About Golf With Inaugural Grass League Tournament

TNT Sports is finding new ways to highlight golf with PGA Tour rights locked up through 2030.
NBA All Star
February 20, 2024

NBA All-Star Game Ratings Improve As Game Does the Opposite

The game saw a 14% increase after a poor showing in 2023.