NBA Teams Still Haven’t Figured Out a Revenue-Sharing Plan

by December 01, 2011


The hardest of hard-liners during the NBA lockout claimed that they needed a more robust revenue-sharing plan for their business to remain functional, but after gouging the players at the negotiating table, they seem perfectly content dragging their feet on the issue. Shocking, I know. From ESPN: “If you’ve wondered why there’s been no discussion of the NBA’s new revenue-sharing plan it’s because there isn’t one – at least, not a finalized one that’s ready to be shared. ‘Those things are still being worked out as we speak,’ a league source said. This was supposed to be an important component of the collective bargaining talks – a parallel negotiation, as David Stern described it at the outset of last season. There would be simultaneous negotiations between the owners and players and between the owners and other owners. As it turned out, the owners got the money from the players first (an additional $300 million per season swung toward their side) without determining exactly how they will divide it among themselves. And while virtually every other aspect of the new CBA is out there for analysis, there’s been scarcely a word about revenue sharing. The memo outlining the terms of the new deal merely had this to say: ‘The NBA will commit to maintaining during each year of the CBA the revenue sharing plan that the NBA has described to the Players Association.’ Not exactly a detailed breakdown. Or even a guarantee. NBA sources who are normally chatty get real quiet when I bring up the topic of revenue sharing. They get very relieved when I move on to other topics. The revenue-sharing plan is so super-secret you’d think you were asking a football coach for his game plan. ‘It’s hard for me to describe it,’ one source said. ‘It’s creative, it’s unique…it’s really complicated.’ The general understanding is that it will triple the money available in the revenue-sharing pool, bringing it to about $150 million. But there is still disagreement about what will be asked of the payers and who will qualify to be receivers.”