The current TV deal brings in about $930 million – Disney, through ABC and ESPN, forks over $485 million per year, while Turner pays the NBA $445 million annually to broadcast games on TNT. With the League thriving based on just about every reasonable metric, they’re reportedly looking to double up in the next round of negotiations for TV rights fees. (By comparison, the NFL inked a nine-year $27 billion deal for its television rights back in 2011.) Per the WSJ:
That could mean $15 billion in rights fees assuming an eight-year deal starting in 2016. Right now that’s looking like money well spent (though let’s hope LeBron never gets hurt or decides to play baseball for a while).
Interestingly, Turner is seeking to televise several games of the NBA Finals–right now these games are only on Disney’s ABC. While that is the way sports is headed (the inaugural College Football Playoff will be on ESPN next January, for example), the NBA Finals, like the World Series and The Super Bowl, would stand to lose a level of ‘big dealness’ were they not on a national broadcast network.