NBA’s Books Show League Lost $1.5 Billion in Last Five Years

by July 07, 2011


After going on the offensive to defend its claims of financial woes, the NBA continued to hammer the point home by leaking financial data to Forbes showing a loss of over $1 billion over the last five seasons: “Net Income–which is after the deduction of all costs–would give a more definitive picture. Sources close to the NBA labor negotiations have provided Net Income numbers for the league each year over the last five years, plus projected losses for the 2010-11 season. Given that the NBA is saying that they are running at a net loss, as opposed to the NFL, which is saying they are seeing profits declining, the NBA is compelled to open their books as part of labor law, and have done so. The following numbers are audited figures. If the projected figures are correct, the NBA will have lost $1.845 billion over the last 6 years, not turned a profit, as reported by [Nate] Silver. The following shows the losses, as well as the number of teams that reportedly have run at a loss the last 5 years, plus projected losses for the 2010-11 season: ’05-’06: 19 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $220 million. ’06-’07: 21 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $285 million. ’07-’08: 23 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $330 million. ’08-’09: 24 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $370 million. ’09-’10: 23 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $340 million. ’10-’11 23 clubs ran at a loss, total loss of $300 million. Before one begins to say that this all is skewed toward ownership, looking at the Forbes numbers that detail the 2009-10 season show that while some clubs are running in the red, some, such as the Knicks and Bulls are profiting handsomely.”