Report: Lakers’ New TV Deal Worth Up to $5 Billion

The jaw-dropping number initially reported for the LA Lakers’ new TV deal with Time Warner Cable was $3 billion (a figure disputed by the cable giant), but according to the OC Register, team owner Dr. Jerry Buss and co. could be in line for up to $5 billion from the deal: “That $5 billion is over 25 years – or it’ll be merely $4 billion over 20 years if the future option isn’t exercised. It has been widely and wrongly reported as less. Let’s pause and appreciate how much money one club, starting next season, will get per year all to itself just from local TV: $200 million … when Forbes values the entire Milwaukee Bucks franchise at $258 million. It leads to a very good question: whether the NBA’s new supposedly prohibitive luxury-tax penalties to start in 2013 are really going to stop the Lakers from continuing to throw money at their problems – because they’ve solved a lot of them very well that way without having this new billionaire boys’ club. Well, there is a little thing called revenue sharing that has largely been forgotten while the players and owners have been arm-wrestling. The terms haven’t been hammered out by the owners yet, but it is understood the large-market handouts are increasing … exponentially. And those new penalties are plenty severe – particularly the extra dollar charged if a club is a taxpayer four out of five years. The Lakers’ 2010-11 $20 million tax bill would swell to $45 million under the new rules. Add the extra dollar as a regular taxpayer, and to field the sort of team the Lakers just did, you’re looking at writing a $65 million check – for a lot of nothing in return when you get swept in the second round. If you can win a championship and maintain the cachet that the Lakers’ brand holds, though, maybe it can be worth it. That’s a call the Lakers will have to make – or more accurately, hope they get to make – in the future.”