The NBA has reached an agreement with TNT and ESPN so that they will retain the rights to broadcast the NBA for the next nine years, or through the 2024/25 season in other words.
The deal is estimated to be $2.66 billion per year (according to the NY Times), bringing the total just shy of $24 billion over nine years. This deal begins from the 2016/17 season and will see an increase in the TV, digital, highlights and international NBA rights.
The ABC will remain the exclusive host of the NBA Finals and both ESPN and ABC will broadcast parts of the postseason leading up to the NBA Finals. ESPN will still be the host of NBA Draft, Combine and the Lottery.
Some of the main things that can be gleaned from the new rights are:
- ESPN International will have more exclusive regular and post season games, including the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals.
- ESPN will have 750 hours of new NBA programming
- 10 additional regular season games for ESPN or ABC
- Live, national rights to NBA Summer League and D-League games across ESPN
- Extension of the WNBA broadcasting rights
With the new broadcasting deal in place there will be a fairly large increase in each team salary cap from 2016. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that he is still unsure how that increase will be implemented and it could be phased in over several seasons.
ESPN began covering NBA games in 2002, after gaining the rights from NBC, while TNT has been with the NBA since 1988.