NBA eyeing mid-season tournament to increase media deal to $75B

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 04: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is interviewed before Game Three of the 2020 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on October 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The NBA seeks to increase its television deals to $75 Billion. In addition to a rights increase, the NBA is trying to implement a mid-season tournament.

The NBA’s joint TV deal with WarnerMedia and Disney is worth approximately $24 Billion. In essence, the current TV deal is worth approximately $2.4 Billion a season. ESPN and TNT signed shortly before the 2016-17 season and expires in the 2024-2025 NBA season.

Therefore, 75 billion dollars would triple the NBA’s TV revenue. Whilst subsequently giving it the largest TV deal of the “core 4” sports leagues. (Pending NFL rights fee increases, which presently occupies the number 1 spot).

Alongside TV rights increases, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver plans to stage a mid-season tournament during the NBA season. The mid-season tournament would take inspiration from cup competitions in European football. Therefore, the added intrigue of the mid-season tournament also adds to the TV rights fees for the NBA.

To Adam Silver’s credit, the play-in tournament’s in 2021 were a resounding rating success. The hype and interest around the play-in tournament ultimately came to star power. Superstars such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Jayson Tatum all participated. Therefore, Adam Silver’s idea definitely has merit from a business mindset.

However, unlike the play-in tournament, the rumored rewards for the mid-season tournament look far less tantalizing. Both players appear to gain significantly less material success from the mid-season tournament. Rumored rewards include the following.

Mid-season tournament rewards

  • 8 team tournament with three single-elimination rounds
  • Winning players each get $1 Million rewards
  • WNBA will pilot the concept with a $500K prize pool.
  • Google and Amazon will sponsor the WNBA mid-season tournament.

The less talked about aspect of the new NBA TV rights deal is the salary cap increase. To explain, the 2016 NBA off-season was infamous for handing out huge contracts. Players such as Evan Turner, Ian Mahinmi, Moe Harkless, and others made large sums of money. The cap increase also allowed the Golden State Warriors to sign Kevin Durant, creating a superteam for years to come.

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