It never seemed likely that the NBA would be leaving Disney when the league’s current media rights deals ended after the 2024-25 season. Bob Iger’s reappointment as Disney CEO may end up taking those slight odds down even further.

In Monday’s edition of his Sports Business Journal newsletter, John Ourand discussed Iger’s reappointment at Disney, and one of the items mentioned was Disney’s contract with the NBA, expiring in two and a half years. Ourand thinks that with Iger again at the helm, it’s “even more likely” Disney and the NBA will remain partners.

What does this mean for the NBA contract? ESPN was likely to keep the NBA under Chapek — its current deal ends after the 2024-25 season. ESPN and the NBA are even more likely to continue working together with Iger in charge. Sports media is a relationship business, and Iger has strong relationships throughout the league.

I don’t think anyone expected there to be much of a chance of the NBA not remaining on ESPN. Last week, Warner Bros. Discovery exec David Zaslav’s made comments about the NBA, saying “we don’t have to have the NBA.” No one from Disney has been nearly that aggressive (in public, at least) towards the league.

Additionally, Iger supported then ESPN President John Skipper in his attempts to re-up with the NBA two years prior to the end of the existing contract way back in 2014. Though many of the people mentioned in that story are no longer with ESPN, Iger is back in power, and it seems like a reasonable assumption that the NBA won’t be going anywhere.

[Sports Business Journal]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.