NBA In-Season Tournament Feb 18, 2023; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; The NBA logo on the court at Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has finalized its agreements with Disney, NBC Universal, and Amazon Prime Video on a new broadcast rights package that will bring in $76 billion over the next 11 years, according to Andrew Marchand of The Athletic.

Team governors are expected to vote to approve the new contracts this week at the Board of Governors meetings in Las Vegas at the NBA Summer League. The new package would go into effect for the 2025-26 season.

Disney will reportedly retain the NBA Finals on ABC and one conference finals series while NBC and Prime Video will alternate the other conference finals series. Prime Video will be the exclusive home of the league’s new In-Season Tournament, and the early rounds of the postseason will likely be spread among all three broadcast partners.

One remaining question would be which broadcaster carries the Play-In Tournament, which the NBA has sold sponsorships for and is attempting to package as a standalone product between the last weekend of the regular season and the first weekend of the playoffs.

TNT Sports will have one final opportunity to mount a legal dispute over its matching rights on the new deal, per Marchand. Once team governors approve the contracts, they will be sent to Warner Bros. Discovery, which has five days in which it “may attempt to use language in the current contract to remain involved with the NBA.”

Marchand reported the NBA hopes to formally announce the new package in advance of the Paris Olympics, which begin July 26.

NBA fans can expect national broadcasts each night of the week, especially once the football season is over. NBC will own Mondays, while its Peacock streaming service takes Tuesday nights. ESPN will retain its regular Wednesday night window in addition to Fridays after college football ends as well as Saturday and Sunday games, which typically air on ABC. Prime Video will also stream games on Fridays and Saturdays during the regular season, and slot the NBA into its big Thursday night package after its Thursday Night Football NFL package ends in January.

ESPN reduced its inventory from around 100 games to around 80 to make space for a third partner, per Marchand. Still, Disney will pay the most for NBA rights at $2.6 million annually. NBC will pay $2.5 million annually while Amazon will pay $1.8 billion. The total sum is significantly more than media analysts projected in recent years as the league’s television ratings fell.

As TNT is phased out and two partners come aboard, the NBA broadcast talent arms race will begin over the next year-plus leading up to the start of the new deals next fall. If WBD does not mount an effort to match, next season would be the last for the beloved Inside the NBA studio show and make its announcing teams free agents as well.

NBC’s return to the world of NBA rights also means we’re likely to see the return of John Tesh’s “Roundball Rock” to its original home.

[The Athletic]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.