The following mind-blowing tidbit comes to us courtesy Twitter friend @TMM75.  It’s a New York Times article that briefly details a deal between the NBA and Turner Sports regarding their television contract for the 1984-85 and 85-86 seasons.  30 years ago, the new NBA TV deal was a mere footnote.  Today it’s a major story across sports, television, and the business world.

In June 1984, Turner agreed to a deal with the NBA for $10 million per year over the course of two seasons.  Their new deal announced today will see them pay $1.2 billion per year.  That means Turner Sports is paying the NBA 120x the money they were 3o years ago.

From the Times vault

The National Basketball Association and the Turner Broadcasting System have completed a $20 million deal that will give the network exclusive cable television rights for the next two seasons.

The agreement was announced yesterday in Atlanta by David J. Stern , the league commissioner, and Ted Turner , chairman and president of the network. The league also has a four-year, $88 million television contract with CBS.

CBS, who televised the Finals in the mid-80s, paid a mere $22 million per season.  ESPN/ABC will be shelling out $1.4 billion dollars.

So the NBA went from making $42 million per season 30 years ago to signing a deal today that will make them $2.6 billion per year.

Over the past three decades, NBA rights have increased over 6000%.


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