from Howard Bloom at SportsBusinessNews
With the final piece of the National Basketball Association season to be put in place tonight with the league’s annual player draft, NBA commissioner David Stern as he has done since he became NBA commissioner in 1984 delivered a new rights agreements again raising the revenues of the NBA. The key to the agreements which signify a significant increase in revenues for the NBA – Stern selling both ESPN/ABC and Turner on the big picture, where the industry is going and how the NBA and their media partners are going to a part of that move forward.
According to Mediaweek: the NBA has agreed to a new eight-year, $7.4 billion television rights agreement with ESPN/ABC and Turner Broadcasting System, with the amount of television coverage consistent with the current agreement, but giving all the TV rightsholders new, expansive digital rights.
This proves that David Stern is a genuis at negotiations. He managed to get the NBA owners almost a billion dollars a year for seven years, despite the fact that the NBA on ABC experienced a 31-percent drop in ratings and has lost 1 million viewers since 2002. Ratings drop 31 percent; tv revenue increases 22 percent. Using this ratio, and considering the drop in NHL ratings, Gary Bettman should be able to get the NHL owners 10 billion dollars per year in his next network deal.