Amazon Prime has framework deal for NBA broadcast rights, per sources, putting pressure on TNT, NBC

In what will be a historic milestone in sports media history, the NBA and Amazon Prime Video have reached a deal that will make the streaming service one of the premier hubs for broadcasting the league’s games, executives said direct knowledge of the negotiations. Athleticism.

Prime Video’s package is expected to include important regular season and postseason games, perhaps even conference finals. The final contract is expected to last at least a decade and begin the 2025-2026 season.

ESPN/ABC, as the Puck website reported Thursday, also has a framework in place with the hope that a deal will be reached. ESPN/ABC is expected to keep the NBA Finals on its networks for the duration of its deals. Like Amazon, ESPN’s new contract is also expected to last at least a decade.

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Not all details are finalized yet, but all parties hope to make it happen. The NBA, Amazon and ESPN all declined to comment.

The NBA prefers that three companies be involved in its new agreements but does not rule out adding a fourth.

The NBA is finalizing nine-year contracts that earn it an average of $2.6 billion from ESPN and TNT Sports. These contracts end after the 2024-2025 season.

The progress of negotiations with Amazon and ESPN leaves Warner Bros. Discovery, owner of the TNT Sports network, will take on Comcast-owned NBC for the last likely game package. Warner Bros. Discovery has the right to match deals, but NBC could structure a deal in a way that makes it difficult.

Although there is still work to be done on the final arrangements, the current packages will be trimmed slightly to create the third partner. As part of a deal, ESPN would cut from about 100 games to about 80, according to executives briefed on the negotiations.

A natural landing spot for Amazon’s regular season games could be Thursday night, where the NFL already hosts the NFL from September to early January. In recent years, the NBA has postponed its Thursday games during this time to avoid facing the NFL. He is then expected to have significant inventory in the playoffs. Amazon has expressed interest in global rights, which has been a key part of the NBA’s negotiating strategy, which has set all of its domestic and international deals to expire after the 2024-25 season.

The NBA has made it clear that it wants to define the next frontier of viewing with streaming leading the way.

While ESPN, Amazon and the NBA all feel like they’re going to make deals, the blame falls on TNT Sports, which has owned the NBA since 1984. It is in conflict with NBC, which was previously the primary partner of the NBA. lost its rights in 2002. NBC, with its streaming service Peacock, wants to return and is in competition with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports for a deal.

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(Photo: David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

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