Turner Broadcasting Systems and the NBA pushed the escalation in television rights fees even higher when they agreed today to renew their contract for $275 million over four years.
The league will be getting almost three times more per season than it gets under the $50-million two-year deal with Turner that expires next summer.
Just three weeks ago, NBC took the NBA’s network rights away from CBS with a $600-million four-year contract. And a week ago, CBS agreed to pay $1 billion over seven years to keep the NCAA basketball tournament.
The $875 million that the NBA will get from the sale of network and cable rights will push the average salary in the NBA past $1 million next season since players are guaranteed 53% of the league’s gross revenues. Each of the 27 teams will receive an average of $8.102 million per season from the new television contracts; they are getting slightly more than $3 million each this season.