May 2020 Basketball Wiretap

NBA Poised To Lose $900M In National TV Money Alone If Playoffs Canceled

May 15, 2020 12:38 PM

The NBA will lose approximately $900 million in national television revenue from the playoffs alone if they cancel the remainder of the season, sources tell Sam Amick of The Athletic

The NBA hopes to create a "campus-like" environment to resume the season to at least play the playoffs.

The NBA signed a nine-year, $24 billion television deal with ESPN and TNT in 2014 that reshaped the league's finances.

Sam Amick/The Athletic

Tags: NBA, NBA CBA, NBA Playoffs

Small Market Teams Could Lose Approximately $20M Per Season In Revenue-Sharing Alone

May 14, 2020 12:31 PM

Small market teams such as the Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies collect around $20 million per season from more profitable teams due to revenue-sharing.

Even when the NBA's revenues spiked due to the start of far more profitable national television deals for the 16-17 season, 14 of the league's 30 teams lost money before factoring in revenue-sharing. Nine teams finished that season in the red even after accounting for those payments.

With the possibility of no fans attending games for the remainder of the 19-20 season, as well as the entirety of the 20-21 season, teams like the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers will have less money to distribute to other teams.

The NBA's 30 owners could change the revenue-sharing model without negotiating with the union.

Bobby Marks/ESPN


NBA's Salary Cap For 20-21 Could Decline By As Much As $30M

May 14, 2020 12:22 PM

The NBA most recently projected a salary cap of $115 million and $139 million luxury tax for the 20-21 season. According to one team's front office, the cap could decline by as much as $25 million to $30 million.

The initial cap projections were based on an expected $8 billion in basketball-related income (BRI), which is now expected to decrease by at least $1 billion and potentially as much as $2 billion.

Using the standard salary-cap formula with $6 billion in BRI would have massive implications throughout the league, with the salary cap and tax line for 2020-21 plummeting to $95 million and $115 million, respectively.

Under that scenario, there would be at least 25 teams in the luxury tax, which would be the most of any season in NBA history.

The Golden State Warriors' projected tax penalty of $45 million would increase to $160 million even before the start of free agency.

One executive told ESPN that the league could solve the luxury tax issue by leaving the line at $139 million and letting the cap fall.

Bobby Marks/ESPN


China TV Releases Statement NBA Games Still Won't Be Aired

May 12, 2020 12:08 PM

China's CCTV said on Tuesday it has no intention of resuming the airing of NBA games once the season resumes.

The relationship between the NBA and China remains icy following Daryl Morey's tweet in support of Hong Kong last fall.

The NBA on Monday named Michael Ma as the new CEO of NBA China. Ma's father, Ma Guoli, is regarded as the father of CCTV Sports.

The hiring of Michael Ma led to speculation that the NBA's relationship with China would improve.

CCTV shut down that speculation, releasing a statement to the Global Times, a state-backed English language newspaper in Beijing, "reiterating its consistent stance on national sovereignty."

Adam Silver said in February that the league had lost more than $300 million in revenue from China in the wake of the controversy.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN


NBA, Union Extend Deadline To Terminate Collective Bargaining Agreement

May 11, 2020 11:04 AM

The NBA and NBPA have reached an agreement to extend through the September the 60-day window that preserves the league's right to terminate the current Collective Bargaining Agreement by use of the force majeure clause. 

The original 60-day window was set to close this week.

The agreement to push back the deadline allows the NBA and union to gather a clearer picture of the economic losses and bargain on a number of crucial financial issues including salary caps and luxury tax thresholds. 

During a conference call with members of the NBPA membership on Friday, Silver began to prepare the players for the harsh financial realities.

"This CBA was not built for an extended pandemic," Silver said on the call, according to the audio tape. "There's not a mechanism in it that works to properly accept a cap when you've got so much uncertainty; when we'd be going in next season saying, 'Well, our revenue could be $10 billion or it could be $6 billion. Or maybe it could be less.'"

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN


NBA Preparing For Possibility Of No Fans At Games Through 20-21, 40 Percent Drop In Revenue

May 8, 2020 9:19 PM

Adam Silver prepared players for the potential of playing games without fans in attendance through next season, which would cost the league a projected 40 percent of its revenue.

Silver spent an hour on a conference call with the National Basketball Players Association on Friday.

Silver also said that if they resume the 19-20 season, it makes the most sense to do so at one or two sites including Orlando and Las Vegas.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESP