August 2020 Basketball Wiretap

NBA, NBPA Agree To Push Back CBA Negotiation Window To After Playoffs

Aug 25, 2020 1:33 PM

The NBA and NBPA have agreed to push back the 60-day window that preserves the right of each side to terminate the Collective Bargaining Agreement in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new negotiating deadline on modifications to the CBA for the 20-21 season is October 15.

The agreement guarantees an uninterrupted completion of the NBA playoffs and an opportunity for the league and union to make more informed decisions based on the course of the pandemic and the league's revenue issues for the 20-21 season and possibly beyond. 

"Extending is an easy call," NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN on Tuesday. "If everyone continues to be well-intentioned on how we deal with the economic effects of this virus, we'll just make the appropriate adjustments, and there won't be a need to terminate the CBA at all."

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN


NBA On ABC Ratings Down 45 Percent Compared To 11-12 Season

Aug 17, 2020 3:04 PM

ABC averaged 2.95 million viewers for the 19-20 season compared to 5.42 million for the 11-12 lockout-shortened season, representing a decline of 45 percent.

TNT’s average NBA viewership is down over 40 percent since 11-12, and ESPN is down roughly 20 percent over that span.

The 2019 playoffs saw a double digit decrease in viewership.

For the NBA's restart so far, ratings have been lower than the pre-pandemic averages.

Other sports have held steady since 2012. The NFL went from a 16.6 million-person average on nationally televised games to 16.5 million. The MLB averaged 2.5 million viewers on network TV in 2012 compared to 2.4 million in 2019.

The NBA, however, continues to lead most nights in the 18-49 demographics. This demographic is also considered more likely to follow the league in non-legacy ways such as streams and highlights.

The American national TV contract, worth $2.66 billion per year, is the NBA’s largest revenue stream. It also will soon be up for an extension and it is not yet known how the NBA's current ratings declines will impact those negotiations. 

The Los Angeles Times recently published a piece indicating that sports viewing has been up 100 percent to 150 percent over comparable dates last year as the NBA and NHL is now competing for August eyeballs with the MLB.

“We’ve very abruptly gone from not having enough sports to having more sports that we could possibly watch and because the environment is as crowded as it is,” EVP of research and league operations at Fox Sports Mike Mulvihill said. “Where you’re really seeing the demand in the ratings is in total viewing of sports.”

Ethan Sherwood Strauss/The Athletic


NBA, NBPA Have Yet To Begin Talks On 20-21 Salary Cap

Aug 8, 2020 10:37 AM

The NBA and NBPA have yet to begin talks on the 20-21 salary cap.

The audit of the league's basketball related income (BRI) is still ongoing.

Talks will likely begin later in the month.

Front offices and agents have been desperate for an idea on where the salary cap will land.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN