Basketball Wiretap

Expected Increase In Parity With New CBA Putting Extra Pressure On Head Coach Decisions

May 26, 2023 8:39 PM

There are currently three head coaching vacancies amongst teams that were top-4 seeds in the playoffs in the Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers in what has become an unusual coaching cycle. 

With the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement taking effect with the expectation that roster construction will be more restrictive amongst existing contenders, there will be an even greater competitive advantage for head coaches who are able to get the most of their roster.

"One of the reasons I think teams are making these moves is they're sort of forecasting that with the new rules that are coming into effect, it's going to be harder to assemble huge groups of talent," said Brian Windhorst on his podcast. "There is a feeling in the league there's going to be more parity. Like we saw this year already without the new rules. So if you have parity, coaching takes on an even more important role. So these teams are making moves and trying to jostle position.

"These are really huge, big decisions that are going to affect the next short-term here, especially in Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Phoenix."

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA CBA

NBA Projects In-Season Tournament Will Generate Extra $1 Billion In Revenue

May 19, 2023 1:34 PM

The NBA has added an In-Season Tournament to its annual schedule after several years of resistance from certain stakeholders. While it is not yet known how the tournament will be received by players and fans, the NBA is expecting it to have a significant increase on annual revenues. 

"This is a little scoop, apparently Adam Silver said at the GM meeting, which I believe was Tuesday or Wednesday here in Chicago, that the league is projecting the In-Season Tournament will generate an extra $1 billion for the league," said Jake Fischer on the No Cap Room podcast. "One billion dollars. I don't know where that calculation is coming from, but if that's the case, clearly they're excited about it for that reason alone. Obviously there's certainly a goal it will induce some more intrigue in the games before the postseason."

The In-Season Tournament will have a group stage over the first two months of the season before a knockout round with the final four stage played at a neutral location.

Jake Fischer/Yahoo Sports


NBA's Second Apron In New CBA 'Designed To Break Teams Up'

May 5, 2023 12:15 PM

The NBA's new collective bargaining agreement has made maintaining a title contender over an extended period of time a difficult proposition for any franchise, especially mid to small market franchises. The strain could be felt first by the Milwaukee Bucks, who face a critical offseason with the free agencies of Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton.

"I also just want to say with the player movement that happens and the various rules, it is hard to keep a team together for six to 10 years like it was before," said Brian Windhorst on his podcast.

"And now it has become that much harder with these new rules," interjected Tim Bontemps. "These new rules are designed to break teams up. That's what they're designed to do."

"The thing about the new rules, this second apron, which the Bucks are going to be headed for... if you hit the second apron, it buries you. You can't sign anybody. You can't really trade for anybody. Your draft picks are automatically kicked to the back of the first round. It is a target on the Clippers, Lakers and at least the Nets when they started negotiating it, the Nets have since broken down. It is an absolute target to keep these teams from being able to maneuver. That's what the Bucks are potentially facing here. They are facing the fall out of the Warriors winning the title and the Nets and the Clippers paying so much money in luxury tax."

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA CBA

NBA Wants More Games On Broadcast TV As Part Of Next Media Rights Deal

May 2, 2023 3:12 PM

The NBA will officially begin talks on its next media rights contracts on March 9, 2024 as that is when an exclusive negotiating window with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery begins. The parties have a 45-day window before the NBA can then discuss deals with other interested parties.

During its last negotiations, the NBA maintained its status quo with ESPN and TNT.

Even though the negotiating window hasn't opened yet, the NBA has received interest from NBC, Amazon and Apple.

“I was the belle of the ball,” Adam Silver said at a league event in Las Vegas last summer after he attended a media conference. “People want our programming. They couldn’t be more interested in it.”

The NBA would like streaming to be a bigger component of this deal, while they also would like to be on broadcast television more frequently and less so on cable, a source told The Athletic. Warner Bros. Discovery doesn't own a broadcast channel the way Disney does with ABC.

The NBA’s current TV deal accounts for roughly 30 percent of basketball-related income, and that will surely jump with the new deal. 

Mike Vorkunov/The Athletic


Report: Sports Rights Inflation Unsustainable Long-Term

May 2, 2023 11:19 AM

JPMorgan issued a report last week arguing sports rights inflation is unsustainable long-term. When combining sports media rights payments and revenue for network television, regional sports networks and streaming for all the major North American sports, it totals $26 billion in rights fee spending for this year.

Some sports rights, such as the NBA, could still see sizable renewal step-ups in the coming years.

For the major programmers and sports rights distributors that JPMorgan covers, the report estimates $18.2 billion of national sports P&L operating expenses this year, growing about 5 percent per year over the next five years (based on existing contracts and renewal assumptions). By way of comparison, JPMorgan forecasts roughly 2 percent revenue growth of linear plus direct-to-consumer, based on 6 percent annual bundled disconnects and roughly equivalent annual affiliate fee increases.
JPMorgan writes: “We believe the ratings and viewership of sports today, essentially must-haves in an otherwise challenged linear ecosystem, will continue to justify sports rights inflation, but that inflation exacerbates what are already existential challenges for the video distribution business as a whole. Today, it is unclear how DTC/digital platforms will be able to replicate the legacy model’s level of profitability, as today’s model of low prices and easy on/off on a monthly basis with high churn looks unsustainable in general but especially for sports.”

Mike Ozanian/Forbes