Disney remains “interested” in a new broadcast deal with the NBA, though it apparently would come at a significant cost.
Per Dominic Patten of Deadline, the NBA could be seeking a deal of around $75 billion “from potential bidders.” Disney currently owns the national broadcast rights to NBA games, along with Turner sports, and its current payout stands at about $24 million.
So the league apparently is seeking about three times what its current deal pays. Disney owns ABC and ESPN, while Turner carries games on TNT.
“We are interested in a renewal with the NBA,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on a conference call with reporters.
But, he added, “we will only do it if it is accretive to shareholder value.”
Chapek talked about the benefit of sports overall, though there have been whispers that the company could part ways with ESPN. For now, however, that seems unlikely.
“He also honestly admitted that the success of sports helps to pay some of the bills for the linear networks Disney owns,” Patten reported. “To that end, Chapek did float a more direct-to-consumer future for ESPN on today’s call, but, as usual, the CEO hedged his bets in his forward statement. Chapek noted that the company’s ESPN plans will see it ‘pre-actively prepare without prematurely disrupting the cash flow we get from the linear networks.'”