More than 20 years after losing the NBA television package, NBC intends to bid on the league’s media rights when networks and streaming services can begin doing so in 2024, per Alex Sherman of CNBC.
NBC broadcast NBA games first from 1955-62, then again from 1990-2002, before losing the right to televise games to ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports.
Now, the network is informing the NBA that it is hopeful of a return, Sherman wrote, citing sources. Others have reported that NBC could join TNT and ESPN/ABC as sort of a third option, either via streaming or other methods.
“NBC Sports wants a package that would include playoff games to air on NBC’s broadcast network, two of the people said,” Sherman wrote. “Some regular season games could be exclusive to NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock. The NBA could also decide to force media companies to simulcast all games on streaming to increase reach, the people said.”
Amazon and Apple have also expressed an interest in the NBA as streaming services.
“I would say that all of the leading technology companies are interested in the NBA. Amazon is just one of them. I think Apple, I think Google. All of them,” former NBA and ESPN executive John Kosner said, via Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.
The NBA’s deal with ESPN and TNT expires after the 2024-25 season. It cannot engage with non-incumbent bidders until April 2024 unless ESPN and TNT waive their exclusive negotiation windows.