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National Basketball League Signs Broadcast Deal With Nine

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 6:24:08 AM

Attacking midfielder Alexander Baumjohann has signed with Western Sydney Wanderers for the upcoming A-League season, where he will join forces with new coach and fellow German Markus Babbel. Baumjohann, 31, has played most recently in Brazil with Coritiba and Vitoria, having previously spent time at some of Germany's biggest clubs. He was a member of the Schalke 04 team that lost to Manchester United in the Champions League semi-finals and has also played at Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach. Nine Entertainment Co has become a broadcast partner with the National Basketball Leagueallowing the free-to-air broadcaster to put two games a week on secondary channel 9GO!

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This one will have far-reaching effects on everything from how teams are put together to how you consume professional basketball. No matter how you slice it, the NBA will be making a hell of a lot of money through the —25 season. Advertisement It has been widely understood for the last year or two that the new deal would tilt the pinball machine; the only question was how big the numbers would be.

Ratings across television have been declining for a variety of reasons: DVRs, internet streaming, more channels, cord cutting.

Sport: Nine inks broadcasting deal with National Basketball League

But ratings for live sports have remained largely immune to this trend, staying flat or even rising in some cases. It has often been said that live sports are the last bits of appointment TV around, and television networks are paying megabucks for it.

The new deal also came up for negotiation at an opportune time for the league. For television networks looking to buy valuable live sports rights, the NBA was more or less the only game in town.

Though the agreement was reached today, there are still another two seasons of basketball left to be played under the old media deal.

More 'innovation in sports rights' as Nine and NBL ink new deal

But while the deal broadly remains the same, there were a number of very important decisions made. This put pressure on ESPN and Turner to get the deal done while they still held exclusive negotiating rights, and likely resulted in the two networks paying a premium to prevent the package from hitting the open market.

That was the first time the NBA negotiated digital rights into a media deal]. Turner currently runs NBA.

Nine signs three year deal with the NBL

This will not be the case in the NBA. While this represents increased exposure for the league, it also represents an enormous challenge. The national TV schedule is released before the season begins, and it always prioritizes the big-name teams—Lakers, Knicks, Bulls—and big-name players over attractive basketball.

Last season, both the Knicks and Lakers were on national television the maximum of 25 times, even though the Lakers were terrible and the Knicks missed the playoffs in the awful East.

Advertisement While the big-name teams were on TV all the time, playoff teams Washington and Toronto combined for only one nationally televised game, and the exciting-as-all-hell Phoenix Suns got only one.

The additional games will allow for the lesser-seen teams to get some much needed airtime, but it also bumps up against an unfortunate reality: There are only so many good NBA games that can be scheduled.

If the league continues to prioritize market size over the quality of play, and if it continues initiatives that make the games themselves shittier—as the NBA did recently when it expanded the All-Star break without expanding the length of the season, thus increasing back-to-backs—the quality of national TV broadcasts will decline.

Increased flex scheduling: One way the NBA will combat the above problems is by increasing flex scheduling.

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Currently, its ability to flex is limited. If a dud is scheduled into either of those two slots, there is no way of getting out of it. Advertisement At the press conference announcing the new deal, Adam Silver made a distinction between game exclusivity and window exclusivity. The NBA fan still needs to have cable.

The details are far from finalized, but it looks like fans will soon be able to watch nationally televised games without having to pay for cable, a major consumer win.

Your cable bill will increase: Carriage fees for sports networks already make up the largest chunk of your cable bill, and that chunk will only grow due to this deal.

NBA Signs New TV Deals With ESPN, Turner

Your cable bill will increase a couple of dollars a month solely because of the NBA. Advertisement CBA ramifications: The new deal has immense ramifications on the collective bargaining agreement. Since the national television deal makes up a huge portion of BRI—and will make up an even bigger portion under the new deal—this will drive up player salaries.

That means that when the new deal takes effect before the —17 season, there will be a massive jump in the cap.

NBL Moves To ESPN And SBS In New Two

Since many things are tied to the salary cap—such as maximum salaries, the luxury tax, and the value of the mid-level exception—this has huge ramifications for the value of player contracts.

To prevent this huge jump in the salary cap, Adam Silver said the NBA will begin negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association this afternoon about phasing in the salary cap increases over a number of years.

While the league has never phased in TV money into salary-cap negotiations before, Silver noted that the NFL has done so in the past. Advertisement It remains to be seen how the NBPA feels about the arrangement, but any proposal the league makes will likely involve salary-cap smoothing over a number of years.

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However the issue is decided, the next couple of years will be hell on front offices and agents attempting to negotiate contracts and conduct trades in an uncertain but lucrative environment. The league was much better organized than the players, and it won the public-relations battle by convincing the public that teams were losing money, a claim that the league has never backed up with team financials and one that ignores the immense profits owners make when they sell their teams.

The players have chafed at the terms of the CBA since the day they signed, and they will likely be itching to gain back a larger slice of the pie. In light of billion-dollars sales and a multibillion-dollar annual TV deal, it will be much harder for the league to turn out its pockets and cry poverty.

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