NBA In Talks With Turner To Run NBA TV and NBA.com; No Plans For Standalone Online Package
NBA is in talks with multiple parties, including Turner, where the partner would operate the network’s 12 million-subscriber NBA TV, as well NBA.com, reports Multichannel. NBA commissioner David Stern denied that a full-out asset sale is being considered, but only a JV “where the ownership of the assets would remain with us, but [a partner] would be responsible for operating them and they would share in the profits based on various benchmarks.” Also, NBA has no plans to offer a standalone live online games streaming similar to those offered by MLB and NHL. Currently, only subscribers of the league’s $159 NBA League Pass can watch live games online. Also, Turner Sports president David Levy Levy said the cable co won’t stream its 52-game TNT Thursday night NBA telecasts online, even though it has the rights as part of its new eight-year deal with the league. Both are afraid of TV cannibalization, it seems. Meanwhile, ESPN also has rights to stream all 72 of its regular-season NBA telecast schedule, but network executives say it has yet to iron out its digital plans.