Amazon Emerges as Favorite for Third National NBA TV Partner as Exclusive Negotiating Window With Incumbents Disney and Warner Bros. Ends Sans Renewal Deal


The National Basketball Association will end its exclusive negotiating window for new national TV deals with incumbent partners Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery at midnight Eastern Time, opening the door for a third TV partner, perhaps even a fourth one.

As detailed by Andrew Marchand in The Athletic Monday, Amazon has emerged as the favorite to land a new third cut of the pie, with NBCUniversal — famously the NBA’s go-to partner back in the Jordan-ruled 1990s era — also in the mix.

Google and Apple are also reported to be bidders.

Disney and Warner Bros. signed nine-year deals with the NBA back in 2014 that pay the league collectively around $2.6 billion a year through the 2024-25 season. The NBA timed all of its domestic and international TV deals to end at this juncture.

The league this time is believed to be seeking a 10-year agreement valued at around $75 billion.

Both incumbents want to stay deeply involved with NBA basketball. According to Puck's John Ourand, NBA met with Disney and WBD executives Monday and "inched closer" to a deal. Given the disruption both media companies are experiencing, they'll reportedly be willing to share rights to curtail their massive end of the licensing price uptick.

According to The Athletic report, the NBA will broach the idea of presenting local games with Disney, Amazon, Apple and Google, further marginalizing the troubled regional sports networks business.