Gunnar Wiedenfels: Warner Can Still Match Any Rival NBA Rights Offer … ‘But We’re Going to Be Disciplined’

 Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels.
Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels.

A report surfaced Wednesday in a well respected sports business publication that the NBA is getting ready to leave Warner Bros. Discovery, TNT and Inside the NBA behind, an finalize new rights deals with Disney/ESPN, Amazon and Comcast/NBCUniversal that will be worth $7.4 billion per season.

Also Read: NBA Reportedly Set to Finalize Deals With ESPN, Amazon and NBCU, Leave TNT and ‘Inside the NBA’ Behind

Time for Warner to make a strong, determined move to the public messaging basket, yes? Speaking at the JP Morgan Media and Communications conference in Boston Wednesday, Warner chief financial officer Gunnar Wiedenfels chose … mercurial ambivalence.

Asked for some update on the NBA talks, Wiedenfels responded that WBD is still in active negotiations.

“We’re very hopeful that we’re going to be able to find, you know, a solution here that's mutually beneficial to both sides, and we do have a contractual matching. … We’re fully committed to a sports strategy. We’ve been in the business for decades, here in the U.S., for decades, and internationally as well. We have great sports offerings in virtually every key market in the world, and we continue to be fully committed there.”

However …

“We’re always going to be disciplined,” he added. “It's very easy with sports to burn a lot of money."

Sports Business Journal reported Wednesday that the NBA is ready to finalize a deal with NBCU that will deliver to NBC two primetime games a week, a conference semifinal playoff round, a conference finals and a studio show, all for $2.6 billion a season.

A replay of Wiedenfels sit-down is available here.