Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System Inc. will continue to have the rights to air National Basketball Association games on TNT after signing a nine-year media rights deal.
The deal allows the Turner Sports division to air a total of 64 live regular season games, an increase of 12, expands digital media rights and allows Turner to create more content, including an NBA Awards Show, the company and NBA announced.
“The agreement locks in some of the most valuable, original, premium live sports programming that we’ll continue to monetize across TNT and all other platforms within our extensive portfolio and will help further grow our businesses into the next decade,” Turner President David Levy said in a statement.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal, the agreement doubles the fees Turner will be paying for rights to the NBA games and digital content. The report said Turner, which is owned by Time Warner Inc., currently is paying about $445 million annually.
The NBA also struck a long-term media rights deal with ABC, which is owned by Disney.
The agreement extends Turner’s rights to NBA games through the 2024-2025 season.
The 12 additional games will air over the second half of the season on another night of the week than the network’s traditional Thursday Night doubleheaders.
Turner will air more NBA Playoff games, including live first-round coverage, exclusive second-round game telecasts and one Conference Final, alternating between the Eastern and Western conferences each year.
For Turner’s digital platforms, all NBA content airing across Turner networks will be available for live streaming, inlcuding on the Bleacher Report, Team Stream app and social media sites.
Turner Sports will continue to manage NBA TV, NBA.com and other NBA Digital multimedia products.
In addition to TNT, Turner’s holdings include CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, truTV, HLN and other networks and online sites.The company is in the midst of shifting and streamlining operations, including offering voluntary buyouts to nearly 600 veteran employees and additional plans for layoffs this year.