NEW YORK — NBC is expected to shell out about $1.75 billion to retain exclusive broadcast rights to NBA games, sources said.
A deal, which could be announced today, comes near the end of an exclusive negotiating period — and after NBA commissioner David Stern approached ABC, Fox and CBS to determine interest and gauge the franchise’s value to NBC. NBC paid $750 million for the current deal, which runs through this season.
TNT also is expected to reup for four years, doubling its rights fee from $375 million to $750 million. Both networks (NBC and TNT) paid dearly to retain their exclusive rights, fending off a potential split of broadcasting cable packages.
Fox was said to be interested in a Monday-night game, while ESPN was eager to grab a weekly NBA cable package.
In exchange for their higher pricetags, NBC and TNT gained additional games and thus more ad spots. Network execs declined comment.