Well, today the NBA announced their new TV deal: $2.66 billion per year through 2024-2025; effective in the 2016-2017 season. Games will continue to be aired on ABC, ESPN and TNT.
I'm guessing James wasn't bluffing.
Signing a max deal after the increased TV revenue kicks-in will give him an additional $8.5 million per year (per Deadspin) and that's not chump change (not even to James).
There could also be some sort of online streaming service, a la the WWE Network. It would be offered as a stand-alone from Cable (meaning you wouldn' t need Cable to have the service, which is a pretty dope win for non-cable people).
In Association terms, it means a few things.
- Team salary caps will increase...a lot. The Cavs could end up being major beneficiaries of that wrinkle (Irving's max deal won't look so max when he's getting $10 mill less than a max contract).
- As a few outlets have pointed out, there will likely be another lockout when the CBA comes up for negotiation. This is a lot of money. The players got screwed out of their share in the last round of talks and I doubt they'll be eager to hand over their cake again.