Local TV Revenue Disparity Causes Nearly Half of NBA Franchises to Still Lose Money
20 September, 2017, 00:57
What's more, nine of the teams lost money even after the payouts. It seems like everyone's happy, and the league will only continue to grow.
ESPN reports the Pistons, along with eight other teams, lost money last season even after collecting revenue-sharing payouts.
It's all a matter of revenue, and we've seen in the past just how easy it is to skew these numbers with some creative accounting. Conversely, 14 of the 30 teams in the National Basketball Association actually lost money last season.
'Teams in small markets are told we need to run our businesses better so we can make money, ' one ownership source told ESPN.com. That number was over $25 million more than the next closest team, the championship-winning Golden State Warriors, and it was calculated AFTER the Lakers wrote a $49 million check as a part of the league's revenue-sharing agreement.
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The Board of Governors will address the gap between the NBA's most profitable teams and the rest of the league on September 27-28. League officials pointed out that by a different accounting measure the league tabulates - operating income, which discards various debt obligations - only 10 teams (rather than 14) lost money before accounting for revenue sharing.
All of this, despite the NBA's new $24 billion TV deal, which was believed to be a potential fix for the league revenue disparity problem. If these aren't rising in lockstep (Spoiler alert: They're not) teams then are forced to deficit spend, especially those who are over the luxury tax threshold. The team reportedly lost almost $40 million thanks to a league-low $9.4 million TV deal.
The Knicks made $148 million from their local television deal last season. According to Sports Business Daily, the Cavaliers earned a fraction of this at roughly $37 million. Only four teams even came within $100 million of the Lakers' local media revenue. Team owner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov not only earns profits through concessions, but he can offset the Nets' losses by hosting concerts, boxing matches, and the NHL's Islanders at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
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