The NBA is in the midst of negotiating a new TV contract, thanks to the fact that the previous one is expiring after the current season ends. This new TV contract has been the center of all speculation regarding potential expansion to Seattle; and it is widely believed that the new contract will go a long way to determining when the Sonics return:
Sources are telling me that any new #NBA TV deal with will be in the $1.6-1.7 billion range, much higher than anticipated #bigmoney
— Gregory Crawford (@crawssportsbiz) February 7, 2014
The implication, of Crawford’s tweet, is that the league — and its TV partners — is expecting to increase the networks income from NBA games exponentially going into the new contract: that previous contract was worth $7.4 billion over nine years, or roughly $930 million per year.
This ballooning of the TV contract could indicate that league is looking at adding more teams, and therefore more media markets, to the fold. The biggest market that is available for an NBA franchise is the Seattle metropolitan area; and Seattle is a proven NBA market. It is also important to note that the City of Seattle, and its surrounding suburbs, are the 13th largest media market in the country.
As the 13th largest market, a promised expansion franchise to the City of Seattle could very well be responsible for the massive growth of the TV deal over the last few weeks. In fact, it might not be just Seattle that gets an expansion team…there very well could be another expansion franchise in the mix as well.
There is a lot to like from this news for Sonics fans, and it could mean that the Seattle could have an NBA team again.
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Seattle deserves a team and I hope they get one. Also, don’t count out the NHL expanding to Seattle either. I think the NBA is first but the NHL would like to go to the Pacific Northwest as well.
The NBA would have to expand first, before the NHL does. It is very unlikely that the NHL teams is going to get an arena built.
So would the league expand or would a team relocate?
Talent in the league is already pretty watered down.
Expansion is really the only option; Sacramento isn’t going anywhere (and has demonstrated an ability to make money consistently), and neither is Milwaukee. Therefore the only way that Seattle could get a NBA team is through expansion.
Also, talent in the league isn’t really watered down…not at all. The talent is just bunched up in a few teams; or the fact that a lot of the “one and done” players from college flame out in the league (this problem is probably going to go away as the D-League expands and gets used more.