Posts Tagged ‘Turner Sports’

NBA voices concerns over controversial North Carolina law

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The NBA has formally expressed concerns over controversial legislation North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Wednesday.

The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, implements a statewide policy that bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex. House Bill 2 also gives the state, and not individual cities, the right to pass nondiscrimination legislation.

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Charlotte, putting the league and its partners in the crosshairs of legislation that flies in the face of the diversity and inclusion efforts that they have championed for years.

McCrory sent out a tweet explaining why he signed the bill:

The NBA released a statement today condemning the legislation:

“The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events.  We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.”

Time Warner Inc., issued a statement of its own today urging Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to veto legislation that would encourage discrimination by not protecting same-sex marriage opponents:

At Time Warner, diversity in all its forms is core to our value system and to the success of our business. We strongly oppose the discriminatory language and intent of Georgia’s pending religious liberty bill, which clearly violates the values and principles of inclusion and the ability of all people to live and work free from discrimination.

All of our divisions – HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner – have business interests in Georgia, but none more than Turner, an active participant in the Georgia Prospers campaign, a coalition of business leaders committed to a Georgia that welcomes all people. Georgia bill HB 757 is in contradiction to this campaign, to the values we hold dear, and to the type of workplace we guarantee to our employees. We urge Governor Deal to exercise his veto.

Hollywood actors and producers have threatened to take their projects elsewhere if Deal does not veto the bill. The Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to Deal today. He has until May 3 to act. Deal opposed earlier versions but has not commented on the final bill.

 

 

Forbes: 13 teams worth $1B or more

Thank you, Steve Ballmer. Or maybe, thank you, television networks.

Those are the twin dynamics that recently and somewhat indirectly boosted the value of NBA franchises, to the point where the New York Knicks, who reside in the financial penthouse of the NBA, are oozing with dollars.

According to the new Forbes magazine list of NBA properties, the Knicks are now worth $3 billion. And if that’s not wallet-swelling enough, 13 teams are now worth at least $1 billion (up from 11 last year). Two years ago, only three were worth $1 billion-plus.

Here’s more from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes:

The New York Knicks reclaim the top spot from the Los Angeles Lakers after a one-year hiatus, thanks to a new cable deal and the highest premium-seating revenue in the league at almost $90 million. The split of the media and sports assets of Madison Square Garden Company in September precipitated a new media rights deal for the Knicks with the MSG regional sports network. The 20-year pact kicks off this season and is worth $100 million in the first year. We value the Knicks at $3 billion, up 20% and fourth most among U.S. sports franchises behind only the Dallas Cowboys ($4 billion), New England Patriots ($3.2 billion) and New York Yankees ($3.2 billion).

The last two seasons rank among the three worst in Lakers history, and the 2015-16 season, which doubles as Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour, is shaping up even worse. Even so, the Lakers are the NBA’s most profitable team thanks to the club’s 20-year, $3.6 billion deal with Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA. Ratings were off more than 50% for Lakers’ games during the 2014-15 season with Bryant sidelined by injuries most of the year, but the average audience size of 122,000 viewers per game was still the second highest in the NBA. Operating profits, in the sense of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, were an NBA-record $133 million last season by our count. The Lakers are now worth $2.7 billion.

Rounding out the top five are the Chicago Bulls ($2.3 billion), Boston Celtics ($2.1 billion) and Los Angeles Clippers ($2 billion). Thirteen teams are worth at least $1 billion, up from just three two years ago.

The league’s 30 teams generated $5.2 billion in revenue last season and $900 million in operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Both are records. The NBA’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement, which enhanced revenue sharing for poorer small market teams and cut player costs, means that every team except one—billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Brooklyn Nets—turned an operating profit last season.

The Hawks are a club on the upswing after years of dysfunctional ownership. The new Fox Sports TV deal kicked off this season and is worth triple the prior pact on an annual basis. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is backing a renovation of up to $250 million of Philips Arena that would include public funding. The team reached the Eastern Conference finals last year and is led by Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer. Attendance jumped a league-leading 21% at Philips last year and the number of season ticket holders is up to 9,000 from 3,000. We value the team at $825 million.

The Nets and Hawks transactions reflect the bifurcation of franchise values in recent years, with big market teams carrying significant premiums, particularly the largest markets like Los Angeles, where Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion for the Clippers in 2014. The top five teams are now worth $2.3 billion on average or three-and-a-half times the bottom five teams. Five years ago the multiple was only two times as much.

So, in short, what happened? Ballmer happened.

He purchased the Clippers a few years ago for $2 billion and that suddenly set a new standard. The TV contracts happened, too: ESPN and Turner (which manages NBA.com) ponied up $24 billion over nine years. That’s not counting local TV deals. Essentially, those TV contracts are gold to owners.

But it’s not just that. The league overall is profitable, too, with sponsorship deals and ticket sales and merchandise sales all adding more cha-ching to the cash registers. Also, new arenas are coming for Golden State, Sacramento and Milwaukee. Business is very good for the NBA and the teams are reaping the benefits.

Imagine, that in 1988, when the league added four expansion franchises (Miami, Orlando, Minnesota and Charlotte), those franchises cost $32.5 million each. The Heat is now worth $1.3 billion.

 

Miller Addresses Pacers Rumors

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Pacers fans with designs on another Hoosier legend returning home to help continue the revitalization of the franchise are holding out hope that Reggie Miller will do the honors.

Whether or not the legendary Pacers sharpshooter and current TNT analyst is headed back to Indianapolis as a general manager or in another front office capacity remains to be seen. Miller addressed the situation this afternoon in a statement given to NBA.com, leaving the door open for a possible return to the franchise, city and state he called home during his storied 18-year NBA career:

“After playing my entire 18-year career and spending the better part of my adult life affiliated with the Pacers; I’m honored to be mentioned as someone Mr. Simon, whom I respect a great deal, would consider for such an important role within the organization. I have had no formal discussions or meetings at this time with Mr. Simon or Pacers management.”

Yahoo! Sports report last week suggested that Miller would be one of the candidates Pacers owner Herb Simon would pursue to replace Larry Bird as head of the Pacers’ basketball operations.

Miller played under Bird when the Pacers reached the NBA Finals in 2000. Bird was in the Pacers’ front office when Miller’s playing career ended five years later, so there is a connection. The idea of Miller and Bird working side by side is not far-fetched.

Bird did tell the Boston Globe in June that he was ready to clear out his office but came back as a favor to Simon. He later told the Indianapolis Star that he was taking things “one year at a time.”

The notion of yet another Indiana hoops legends coming back to the fold was not lost on Pacers fans, who voiced plenty of opinions about the prospect of Miller coming back “home”. The Pacers have been down this road before. They hired both Bird and Isiah Thomas to coach the team without previous coaching experience in the league, or anywhere else for that matter.

Having lived in Indianapolis, covering Miller during the twilight of his Pacers career, I can attest to the energy the arrival an icon of his ilk could have on the Pacers’ fan base.

And if I’m reading his statement correctly, Miller didn’t say he would never entertain the idea of returning to the Pacers. He only said that these rumors of an imminent return are just that, rumors.