With the NBA on the rise, the new Fox Sports 1 coming into play and their TV deal with the NBA ending in 2015, ESPN is hard pressed to get a deal done with the NBA to retain the right to broadcast NBA games on ESPN and ABC.
The Celtics have been a fixture on ESPN since the big three era started. Now that its ended, not so much–but they still have four games that will be scheduled to play on ESPN.
ESPN President, John Skipper, said that the NBA was a critical product for ESPN’s success and that there “aren’t many other things that move the needle like that.” ESPN will be in a battle with Fox Sports for the rights to the NBA. Skipper knows that they’re going to try and take some of the ESPN audience with them and the NBA could play a huge part in doing that.
Skipper also talked about the speculation that the NBA would move to a digital platform. He said that it was “incomprehensible” that the NBA would move to a digital platform and have fans watching their favorite teams online.
You can read the rest of what John Skipper talked about here. He went on to continue to speak about the World Cup, Jason Whitlock and Sportscenter ratings.