View Full Version : HEAT to Ink 2nd-richest Cable TV Deal in NBA

06-20-2012, 09:52 PM
The Miami Heat are involved in discussions for a blockbuster cable television deal that experts say are being enhanced by the long-term contract the team has with reigning league MVP LeBron James and its run towards a second NBA title.

Sources familiar with the negotiations, but who do not have permission to speak about them publicly, peg the value of the long-term deal between $80 million to $100 a year with Fox Sports Florida. Although the Heatís new deal will only be about half the amount Los Angeles Lakers are going to get from Time Warner Cable, it will still generate at least over four times the revenue the team currently rakes in.

Says Chris Bevilacqua, who runs Bevilacqua Media, but is not involved or familiar with the details of the negotiations, ďFox has a lot of competition down there with Comcast and that plays well into the dynamics of the deal for the Heat.Ē The Heatís new cable deal will be the second-richest in the NBA.

A spokesperson for Fox could not immediately comment on the deal between the Heat and the RSN.

In February, SportsBusiness Journal reported that the Heat were averaging a 6.49 rating, second in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers, however, whose television market is 3.5 times bigger than Miamiís, were averaging 258,000 households per game, tops in the league and more than double the Heatís household average.

The Heatís current television deal with News Corp.ís regional sports network was signed in 2004 and still has three more seasons to run, but such deals typically include clauses that give both sides an opportunity to renegotiate early for an extension or come up with a new deal.

The television windfall would pad the net worth of the Heatís billionaire owner, Micky Arison, who paid $32 million for the team in 1988. In January we valued the Heat at $457 million, sixth-most in the NBA and $443 million less than the league-leading Lakers. The Heatís new television deal would close about one-quarter of that gap.