Warner Bros. Discovery’s ‘Big Loss’ of the NBA Would Weaken its Venu Sports Contribution

The bundle’s value could be diminished, but the joint venture could lure more partners to make up for programming gaps, analysts say

David Zaslav NBA
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav (Chris Smith/TheWrap/Getty Images)

Warner Bros. Discovery’s NBA rights are hanging in the balance as the league continues negotiations for media deals collectively worth more than $76 billion. 

If the David Zaslav-led media giant loses the NBA, the company’s ad revenue could plummet about $270 million a year, and its TNT subsidiary could see a 45% decline in affiliate fees, Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet estimated. 

But Venu Sports — the company’s new joint streaming venture with Disney and Fox — likely would suffer less, since the platform could fill programming gaps with other sports.

Three insiders close to the venture said the outcome of NBA negotiations would not impact the offering’s launch, which is on track for the fall, subject to regulatory approval and final agreements with the parties.

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