In a recent report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst, they shared confidential NBA financial records from last season.
According to their findings, nearly half of the teams in the league lost money last season. But some teams make significantly more than others. Teams share national television money, but here is one of the most telling pieces of information that stood out about local markets (via ESPN):
“The biggest local TV deals also raise the cap level for everyone. The Lakers and Knicks both made more than $100 million from local media deals last season. Only four teams even came within $100 million of the Lakers’ local media revenue. The Knicks alone made $10 million more from TV than the six lowest-earning teams combined.”
For comparison, the Grizzlies collected $9.4 million from local media revenue and the defending-champion Warriors earned $29.8 million.
One ownership source in the story mentioned that front offices in the largest markets can “run their businesses poorly” and still make a profit.
While franchises across the league that do not make as much money receive money from league revenue sharing, it still does not account for the massive gap between NBA teams.
After the recent sale of the Rockets for more than their estimated value, it will be fascinating to see how much the Knicks could be worth considering their TV profit.