Steve Ballmer Rumors
According to a story from TMZ, Zucker allegedly had been offering strong opinions on things ranging from playing time to player development. “That’s just ridiculous,” Rivers said Thursday. “The first thing is Gillian and I have no issues. It’s the basketball side and it’s the business side,” he said. “…We do have to do business together and that’s gone well.”
Rivers said the two have had disagreements on things such as sponsorships, but it never escalated to anything significant. Still, both Zucker and owner Steve Ballmer have no experience running an NBA franchise. “There’s a learning curve here,” Rivers said. “I’m comfortable with that.”
The Clippers’ local television contract with Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket runs out after the 2015-16 season and the two sides are far apart in negotiations for a new deal. Fox Sports made an offer of $60 million annually that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer turned down. Ballmer countered with $100 million annually, which Fox rejected, according to executives familiar with the talks who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
After Prime Ticket wasn’t able to get a deal done during its exclusive negotiating window in June, the Clippers have been free to talk to other companies. The Clippers, whose games will be broadcast on Prime Ticket this season, have been getting about $25 million per year in their current deal with Fox, according to an executive.
Ballmer, the former Microsoft chief executive who purchased the Clippers for $2 billion in 2014, is considering other options, including possibly streaming Clippers games, according to the executives. One executive said Ballmer is aware of the pros and cons of creating his own network and views the idea of a web-based format more likely in some sort of hybrid deal with Fox Sports. An NBA official said the league wouldn’t be opposed to the Clippers’ streaming their games as long as it was done locally.