The Los Angeles Lakers have signed a new TV contract to create their own network much like the YES and MSG Networks in the New York area. The deal is reportedly worth $3 billion over 20 years according to the LA Times.
The Lakers will be the first NBA team with exclusive rights to their own network. The Nets technically share time with the Yankees.
This begs the question...Will we see more teams try to go their own route and create their own networks? I highly doubt it because there are only a number of teams that could be successful in doing so.
It is a very interesting situation for teams to be in. They control every aspect of their broadcasts, of course with the NBA's official approval.
Let us look at 10 teams that would most benefit and that could afford to create their own television network.
Even though the Cavs lost Lebron James, they are still in the middle of the pack of the most valued franchises in the league.
Even with the worst record in the league, they are third in the league in attendance, almost selling out each night.
With the cap space they are about to free up in the next couple of years, Cavs fans will soon have a competitive team to cheer for.
The Utah Jazz have a huge following in Salt Lake City. There is not much out there besides the Jazz and the state university as far as sports go.
The Jazz take advantage of that and put on a good show each night.
It also helps that the Jazz have a great fan base year in and year out.
Houston is an underrated NBA town. Where would you guess they rank on the Forbes list?
I bet you did not guess in the top five.
The Rockets franchise is ranked 5th in the NBA, valued at $452 million.
They are having troubling times currently and if Yao Ming retires, the value of the team might drop dramatically.
The Nets currently rank last in attendance. That is partly because they do not have a great team right now. It could also be because they just moved from the Meadowlands into downtown Newark for a few years.
With their move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Nets value will skyrocket.
The Barclays Center is supposed to be the most expensive arena ever built. Combine that with one of the world's largest market, and you got yourself a money making franchise.
Ever since Mark Cuban took over, the Mavs have become a staple in the NBA. With Dirk leading the team, Dallas always puts out a great squad.
Dallas is another place where fans flock to watch basketball. Dallas is a very underrated basketball market with most focusing their attention on the Cowboys.
The Mavs are always at the top of the league in attendance each year. They are averaging 104% capacity this season.
Chicago is a team that can be good for a long time as long as they have Derrick Rose as their floor general.
The Bulls lead the league this year in attendance, selling out 103% of their capacity.
The Bulls as a brand are still reaping the benefits leftover from when Michael Jordan played here. Chicago is another big U.S. market that could benefit from having exclusive rights.
Regardless of their record, Boston is always a city where basketball is prominent.
They are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA with 17 Championships.
The Big 3 of Boston have put Boston back on the national map and have become one of the most successful teams of the decade.
If this article was written one year ago, the Heat would not even be close on this list. However, the Heat are a very different team and are becoming a top brand name in the NBA with the newly formed Big 3.
The Heat could make millions if they were to get a TV deal done ASAP.
A lot of fans would pay a premium to see three of the best players in the NBA to play on the court together, regardless of if they are rooting for them or not.
The New York Knicks are the most valued franchise in the NBA at $655 million, according to the Forbes list.
That number should only continue to grow with the Knicks becoming contenders once again. With Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks become a fun team to watch again.
There is widespread appeal across their roster as well. I am sure there are some Danilo Gallinari fans across the way in Europe.
It is only fitting that the Knicks get their own TV deal in one of the largest markets in the world.
According the Forbes Team Valuation report, the Lakers are ranked the second most valued franchise in the NBA, only behind the New York Knicks.
They sure can afford to create their own network and they have the following to support them.
With their $3 billion contract, the Lakers franchise is sure to increase in value. They should move ahead of the Knicks within the next couple of years.
Kobe Bryant certainly helps to keep that franchise towards the top of the rankings.