The National Basketball Association (NBA) is on the verge of reaching a new TV deal with ESPN and Turner Broadcasting (TNT), according to reports.
The deal would be worth more than $2bn a year, making it more valuable than the bumper domestic broadcasting deal signed by the Premier League two years ago.
The NBA currently receives just under $1bn a year from the Walt Disney Company, who own ESPN, and Time Warner Inc, Turner’s parent company.
However, this deal will expire at the end of the 2015/2016 season, and it appears the world’s biggest basketball league could be about to double up.
Sports Business Journal reports that “talks have progressed rapidly” between the league and the two networks, who could be close to signing an eight-year deal. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that NBA team owners were meeting to discuss TV-rights deals with the doubled figure a target.
In 2012 the Premier League sold its domestic TV rights to BSkyB and British Telecom (BT) for a combined $4.84bn (£3bn) over three years, averaging just $1.6bn a year. However, the Premier League also earns a further £2.3bn from global TV rights.
Yet even having signed such massive deals in recent years, neither league can lay claim to the biggest TV earnings in sport.
That particular accolade belongs to the National Football League (NFL) who earn roughly $4.9bn a year in TV rights from Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN. Divided between 32 franchises, that equates to $153m per franchise.
Premier League clubs divide the money based on position in the table and position in the league. Last season, Liverpool took the biggest slice of the pie with £97.5m while Cardiff, with the smallest share, took £62m.
The NFL is the most valuable sports league in the world, with its teams worth an average of $1.43bn according to data collected by Forbes. 12 of the 20 most valuable sports teams belong in the NFL, with four valued over $2bn.