In a twist, the NBA may look to split up the NBA Finals between the two media companies, so that the championship round games would air on channels belonging to both, the people familiar with the matter said. That could take various forms: The networks could alternate Finals coverage each year, or carve up the Finals—played as the best-of-seven—in a given year.
Currently, the Finals air entirely on Disney’s ABC broadcast network, but Turner is pushing to get a piece of the coverage, the people said. Disney wants to maintain sole rights to the Finals, and the NBA can’t offer up those rights to anyone else in the short term without Disney’s consent, one person familiar with the matter said. The league could only do so if it fails to reach a new deal with Disney, a process that could stretch well into next year, the person said.
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