23 Jan 2015

NBA team values skyrocket

2:32 pm on 23 January 2015

The number of NBA basketball teams now worth at least a billion US dollars is 11, up from three a year ago.

2014 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs

2014 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Los Angeles Lakers unseated the New York Knicks as the NBA's most valuable team, worth $2.6 billion US, or about $3.4 billion New Zealand.

A new Forbes poll showed the average team value rose 74 percent from last year.

The average NBA team's value rose to $US1.1 billion, a jump Forbes says was driven primarily by the NBA signing expanded national media deals with broadcast partners Walt Disney Co and Time Warner Inc.

The colossal rise in average team value is the biggest one-year gain since Forbes began tracking team valuations in the four major U.S. sports leagues in 1998.

Last October, the NBA agreed on a more than $US20 billion multi-year contract with Disney and Time Warner that dwarfed the previous deal.

The Lakers' value shot up 93 per cent from last year, while the Knicks, who topped the list the last two years, were second with a value of $US2.5 billion, up 79 percent from last year.

The Los Angeles Clippers, who were purchased for $2 billion US last year by former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, were valued at $1.6 billion, putting them fifth on the list behind the third-place Chicago Bulls and fourth-place Boston Celtics.

The reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs were ranked 11th out of the league's 30 teams.

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