After the Miami Heat won their NBA championship last week, it wouldn't take a genius to realize that they were going to be a much more desirable commodity in the Miami market. But I'm not sure if anyone could have imagined that they would be THIS much more of a commodity. Forbes is reporting that the Heat are in talks to extend their TV deal with Fox, and the expected price will be between $80 and $100 million per season, an increase of four times what the previous deal was worth:
Sources familiar with the negotiations, but who do not have permission to speak about them publicly, peg the value of the long-term deal between $80 million to $100 a a year with Fox Sports Florida. Although the Heat’s new deal will only be about half the amount the Los Angeles Lakers are going to get from Time Warner Cable, it will still generate at least over four times the revenue the team currently rakes in.
Says Chris Bevilacqua, who runs Bevilacqua Media, but is not involved or familiar with the details of the negotiations, “Fox has a lot of competition down there with Comcast and that plays well into the dynamics of the deal for the Heat.” The Heat’s new cable deal will be the second-richest in the NBA.
A spokesperson for Fox could not immediately comment on the deal between the Heat and the RSN.
Those are some pretty crazy numbers overall. We talked about local ratings back in February, and the Heat's numbers were among the best in the league. The thing is though, the Heat's current contract still has three more seasons left on it. They might be able to get $80 to $100 million per season now, but imagine if they took a step back and waited for the contract to finish before negotiating a new deal. If the team experiences the level of success that they did this past season again, the Heat could be in line for an even bigger cut of the pie, and they could tempt Comcast into a bidding war with Fox for the rights.
Life is good right now for the Heat and owner Micky Arison, but it has the potential to get even better.
UPDATE: It's behind a paywall, but SBJ's John Ourand relays on Twitter a quote from Fox to SBJ/SBD that "There's no truth to the [Forbes] report whatsoever." Interesting.