NBC, WBD will likely take some college basketball games from Fox

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Fox Sports appears to be about to lose a portion of its Big East college basketball games to NBC Sports and TNT Sports in 2025, according to The Athletic.

Sources close to negotiations told the publication that Fox will still keep most of the games under the new structure. 

The news would add another chapter to an already thick deal book of recent sports licensing deals as legacy and digital providers alike battle it out.

Live sports are seen as a bright spot for broadcasting — even on linear TV — because they still have the potential to maintain a high level of live viewership.

That, along with streamers increasingly moving into the live sports space, have also driven competition and pricing up, which has tended to benefit leagues.

One big deal that’s currently up in the air is the NBA. NBC, Disney and Amazon are reportedly finalizing a deal that would remove TNT Sports, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, from the roster, though the latter still may be trying to hold on to at least some games.

WBD has built much of the lineup on its TNT, TBS and truTV around the NBA, so losing all or most of the games could leave a big hole not only those schedules, but also ratings and revenue.

Meanwhile, WBD went ahead and nabbed the U.S. rights for the French Open from NBC for a cool $65 million per year, on average, for two weeks of play (NBC paid $18 million for the final year of its 12-year deal). 

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WBD also sublicensed college football playoff games from ESPN as well as some college basketball games. 

WBD bosses have downplayed the importance that the NBA has on its programming strategies, though they also haven’t laid out a complete plan for how those hours might be filled.

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