Nine NBA Teams Lost Money in 2016-17 After Revenue Sharing

Andrew Cummings
September 20, 2017

Almost half of the NBA's 30 teams reportedly lost money before collecting revenue-sharing payouts during the 2016-17 season. What's more, nine of the teams lost money even after the payouts.

On the other hand, the massive cap spike a year ago had significant unexpected results, as did the shortened playoffs this season which reduced the amount of basketball-related income (or BRI) teams were expecting. Cleveland features the league's biggest star in LeBron James and reached its third straight NBA Finals but still lost money after revenue sharing. "The Knicks alone made $10 million more from TV than the six lowest-earning teams combined".


One ownership source in the story mentioned that front offices in the largest markets can "run their businesses poorly" and still make a profit.

The gap between the league's most profitable teams and its weaker siblings will be addressed at the league's Board of Governors meeting on September 27-28 in NY. The Pistons lost $63.2 million before collecting revenue sharing last season, the largest loss by a wide margin, despite being one of the NBA's larger markets.


Then there are the teams that own their own arenas, such as the Brooklyn Nets, who officially lost $44 million a year ago even after profit-sharing and luxury-tax payments. ESPN points to the Nets, which lost money, but the records do not account for the money made by the Barclays Center, which the Nets' parent company owns. There's now no threat of a labor stoppage and the Houston Rockets were recently sold for $2.2 billion by Leslie Alexander, who bought the team in 1993 for just $85 million.

Despite the new national TV deal, much of the NBA's success ultimately depends on how teams are embraced within their communities.


In what should come as little surprise, the main rift is between small market and big market teams.

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