SBD/January 24, 2014/Franchises

Forbes Says NBA Franchise Valuations Up 25%, With Knicks Again On Top

The average NBA franchise is worth $634M, “up 25% over last year,” and collectively the league’s 30 teams are worth $19B compared to $400M in ‘84 "when there were 23 teams," according to Kurt Badenhausen of FORBES. Once a “struggling also-ran to other professional sports,” the NBA is now a “global money machine.” This is “in large part” due to Commissioner David Stern’s “leadership on labor relations, drug testing, team expansion and other issues.” NBA revenues, which were $118M for the ’82-83 season, hit $4.6B "for the league’s 30 teams last year.” The Knicks are the NBA’s “most valuable team for a second straight year,” as the franchise is now worth $1.4B, “up 27% from a year ago.” A three-year, $1B renovation of Madison Square Garden “pushed the Knicks’ revenue" to $287M, "net of revenue sharing.” The Knicks’ playoff run and arena renovation helped the franchise generate operating income of $96M -- “a record for an NBA franchise.” Profitability was “up across the board in the NBA’s first full season” since the lockout was settled. Operating income “doubled to an average” of $23.7M, the “highest since Forbes began calculating NBA valuations” in ’98. The CBA also “boosted revenue sharing from the NBA’s haves to have-nots.” Former “perennial money losers” such as the Bobcats, Bucks and Grizzlies “all turned a profit last season” thanks to at least $10M each in revenue sharing. Only four teams "lost money on an operating basis” (FORBES.com, 1/22).
 
FORBES NBA TEAM VALUATIONS
RANK
TEAM
VALUE
RANK
TEAM
VALUE
1
Knicks
$1.4B
16
Kings
$550M
2
Lakers
$1.35B
17
Jazz
$525M
3
Bulls
$1B
18
Raptors
$520M
4
Celtics
$875M
19
Cavaliers
$515M
5
Nets
$780M
20
Nuggets
$495M
6
Rockets
$775M
21
Wizards
$485M
7
Heat
$770M
22
Pacers
$475M
8
Mavericks
$765M
23
76ers
$469M
9
Warriors
$750M
24
Grizzlies
$453M
10
Spurs
$660M
25
Pistons
$450M
11
Thunder
$590M
26
T'Wolves
$430M
12
Trail Blazers
$587M
27
Hawks
$420M
13
Clippers
$575M
28
Pelicans
$420M
14
Suns
$565M
29
Bobcats
$410M
15
Magic
$560M
30
Bucks
$405M







AROUND THE LEAGUE: In L.A., Mike Bresnahan noted the Lakers are “losers in the standings but financial winners in a big way” with the franchise valued at $1.35B, which is “up 35% from the previous year, thanks mainly to their new television contract with Time Warner Cable.” Forbes’ data showed that the Lakers earned $122M last season from TWC, “more than 20 times” what the Bobcats and Bucks received from their TV partners (L.A. TIMES, 1/23). In Dallas, Eddie Sefko noted Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban thinks his team's $765M valuation is "a low-ball number." Cuban said, "We’re worth well over a billion. I think within the next five years, and this is just a guess, if the economy continues to get a little better and sports still stays in demand, every NBA franchise will be worth at least a billion dollars” (DALLASNEWS.com, 1/22). In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell noted the Bobcats are “worth 30 percent more than they were a year ago.” If the Bobcats are “now in the black, that probably has a lot to do with the new collective bargaining agreement, which includes a more aggressive revenue-sharing system between big-market and small-market teams.” It “can’t be a coincidence Forbes raised the value” of the Bobcats and Bucks by 30% each (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 1/22). In Detroit, Brian Manzullo noted being ranked the No. 25on Forbes' list “isn’t exactly a good look” for the Pistons. Manzullo: “Then again, it hasn’t been for a while” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/22).
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