Thursday represented the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season at Walt Disney World in Florida after a four-plus month hiatus. It really was a fun two-game set with the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz winning their outings.
As other sports struggle starting up amid the COVID-19 pandemic, NBA commissioner Adam Silver did a tremendous job creating the bubble inside Walt Disney World. Most-recent league-wide tests resulted in zero positives.
Assuming the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season goes on without a hitch, the Association could be looking at a big financial windfall from advertisers.
“Advertisers that previously bought the NBA are quickly returning, and we are also seeing new advertisers come into the NBA, including 25 new advertisers in the post-season to date,” Disney Advertising Sales said in a statement, via Front Office Sports.
This could potentially be some big news. The NBA estimates that it already lost $1 billion in revenue due to the season being suspended back on March 11. It stands to lose another $1 billion should the season be halted before the entirety of the 2020 NBA Playoffs are played. It really is a $1 billion question right now.
Sure, the advertising revenue will not make up for these losses. But it’s pretty much all the NBA has without fans being in attendance at Walt Disney World.
ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV brought in $674 million in ad revenue for the 2018-19 season. That number fell to $549 million in 2019-20. Last year’s NBA Playoffs generated $932 million in ad sales, per Front Office Sports.
Given the popularity of the NBA’s brand right now and the fact that people are still staying home amid the pandemic, there’s every reason to believe that said ad sales could increase to the $1 billion-plus mark. Hence, why it’s so important for the 2019-20 NBA season to be completed.
As of right now, things are looking good.