Already a member? Log In

Silver’s Spoons

Adam Silver
Netflix and Amazon offer a tantalizing opportunity for commissioner Adam Silver, who has repeatedly expressed excitement about the benefits of streaming. Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
John Ourand
April 22, 2024

I don’t want to get all meta and mise-en-scène for The Varsity audience, but a funny thing happened to me this morning as I was writing this very story about how the NBA’s exclusive negotiating window with ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery would end at midnight tonight sans any deals. As I typed away, I started to receive a flurry of texts and calls from well-wired sources in the center of the action, a number of whom suggested that handshake agreements could be reached among the parties before the clock struck 12. “It’s a coin flip,” one executive told me. “Stay close to your phone.”

Handshake agreements, obviously, are not signed deals or agreements in principle or even M.O.U.s. Nevertheless, talks are taking place as we publish this, and it has become increasingly clear that ESPN and WBD are in good positions to claim two of the NBA’s packages.