Already a member? Log In

ScarJo’s A.I. Endgame & Zaz’s NBA Air Ball

Scarlett Johansson
As much as ScarJo has now become the face of resistance to the Silicon Valley boogeymen sucking up all of humanity to train their vampiric A.I. models, this is actually a garden-variety soundalike case. Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage
Matthew Belloni
May 24, 2024
  • Zaz’s NBA air ball: Man, is Adam Silver annoyed with David Zaslav and the Warner Bros. Discovery team, per two sources familiar with his thinking. At this point, the NBA commissioner is basically Ferris Bueller after the credits roll: Go home, David… it’s over. As my colleague John Ourand reported, the league has selected its preferred broadcast partners, and they’re not Warner Discovery/Turner. Disney/ESPN gets the A package for $2.8 billion a year, Comcast/NBC swipes the B package for about $2.5 billion—a big increase from the $1.2 billion that Turner is paying, and for far fewer games—and Amazon Prime Video lands a new C package for just under $2 billion. That’s about $7 billion a year for the NBA, waaay up from $2.6 billion in the current deals, and it allows the league to escape the cable TV quicksand for more broadcast, with the favorable demos of streaming and the financial heft of Amazon. Not bad.   

    But Zaslav won’t let it go, today floating in a CNBC story that WBD might try to match not the package he’s losing but Amazon’s—a position previewed on Sunday by my partner Bill Cohan. Once the three deals are presented to Warner Discovery (the NBA still needs clarity on All-Star Weekend and a couple international and local issues, I’m told), Zaz & Co. will have five days to match—but it’s unclear what that even means. The packages awarded and the platforms offered look very different from the current deals—and the “matching rights” language is old and doesn’t contemplate the disparity of assets.