NBA Commissioner David Stern revealed Tuesday (November 13) revenues estimates for the league, saying they expect a record $5 billion for the current season, reports NBA.com.
The numbers are around a 20% increase from the league’s last full season in 2010-11, and is for the current year ending next September 30. That puts the NBA third among the major North American leagues, trailing the NFL ($9 billion) and Major League Baseball ($7.5 billion), but ahead of the NHL ($3.3 billion).
“I would say that China, which is the largest segment outside the U.S., is doing very well. I would say we’ll see that to some degree as well in Turkey, in Africa, in Brazil,” Stern said. “The components are broadcast, digital, merchandise, marketing partnerships and events, which can be games and the 3-on-3 tournaments and clinics, any variety of events that draw people.”
Stern said the NBA is broadcast in 46 languages to 216 nations or territories.
The commissioner also briefly talked about bold expansion ambitions in the future. He said Europe is, at least, a decade away. But, when they do expand, it’s likely the league would add several clubs there at once.
“I think for us the thing that would make the most sense would be a division in Europe at the time that it comes,” he said. “I don’t see that for another decade at least. Not one team.”
Despite the predictions, Stern won’t be there to oversee them. He announced last month that he will retire on February 1, 2014, 30 years after he took over from Larry O’Brien, so international expansion will be passed on to Adam Silver, who has been deputy commissioner since 2006.