Jeremy Hobson: Now to the National Basketball Association lockout. Players and owners will meet again today and try again to reach a deal on how to divvy up revenue. The NBA is already cancelling the first two weeks of the season because of the ongoing lockout.
But now, as Sally Herships reports, the league may have to cancel games all the way through Christmas.
Sally Herships: Fun sports fact of the day: B.R.I. stands for Basketball Related Income. Yearly B.R.I. is about $4 billion. That’s how much the NBA generates in revenues — when it’s playing.
Andrew Zimbalist: The owners claim that they’ve been losing around $300 million a year in the aggregate, putting all 30 teams together.
Andrew Zimbalist is a sports economist at Smith College. He says players don’t believe the owners’ numbers. The first two weeks of the season have already been canceled. But Christmastime is key because:
Zimbalist: Football is about to fade out and basketball is about to take over as the major professional sport.
If you’re a team owner or a player, ’tis the season to sell jerseys and fill luxury boxes. So does everyone lose if games aren’t played?
Zimbalist: The teams that generate profits will suffer. The reputation and the brand of the NBA will suffer.
And businesses connected to basketball will suffer. But Zimbalist says local economies overall won’t. Consumers will spend their entertainment dollars elsewhere.
In New York, I’m Sally Herships for Marketplace.
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