ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell tweeted on Thursday that the NBA’s revenue for next season is projected to hit the $8 billion mark. The league reportedly earned $5.2 billion during the 2014-2015 season, which was a record at that time.
In February, Forbes estimated that the New York Knicks are worth in excess of $3 billion, making them the most valuable franchise in the NBA. A 20 percent value increase from 2015 thanks to a new television deal and the highest premium-seating revenue in the league vaulted New York into the top spot over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers ranked second with an estimated worth of $2.7 billion. The New Orleans Pelicans were estimated to be the league’s least-valuable franchise with a $650 million estimated worth.
According to Forbes, the average NBA team is worth about $1.3 billion.
The Los Angeles Clippers were sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion in 2014, which remains the second-most expensive bid for a franchise in North American sports history. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers – at $2.15 billion – have sold for more.
No revenue reports for the 2015-2016 season have been released yet, but the $5.2 billion that the NBA generated the year prior made it the third-most lucrative sports league in the world. Only the National Football League ($13 billion) and Major League Baseball ($9 billion) earned more.
The top-five was rounded out by the English Premier League (£3.4 billion) and the National Hockey League ($3.7 billion). In addition to the Knicks and Lakers, the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors each generated more than $200 million in revenue in 2014-2015.