The National Basketball Association and the NBA’s Referees Association have reached terms on a new collective-bargaining agreement, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday. The NBRA will formally vote on whether to approve deal at a meeting scheduled for Thursday in Chicago.
The tentative agreement is for seven years and will be in place through 2022, league sources told Yahoo Sports. NBA referees and play-review officials will receive “substantial raises,” Wojnarowski noted.
The deal came months after the NBA reached terms on a massive nine-year, $24 billion television contract with ESPN and TNT. The TV deal, which kicks in before the 2016-17 NBA season, was expected to have a major impact on collective bargaining negotiations between the NBA and its referee and players’ unions.
Increased revenue could cause the NBA’s salary cap to approach $100 million by 2016, leading to larger contracts for NBA players. Despite the boon, a “significant number” of the NBA’s teams “lose money,” Commissioner Adam Silver said in July, CBS Sports reported.
A number of NBA insiders fear a dispute between team owners and the NBA’s players over revenue-sharing will lead to a lockout when the league’s current collective-bargaining agreement expires in 2017. Michelle Roberts, head of the NBPA, disputed Silver’s claim that some teams are losing money.
"Virtually every business metric demonstrates that our business is healthy. Gate receipts, merchandise sales and TV ratings are all at an all-time high. Franchise values have risen exponentially in recent years, and the NBA has enjoyed high-single-digit revenue growth since 2010-11,” Roberts said in July.
A similar dispute between the NBA’s team owners and its players led to a 161-day lockout in 2011. A subsequent agreement ended the lockout and reduced the players’ revenue share from 57 percent to about 50 percent.