NBA to settle with Silna brothers over TV revenue


The NBA will reportedly enter into a settlement agreement with Ozzie and Daniel Silna, former owners of the ABA’s Spirit of St. Louis basketball team. The brothers have made over a $300 million thanks to a contract they entered with the league back in 1976 that has paid them a portion of the NBA’s national television revenue for decades.

Instead of accepting a cash buyout when the Spirits of St. Louis were not included in the newly merged league, the brothers opted to accept, in perpetuity, one-seventh of the television revenue generated by the four ABA franchises which joined the NBA (Nets, Spurs, Nuggets and Pacers).

According to the New York Times, the Silna siblings could receive as much as $500 million.

The Silnas are to receive a $500 million upfront payment, financed through a private placement of notes by JPMorgan Chase and Merrill Lynch, according to three people with direct knowledge of the agreement. The deal would end the enormous perpetual payments and settle a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Silnas that demanded additional compensation from sources of television revenue that did not exist in 1976, including NBA TV, foreign broadcasting of games and League Pass, the service that lets fans watch out-of-market games.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.