Time Warner Unit To Run NBA Website, Cable (TWX)

As predicted, Time Warner’s (TWX) Turner unit is taking over control of the NBA’s website and cable network. Ops will move out of New Jersey to Atlanta.

This looks like a fairly straightforward deal: Turner has been adding other sports league’s digital operations to its portfolio — it now runs Nascar.com and PGA.com — and the NBA needs help getting distribution for its game broadcasts. The Hollywood Reporter:

Unlike the upcoming MLB Channel and to a certain extent the NFL Network, NBA TV has had a difficult time breaking out of the digital sports tier. The network, which launched online in 1999 and became a full-fledged cable channel in 2003, has about 12 million subscribers. This is despite the fact that NBA TV carries about 90 regular-season games as well as WNBA matches and other original programming from its studios in Secaucus, N.J.

Update: Staci Kramer listened to an hour-long (!) conference call and has more details. The two sides are describing this as a joint venture, but from what we can that’s a semantic difference — Turner is steering and the NBA will sit in the back seat.

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