Saw a pretty amazing story on the web recently regarding the Nets and their finances. The Nets have a tough enough time making money at the Meadowlands, but how many Nets fan knew the team was handing over 1/7th of ALL their national TV money to the former owners of the ABA's team in St.Louis? They've been doing this since 1976 :o
It seems, when the ABA and NBA merged, St. Louis desperately wanted to join the Nets, Spurs, Nuggets and Pacers in jumping to the NBA....NBA made it clear only 4 teams could join, so the Nets and other teams signed a horrible deal to pay off the St. Louis ownership. Has to be the worst sports deal ever signed!
After it became apparent that the NBA would only allow four ABA teams to join the NBA, St. Louis owners Ozzie and Dan Silna reached a famous agreement with the other remaining ABA owners. In return for folding their team, the Spirits' owners obtained the right to 1/7 of any future television money received by the surviving ABA teams (Denver, Indiana, New York and San Antonio) -- in perpetuity......In the late 1970's, the NBA's contract with CBS was modest in scope. But as the NBA's popularity exploded in the 1980's and 1990's, the league's television rights were sold to CBS (and then NBC), plus the TNT and TBS cable networks, for hundreds of millions of dollars. Over the past 25 years*, the Silnas have collected approximately $100 million from the NBA, despite the fact that the Spirits never played an NBA game. The Silnas continue to receive checks from the NBA on a yearly basis, representing a 4/7 share of the television money that would normally go to any NBA franchise.