Bloomberg News

Lakers Overtake Knicks as Most Valuable NBA Team, Forbes Says

January 26, 2012

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Los Angeles Lakers regained the title of most valuable team in the National Basketball Association a year after being replaced in that spot by the New York Knicks, Forbes magazine said.

A 20-year television accord with Time Warner Cable helped the Lakers surge 40 percent in value to $900 million in 2011. Beginning with the 2012-13 season, the deal is worth an average of $200 million annually to the 16-time NBA champions, the magazine reported.

The Knicks are worth $780 million, 19 percent more than 2010, after their first winning record in 10 years in 2010-11, which helped the team sell all its season tickets for the first time since the 2001-02 season, Forbes said. New York, which hiked ticket prices 49 percent this season to help pay for a $850 million renovation of Madison Square Garden, has operating income of $75 million, the most in the league.

Broadcast accords for teams including the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, plus a new 10-year labor agreement between players and owners, helped push the average value of the league’s teams to a record $393 million, a 6.5 percent rise over the prior survey.

The gap between the richest teams and the rest is widening. The top 15 franchises are worth $485 million on average, a 10 percent rise, while the value of the remaining 15 teams edged up 0.4 percent to $300 million. League revenue climbed 4.2 percent to a record $4 billion, the magazine said.

The Chicago Bulls are the third-most-valuable franchise, at $600 million, while the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks ($497 million, a 13 percent rise) and the Celtics ($482 million, a 7 percent increase) round out the top five.

--Editor: Rob Gloster

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.


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