North American basketball's NBA is set to enter the streaming world with a long-term rights deal close to being finalized with online retail giant Amazon, it has been reported.

The two parties have agreed to the framework of a deal that will last for a decade beginning with the 2025-26 season, according to The Athletic.

As part of the 10-year deal, the Amazon Prime Video streaming service is expected to secure a “significant” chunk of regular season and playoff games.

The NBA’s exclusive media rights negotiating period with incumbents Walt Disney and Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) ended without a new deal on April 22, which opened the door for the league to engage with other interested broadcasters.

The league was always keen to carve out a new streaming package and bring a major player in the digital market on board for the next cycle of domestic rights.   

The likes of NBCUniversal (which operates the Peacock streaming platform), Apple, and YouTube TV were also linked to bids and reportedly had preliminary talks with the NBA expressing potential interest.

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But Amazon appears to have beaten off competition from its rivals with what is likely to be a hugely lucrative deal for the NBA.

Disney is also close to concluding a new deal with the league, according to media outlet Puck.

The network would maintain its "A package" of games, with ABC getting exclusive rights to the NBA Finals in an agreement that will also last for at least 10 years.

However, ESPN is expected to televise fewer games as part of its new package, with those broadcasts now available for another TV partner. 

WBD has the right to match any deal and retain NBA rights. Its TNT network has been airing NBA games since 1984, while ESPN began broadcasting the league in 2002.

The current deals with ESPN and TNT are worth $24 billion in total and will end after the 2024-25 campaign.

The league is reportedly looking to double its current rights fees by adding new partners and charging more for the rights.

However, it is understood that Disney and WBD are reluctant to carry the full burden of paying significantly more for what they already have, which has allowed Amazon to join the mix.

Rights to the women’s WNBA are expected to be part of the new deals with Amazon and ESPN.

At present, the NBA is the only one of the three major US sports leagues not to have a streaming partner.

Major League Baseball has a league-wide deal with Apple TV and the NFL signed a deal with Amazon several years ago to broadcast its Thursday Night Football games.

The NHL will join the party next season as Amazon signed an exclusive two-year streaming deal with the league and its digital broadcast rights partner Rogers Communications last week in Canada.

The deal is the NHL’s first exclusive national broadcast agreement with a digital-only streaming service in that market.

The league has a rights deal with ESPN in the US in which some games are shown on the ESPN+ OTT platform.

An NBA agreement will expand Prime Video's portfolio of premium sports rights, which includes English soccer's Premier League in the UK.