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Nets, YES Go To Arbitration After Prokhorov Rejects New TV Deal

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

The Nets have the lowest TV ratings in the NBA, and the second lowest in pro sports, but the promise of Brooklyn could change that. It's made negotiations difficult. After lengthy talks last month, the team and YES thought they had a deal on extending their rights deal, only to have Mikhail Prokhorov firmly reject it with a "Nyet."

Sports Business Journal reports the Nets owner didn't like the contract length, which would have committed the Nets to staying with YES through 2031-32, 20 seasons into the life of Barclays Center.  YES and the Nets are already in the middle of a 20-year deal that ends with the 2021-22 season. Signed when YES launched in 2002, the deal allowed each side to reopen it and reset the rights after this season.  The Nets have long believed the rights are more valuable than what the team has been paid, around $10 million a season.

So the two sides have gone to arbitration, the first time a regional sports network and a team have done so.