Steve Ballmer Is Close to Making a Major Streaming Deal with Fox

September 14, 2016, 7:43 PM UTC
Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers
Photograph by Victor Decolongon — Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is nearing a major streaming deal with Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket.

Prime Ticket is Fox’s regional sports network for Big West Athletics, according to the website, which includes the Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, and UCLA Bruins. When the Clippers’ cable TV deal expired in June, Ballmer offered to sell Fox the TV rights in exchange for the team’s live-streaming rights, according to the New York Post.

Fox responded with a take-it-or-leave-it proposal that suggested the network and Ballmer split the TV and streaming rights over the next two years. This means Ballmer could keep the Clippers’ streaming rights, a deal no other Big West league has made before. However, under Fox’s terms, the Clippers could only offer streaming services to Prime Ticket customers.


There’s a “better than 50-50 chance” that Ballmer will go for the deal, according to the Post, and the NBA is also expected to approve it.

Ballmer, who is the former CEO of Microsoft (MSFT), is still the company’s largest shareholder, with about a 4% stake. He bought the Clippers for a whopping $2 billion when he left the board in 2014. The sale was the largest ever for an NBA franchise.

Fortune has reached out to the Clippers, Prime Ticket, and the NBA for comment and will update with any response.