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NBA seeks to double rights fees from Disney, Time Warner: WSJ

The main gate of entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank

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The main gate of entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank, California May 5, 2009. …

(Reuters) - The National Basketball Association is looking to double the TV-rights fees it receives from Walt Disney Co and Time Warner Inc's Turner Broadcasting as the league finalizes deals for nationally televised games, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Disney is currently paying NBA about $485 million a year, while Turner's deal is worth $445 million annually, the report said.

Both Disney and Turner have eight-year contracts in place that run through the 2015-2016 season, but the companies are already in preliminary discussions with the league about extending their deals, the newspaper reported.

NBA may look to split the finals coverage between the two media companies so that the championship round games would air on channels belonging to both, the Journal said.

NBA team owners are meeting Tuesday to discuss TV-rights deals and other matters, the report said.

The NBA Finals are currently broadcast only on Disney's ABC network, but Turner is pushing to get a piece of the coverage, the report said.

NBA spokesman Michael Bass declined to comment on the matter.

Disney and Time Warner were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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