Amidst the drama surrounding last month's takeover bid for Disney (NYSE:DIS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSK) took some time out to do a little business.

Yesterday, the nation's largest cable operator announced a multi-year deal with the National Basketball Association to carry NBA TV. Starting next month, it will offer the 24-hour channel to its 21 million-plus customers, as well as NBA highlight packages as part of its video-on-demand service.

For Comcast, the benefits are twofold. First, NBA TV will help it compete with satellite providers EchoStar (NASDAQ:DISH) and DirecTV, both of which already carry the channel. Second, it adds video-on-demand content as well as HDTV programming. The search for content is a main driver behind Comcast's bid for Disney and ESPN, one of Disney's most valued assets.

Bigger picture, the deal further highlights the role of sports content in television. Just this week, in a dispute with Viacom (NYSE:VIA) over rate hikes, EchoStar pulled Viacom stations off the air. Since Viacom owns CBS, EchoStar was effectively threatening to deprive millions of college hoops fans of NCAA's March Madness -- something that benefits neither company (much less their customers).

Bigger picture still is the increasing role sports content plays in the general media. Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is also turning to sports, hoping that content deals with the NHL and NFL, among others, will help differentiate it from larger and healthier XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR).

Whether any of this pays off in the end remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: If content is king, sports clearly has the ear of the court.

Dribble on about the deal on the Comcast discussion board. Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.