NBA

Will Inside the NBA cease to exist following next season?

May 24, 2024, 9:42 AM

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 05: TNT's Inside the NBA team (L-R) NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal, host Erni...

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Taking in NBA action from home could have a much different look come 2025.

Earlier this week, Sports Business Journal‘s Tom Friend reported that the NBA is in the process of formalizing a new TV deal with Disney (the parent company of ESPN), new partner Amazon, and NBC—a former broadcast partner and home of the ‘NBA on NBC‘ throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

If the new TV deal is finalized, Warner Bros. Discovery (owner of TNT) will cease to broadcast NBA games following the 2024-25 season, meaning the beloved Inside the NBA program could end.

What would a new deal mean for Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith?

To peel back the curtain on the negotiations, Friend joined The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross on Friday to break down where things stand in the NBA TV negotiations, predict when an announcement could take place, and contemplate where Inside the NBA could land if TNT loses broadcast rights:

YouTube video

Topics: NBA TV deal & the future of Inside the NBA

  • Is it a foregone conclusion that TNT’s run broadcasting NBA games will end?
  • “I would say it’s pretty far down the road… They’re going to try a hail mary here.”
  • TNT will finish its run broadcasting the Western Conference Finals, then the news will become more public
  • Friend says that TNT believes they can match the offer dollar-for-dollar, but that’s not what this deal is all about
  • Has TNT lost its leverage in this deal?
  • Those in charge at Turner Sports don’t want to be responsible for the death of Inside the NBA
  • “At some point, [TNT] is going to overbid…. That’s the only scenario where Turner has a shot at this.”
  • Friend says that Turner will have to get creative to match NBC’s offer
  • Does Inside the NBA make enough money to impact this decision?
  • “The reason why the show is worth money and valuable is that they’re themselves on that show… The guys at ESPN aren’t themselves; they try to be know-it-alls, and it turns you off. That’s what makes this show special.”
  • Friend thinks that Amazon could try to lure over Inside the NBA in this new deal
  • Could TNT keep Inside the NBA going even though they would lose game broadcast rights?

Listen to The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross from 6 – 10 a.m. PST, Monday through Friday, on Sactown Sports 1140.

Click here for full episodes of The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross.

More on the NBA-NBC Deal

From the 1990s through the early 2000s, NBA Playoff basketball went hand-in-hand with the sound of John Tesh’s “Roundball Rock,” the theme song for NBC’s broadcasts–The NBA on NBC.

The NBA on NBC was the broadcast home of basketball during a transitional time for the game, as popularity was on the rise thanks to the Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson battles of the 1980s and the emergence of a young star named Michael Jordan.

From 1990 to 2002, NBC led the way in NBA coverage before losing the broadcast rights in 2003 to a package of outlets that included ABC, ESPN, and TNT.

Over 20 years later, “Roundball Rock” appears to be on the verge of officially returning to the National Basketball Association.

According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal on April 29th, NBC plans to pay $2.5 billion annually to broadcast a package of NBA games, doubling TNT’s parent company Warner Brother’s current annual pact of $1.2 billion.

Friend’s report indicates that if WBD doesn’t up its bid to $2.8 billion, NBC will gain the rights to broadcast NBA games for the first time since 2002.

Part of the NBA on NBC partnership would include Basketball Night in America, similar to the network’s Sunday night coverage of the NFL, Football Night in America.

Negotiations are ongoing–with potential lawsuits on the way, but the NBA’s three-decade run on TNT could end after the 2024-25 season.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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Will Inside the NBA cease to exist following next season?