Saturday, June 22, 2024

Charles Barkley Slams TNT Over Loss of NBA Rights (to NBC) – Considers Independent Path for ‘Inside the NBA’ | WATCH

*In a significant development in the sports media landscape, NBA legend and popular TV analyst Charles Barkley has voiced his frustration and disappointment with TNT management over the potential loss of NBA broadcasting rights to NBC, ESPN, and Amazon.

Barkley’s candid remarks have cast a spotlight on the internal turmoil at TNT and ignited discussions about the future of the beloved show, ‘Inside the NBA.’

“Morale sucks. Plain and simple. The people I work with screwed this up so badly,” Barkley lamented, pointing to a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction among his colleagues. He has openly criticized the management’s handling of negotiations, which has resulted in TNT facing the possibility of losing NBA coverage for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Amidst the uncertainty, Barkley has floated the idea of taking “Inside the NBA” independent. He suggested that he could hire the current crew under his production company and sell the rights to major platforms like NBC, Disney, or Amazon.

This proposal has garnered support from various sports media personalities, sparking significant discussions about the potential continuation of ‘Inside the NBA’ on another platform.

Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley

According to the Sports Business Journal, the NBA has finalized a media rights deal that excludes TNT, with NBC, Disney (ESPN/ABC), and Amazon securing the packages. According to industry sources, Disney will pay $2.8 billion annually for the NBA’s “A” package, which gives them exclusive rights to the NBA Finals, a conference final, weekly primetime games, and WNBA games. The “B” package — which includes two weekly primetime windows, the conference semifinals, and a conference final — will go to NBC for a reported $2.6 billion.

NBA fans might see a nostalgic return as NBC has already reached out to composer John Tesh to re-record the iconic NBA on NBC theme “Roundball Rock,” further indicating NBC’s enthusiasm for this new chapter.

The NBA’s decision to exclude TNT, despite the network’s long-standing history with the league, represents a seismic shift in the broadcasting landscape. The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery had previously asserted the company’s right to match any offer to retain the “B” package. The NBA is expected to take the finalized contract to Warner Bros. Discovery, giving them one last opportunity to match NBC’s offer.

As Barkley contemplates the potential new direction for ‘Inside the NBA,’ fans and industry insiders alike are keenly watching to see how this drama unfolds. The situation underscores the fierce competition and high stakes involved in sports broadcasting, where multibillion-dollar deals can reshape the future of sports media overnight.

For now, Charles Barkley remains a vocal critic of TNT’s handling of the situation, and his vision of an independent ‘Inside the NBA’ could signal a groundbreaking shift in how sports shows are produced and distributed in the digital era.

Charles Barkley (with TNT mic) - via X
Charles Barkley (with TNT mic) – via X

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