TNT, 'Inside The NBA' lose another lifeline

amazon, tnt, 'inside the nba' lose another lifeline

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 17: Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley from TNT talk as a part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Brandon Todd/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA season has been over since Monday, so teams are now setting their sights on the NBA Draft next week. However, with the actual games concluded, the NBA itself is dealing with a major issue: which networks will air its games after next season.

Reports have surfaced for months indicating that the NBA has negotiated frameworks with three partners—ESPN DIS, Comcast CMCSA, and Amazon—for a deal worth around $76 billion over 11 years. The agreement with the three partners would exclude Warner Bros Discovery, which airs the NBA on TNT.

There's also a belief that the loss of the NBA on TNT, which has aired the NBA since the 1989-90 season, would be the end of the beloved studio show "Inside The NBA" starring Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley. Johnson will stay with TNT regardless of the final result with the NBA, according to Sports Business Journal, while Barkley has announced that he will be retiring from television after next year.

Barkley's retirement has been questioned by many, but whether it's a negotiating tactic or the truth, his impending retirement is a sign of the tumultuous times at WBD  (WBD) .

Despite all the reports about the NBA and its three partners, the league has still not signed contracts with any of them. So, the door is open for WBD.

However, a new report indicates that one of the two options for WBD to keep the NBA is now off the table.

WBD's chance of forming a new deal with the NBA "is about as dead as it can be"

It has been reported that one way WBD could stay alive in the NBA negotiations is to form a fourth package with the league.

That package would essentially take a cut from the other packages for WBD to air some games. Front Office Sports reported that it could also include some games that would move regional partners to TNT's national audience.

However, according to Puck's John Ourand, that package "is about as dead as it can be" and that there is only about a "one percent" chance of WBD getting that deal.

The big hill that WBD is facing in creating that deal would be that it's share of games would take from the other partners, essentially lowering the value of their deals, reigniting negotiations, and potentially removing the additional value the NBA was able to extract from its newer partners.

More NBA media rights:

    WBD's final option is still on the table, and that is to match the package offered by Amazon or Comcast.

    Comcast's bid to bring the NBA back to NBC is reportedly at $2.5 billion per year, while Amazon's bid is reportedly at $1.8 billion annually. The NBA is reportedly dangling over WBD the notion that it cannot outright match the deal of Comcast dollar-for-dollar because Comcast offers the ability for the league to be aired on a traditional TV network.

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