Friday, June 21 2024

Rumours are circling the NBA right now suggesting that TNT has already lost the rights to transmit the basketball league starting next season. However, Charles Barkley took the mic this week to say that he still believes there’s a 50-50 chance that Warner Bros. Discovery will keep the rights and that Inside the NBA will remain on the air. 

Despite the Hall of Fame’s bold claim, he still admitted that the entire crew is “scared to death” about the future. Chuck revealed that the entire staff is still in the dark, which has created a strange atmosphere around the show during these NBA playoffs.

“We have zero idea what’s going to happen,” the Suns icon expressed this week in Chicago. “We might lose it … it is flat-out brutal, everybody’s scared to death.”

Barkley then explained how this situation is rather unique, considering that it is the first time that the exclusive negotiating window has expired before the NBA and TNT have agreed to a new broadcast contract.

“It’s 50-50 that we lose our part to NBC,” said the NBA icon. “Am I concerned? 100%, because as much as we have been partners with the NBA for I think 40 years, you would think if it was close in a bidding war, we would get the benefit of the doubt, but clearly that’s not happening … they’re scared to death over here right now.”

Despite Charles’ hope to remain with TNT, Bill Simmons has lost all faith. At the start of the week, he publicly claimed that the NBA Media Rights negotiations have already wrapped up, with NBC Universal as the new holders.

Simmons assures that the deal has been done for weeks now, as the league is waiting for the season to be over. “One of the funniest things ever is that we’re all pretending the TV deal wasn’t done like a week-and-a-half ago… I think it’s done. I think Warner already lost it. I don’t know why we’re waiting til after the playoffs. Maybe that’s how they have to do it, but it’s a wrap. NBC’s getting it,” he assured.

Despite the uncertainty, Barkley had said he’s prepared himself and is in a great position moving forward

Despite what might happen to TNT, it seems that Barkley already has his future figured out. Not too long ago, he revealed that he had prepared himself for the possibility of Warner Bros. Discovery losing the NBA rights back when he signed his 10-year contract in 2022.

“It’s a really big deal, obviously, but I covered my a–, to be honest with you,” the Hall of Famer said. “…I just signed a 10-year deal two years ago, but one of the things I did was I put an opt-out after a couple years because I wanted to make sure I cover my a– when it comes to this situation.”

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The basketball legend even hinted at the possibility of recreating Inside the NBA‘s format under a new channel, as he’s to become a free agent next year.

“I am actually in a really great position,” Chuck said. “Whether we go to … we knew it was going to be Amazon and Apple, but we didn’t know NBC was going to come out of the woodwork … I love TNT, they’ve been great to me … but I wanted to make sure that if we lost the NBA in two years, I could be a free agent.”

Source: Basketball Insider

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