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Headlinesn > Sports > NBA Commish Adam Silver weighs in on league’s TV rights negotiations amid uncertainty: ‘We are still talking’
Adam Silver

NBA Commish Adam Silver weighs in on league’s TV rights negotiations amid uncertainty: ‘We are still talking’

NBA commissioner Adam Silver isn’t quite ready to name a winner in the race to secure the league’s media rights. Multiple reports have surfaced in recent days suggesting that TNT’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), is on the verge of losing its broadcasting rights deal to competitors.

TNT and the NBA have been partners for the past few decades. However, a potential new media deal could include Disney/ESPN, NBC and Amazon, which would possibly leave TNT on the outside looking in.

Earlier this week, the Sports Business Journal reported that the NBA is expected to begin formalizing deals with Disney, Amazon and NBC. However, before the contracts receive final approval, WBD leadership will have the opportunity to match the “total value” of other offers, per the report.

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Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, talks to the media before the start of the Oklahoma City Thunder game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 26, 2014, in Memphis, Tennessee. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

No official announcement about the future home of NBA games has been made, and Silver cautioned that negotiations for the broadcast packages are ongoing, and the outcome is unknown.

CHARLES BARKLEY UNLOADS ON TNT BRASS AS NETWORK ON VERGE OF LOSING NBA RIGHTS

“Who knows,” Silver told TMZ ahead of a White House state dinner. “We’re all still talking. Who knows how it’s gonna work out.”

Basketball sits next to NBA logo

A basketball on the court next to an NBA logo during a break in the first half of a game in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The state of the league’s television rights has been a hot topic partly due to the popularity of the longtime running studio “Inside the NBA,” which features Ernie Johnson and former NBA greats Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith.

Johnson has previously gone on record about his decision to remain with the network, no matter what happens with the NBA media rights in the future. However, Barkley reportedly has a clause in his contract that allows him to go elsewhere if TNT loses out on the NBA package.

Charles Barkley watches Game 6 of the ECF

Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal announce the game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat during Game 6 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on May 27, 2023, at Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida.  (Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images)

Silver expressed confidence that at least two of the show’s stars will continue to cover the NBA for years to come, regardless of which network holds the broadcasting rights.

“We’re never gonna lose Charles and Kenny,” Silver said. “They’re always going to be covering the NBA. . . . I can’t imagine those guys [on ‘Inside the NBA’] won’t be performing and announcing together in the future, and we all love them.”

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The league’s current media rights deal expires at the end of the 2024-25 season.

Elsewhere, WBD recently bolstered its overall sports offerings by landing a five-year sublicensing deal with Disney/ESPN. The deal grants WBD the rights to first round and quarterfinal College Football Playoff games beginning this upcoming postseason. 

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