NBA To Formalize New TV Deals; End Iconic Show: Report

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The NBA is reportedly formalizing television rights contracts this week with Disney (ABC/ESPN), NBC and Amazon for the 2025-26 season, which would effectively end TNT's coverage, including the iconic studio show Inside The NBA after the upcoming 2024-25 season, Sports Business Journal reported on Wednesday (May 22).

NBC, which had previously aired NBA games from 1954-62 and 1990-2002, is reportedly closing in on TNT's NBA 'B' package, which includes weekly primetime games, second-round playoff games and a conference final, for $2.6 billion annually. TNT's parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, can match the "total value" of the NBC deal upon completion, which could result in a legal battle as the NBA is expected to argue "a match is not dollar-for-dollar" due to ad revenue and broadcast windows, according to Sports Business Journal.

ESPN is reportedly set to keep its 'A' package, which will include coverage of the NBA Finals, for $2.8 billion annually, while Amazon will pay between $1.7 billion and $2 billion for its streaming service to air select games including the in-season tournament, which debuted during the 2023-24 NBA season, the play-in tournament and first-round playoff games, Sports Business Journal reports.

Longtime broadcaster and composer John Tesh confirmed that NBC has already reached out to him about re-licensing his iconic NBA on NBC theme song, 'Roundball Rock,' which he plans to record with a full orchestra in Nashville next month, during a appearance on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz Tuesday (May 21).

“It’s nothing firm. But they said, ‘Hey can you stay frosty on this?’ — like a Navy Seals thing — ‘because we’d love to talk to you about it,’” Tesh said. “We’re actually talking right now about licensing it to them for the Olympics in Paris.”

Inside the NBA, hosted by Ernie Johnson and featuring two-time NBA champion Kenny 'The Jet' Smith and Basketball Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal, has won eighteen Sports Emmy Awards and rates consistently among the best sports analysis shows on American television. The show was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in October 2016 and honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as the first NBA telecast to receive the Curt Gowdy Media Award in 2020.

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