“Inside The NBA” may soon be gone, but NBC has some interesting stuff to offer

The demise of “Inside The NBA” is getting closer and closer. 

The NBA is finalizing contracts with ESPN, NBC, and Amazon to formalize agreements on the next media rights deal that starts after next season, according to a report by Sports Business Journal (SBJ) on Wednesday, May 22.

There is a world that Warner Bros. Discovery  (WBD)  keeps the rights to the NBA because of its matching rights, and Front Office Sports reported on Tuesday, May 21 that the possibility of WBD exercising its rights to match is still very much on the table.

But that possibility comes with a slew of complications, as according to SBJ, the NBA believes that while WBD can match the $2.6 billion per year annual offer of Comcast’s  (CMCSA)  NBC, but it can’t offer the broadcasting windows and national audience that NBC can provide. 

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Of course, that’s the difference between the two, as NBC has it’s broadcast network while TNT Sports has its group of cable networks.

SBJ reported that WBD could take legal action with the NBA because of how it is approaching the network’s matching rights.

The looming possibility of WBD losing airing rights to the NBA suggests that the beloved “Inside The NBA” show could soon be coming to an end. Charles Barkley even joked that he’d be on LinkedIn earlier this week searching for a new job as he can opt to become a free agent after next season if WBD does not keep its rights to the league.

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The idea that the foursome may be off the airwaves has saddened many, but there are some things for NBA fans to look forward to should the NBA move to NBC.

The first is the likely return of the iconic “Roundball Rock” theme song of NBC. The song was the famous theme music of “NBA on NBC” through most of the 1990s and automatically reminds fans of the NBA — even though the song hasn’t officially been on NBA airwaves for decade.

The song’s pianist and composer John Tesh confirmed on “The Dan Le Batard Show” on Tuesday that he’s already been contacted by NBC about potential re-recording the song, which is both exciting for fans and also a sign that the NBC deal with the NBA is very real.

BREAKING: NBC has contacted John Tesh about reviving the iconic NBA on NBC theme song ‘Roundball Rock’ amid NBA rights dealnegotiations.

“At the end of June, we’re heading to Nashville, we’ve got a full orchestra on hold & we’re going to re-record it.”https://t.co/J2Tb1XxPY9 pic.twitter.com/F6YUXSRpk4

— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) May 21, 2024

More NBA media rights:

Warner Bros. Discovery is in trouble after Comcast offers NBA a massive dealCharles Barkley could wind up on ESPN or Amazon in the near futureNBA looks poised to come to streaming after reported framework deal with Amazon

NBC is also considering producing a “Basketball Night in America” program which would mirror the NFL’s “Football Night in America” primetime Sunday contests. The game would play during Sunday nights with the NBA that run after the NFL season.

There’s no clarity on the coverage that NBC will provide for that game (maybe they swoop in a grab Barkley!) but it would be a unique way to hype up more fans to watch the league.

That could also be an exciting proposition for the league as a way to bring in more fans to watch regular season games as viewership has been stagnant for several years now.

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