Adam Silver, NBA, NBC Sports, TNT

NBC Sports Aiming To Steal NBA Broadcast Rights From TNT

Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal aren't even playing but they still could get traded. After all, if NBC is successful in landing NBA broadcast rights from TNT, you have to assume the network will bring along the forever-popular Inside The NBA studio crew.

But yes, gaining NBA rights is precisely what NBC is aiming to do — stealing those rights from Warner Bros. Discovery, TNT's parent company.

For the record, NBC was the NBA's top broadcasting partner from 1954 to 1962, then again from 1990-2002. It was known for more than just the games, too. At least, it was during its second run, when the John Tesh-composed theme song was synonymous with pro hoops.

Anyway, NBC Sports has made a staggering offer of approximately $2.5 billion per annum to secure broadcasting rights for NBA games, per The Wall Street Journal.

The proposed deal, if realized, would effectively double the amount Warner Bros. currently pays the league, which stands at about $1.2 billion annually.

According to sources cited in The Wall Street Journal, NBC is vying to broadcast two primetime NBA games per week during the season, alongside additional weekend matchups, as well as acquiring select streaming rights. This aggressive bid signifies NBC Sports' ambition to expand its sports broadcasting portfolio.

But wait. There's more.

Along with the NBC talks, the NBA is nearing a deal with Amazon Prime Video as its major streaming provider, per Andrew Marchand of The Athletic.

"(Warner Bros. Discovery/TNT) is also reportedly attempting to salvage its relationship with the NBA after it was previously unable to reach a deal, but it's not clear if it will be able to shell out what NBC and Amazon are preparing to pay," wrote Michael P. Hill of Newscast Studio.

Meanwhile, the league is expected to continue its media rights relationship with Disney-owned ESPN and ABC. But TNT, it seems, could be benched when it comes to media rights.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver hasn't gone on record about any of the negotiations, but he has said the league is keeping all broadcast and streaming options open.