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NBA commissioner Adam Silver discusses fate of ‘Inside the NBA’ amid TV rights battle

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There is a lot of interest concerning the next rights deal with the National Basketball Association, as the current deal expires after the 2024-2025 season.

Various reports have attached ABC/ESPN and Amazon to securing deals, while Turner Sports and NBC Sports are expected to make billion-dollar deals to get a premiere broadcast package.

Nothing has been announced, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver was stopped by TMZ cameras on Thursday on his way into a White House state dinner in Washington, D.C., and asked how the media deal negotiations were going.

“Who knows,” Silver said. “We’re all still talking. Who knows how it’s gonna work out.”

He was also asked about “Inside the NBA,” the Emmy-winning studio show on Turner with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith.

Johnson has previously said he is staying with Turner no matter what is decided, and Barkley says he can get out of his contract if the network loses out on the bidding.

“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.” 

Puck News reported that Silver was  “annoyed” with Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive David Zaslav and that the league has already chosen its broadcast partners despite what Silver told TMZ.

Puck also reports that Disney (ESPN/ABC) will get the best package at $2.8 billion a year, while Comcast/NBC will get the “B” package for $2.5 billion, and Amazon Prime Video gets the last piece of the pie, paying nearly $2 billion per year to broadcast games.

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