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The Future of 'Inside the NBA' Is Under Serious Threat

Inside the NBA

'Inside the NBA' is arguably the most popular sports show of all time, but its future is in serious jeopardy.

With the NBA's broadcast deals expiring in the summer of 2025, Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal reports that NBC is making a major push to steal the NBA from TNT as it prepares to offer $2.5 billion a year. This could mean the end of the era of the most famous quartet of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal.

It is extremely possible for another network to recruit some or all of the 'Insiders' guys over time, but their varying contract situations will inevitably complicate matters. For example, Ernie Johnson did other work for Turner and has worked for the company for most of his professional life.

In a recent appearance on ESPN Cleveland's The Really Big Show, Charles Barkley said he could opt out of his 10-year contract with TNT if the network loses its NBA rights, and he is willing to do so.

“I covered my ass to be honest with you,” Barkley said. “I just signed a 10-year deal two years ago, but one of the things I did was opt out for a few years because I wanted to cover my ass when it came to this situation.”

Barkley's deal raises questions about whether any of his 'Inside' colleagues have similar terms in their contracts.

Only time will tell what the future holds for Inside the NBA.

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