Charles Barkley Reveals He Can Leave TNT If It Loses Its NBA Tights


As the NBA’s media rights negotiations continue, the future of the league’s relationship with TNT is becoming increasingly uncertain. Amidst this backdrop, Charles Barkley, the legendary basketball player and current analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” has made a statement that has caught the attention of fans and industry insiders alike.

Barkley has revealed that his contract with TNT includes an opt-out clause that would allow him to leave the network if it loses its NBA broadcasting rights. This clause was a strategic move by Barkley, anticipating the potential shift in NBA media partnerships during his 10-year contract period. With Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) currently in the throes of these crucial negotiations, the possibility of Comcast’s NBCUniversal outbidding TNT for the NBA rights has become a real concern.

The Hall of Fame power forward has been candid about his intentions, stating,


“I covered my ass to be honest with you,” during an appearance on ESPN Cleveland’s “The Really Big Show.” He further explained, “I just signed a 10-year deal two years ago, but one of the things I did was I put an opt-out in a couple years because I wanted to cover my ass when it comes to this situation.”



Barkley’s foresight is indicative of the changing landscape of sports broadcasting, where streaming services like Amazon and Apple are emerging as formidable contenders. While Barkley and his colleagues initially thought these streaming giants would be their main competition, the sudden interest from NBC has added a new layer of complexity to the situation.

The implications of Barkley’s potential departure extend beyond his personal career. “Inside the NBA” is a beloved show, and Barkley’s chemistry with co-hosts Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal is part of its magic. It remains unclear whether his co-hosts have similar clauses in their contracts, but the industry is abuzz with speculation about the show’s future and the possible reconfiguration of its cast.

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