NBC Plans To Revive “Roundball Rock” Theme Song For NBA Broadcasts


Over the past couple of months, there has been increasing speculation that NBA broadcasting rights could leave TNT for the first time in 40 years and return to NBC. The executives at NBC are apparently so confident about the rights acquisition that they have already made plans to revive one of the most iconic musical intros in American sports: “Roundball Rock.”

“Roundball Rock,” written and produced by composer John Tesh, accompanied National Basketball Association games on NBC from 1990 to 2002. Longtime hoops fans fondly remember this peppy anthem alongside NBC’s coverage during an era defined by Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls’ dominance, and the voices of Bob Costas and Marv Albert. In a 2017 ranking of “The 25 Greatest Sports TV Themes,” USA Today voted it the No. 1 theme song. The Ringer even published an oral history article about its origin, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” dedicated an entire sketch to it.

NBCUniversal has made an offer that averages $2.5 billion per year to once again acquire NBA rights after losing them 22 years ago to Disney. The Wall Street Journal first reported the details of NBC’s bid. While the NBA wants three media partners this time around, deals with both Disney and Amazon for two of the packages are already close to being finalized. The third package is likely to go to either Warner Bros. Discovery or NBCUniversal, but not both. NBCUniversal’s offer more than doubles the $1.2 billion that Warner Bros. Discovery currently pays for NBA rights. However, Warner Bros. Discovery’s market capitalization of $18 billion is dwarfed by Comcast’s $150 billion, which may impact their decision.

Composer John Tesh revealed that NBC has reached out to him about potentially reviving “Roundball Rock.” While nothing is firm yet, Tesh mentioned that they asked him to “stay frosty” on this matter. In fact, plans are already in motion: Tesh and a full orchestra are set to re-record the iconic tune in Nashville at the end of June. He aims to make a few changes, possibly opening up the middle section of the composition.

If NBC Sports secures the NBA broadcasting rights, fans could once again hear the familiar strains of “Roundball Rock” during NBA games. The nostalgia associated with this theme song would undoubtedly resonate with viewers, bringing back memories of an era when basketball was synonymous with NBC’s iconic anthem.


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