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TNT Sports’ President Claims NBA is Not Essential – Soon to Test His Theory

Trash talk is a core aspect of basketball, dating back to the early days of the sport. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s bold statements in 2022 have set the stage for a fierce competition between TNT Sports and NBC for the last NBA TV rights deal.

Zaslav’s previous comments about not needing the NBA have put him in a challenging position. Now, he must decide whether to pay a hefty price to retain the rights or risk losing them to NBC.

The negotiations between the networks are ongoing, with ESPN and Amazon Prime Video already securing deals for certain games each season. NBC is aggressively pursuing Zaslav’s deal, aiming to reunite with the NBA after many years.

While TNT has a long history of broadcasting NBA games and a strong team of analysts, NBC’s connections with the league’s executives and its plans for game coverage make it a formidable contender.

As the negotiations continue, Zaslav faces a difficult decision that could impact the future of TNT Sports. NBC’s proposal to air games on its broadcast network and streaming service adds another layer to the competition.

Ultimately, Zaslav’s earlier remarks about not needing the NBA may come back to haunt him if he fails to secure the rights. The outcome of the negotiations will determine the future of NBA game broadcasts and the networks involved.

In the end, it will be up to NBA commissioner Adam Silver to decide who gets the final shot in this high-stakes game of TV rights negotiations.


David Zaslav in November. (Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images for The New York Times)

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(Top photo of the “Inside the NBA” crew in Denver for the 2023-24 season tipoff game: Jamie Schwaberow / NBAE via Getty Images)

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