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Bill Simmons Speculates That NBC Outbid TNT For NBA Broadcast Rights

There is speculation that NBC has picked up the broadcast rights to air NBA games after journalist Bill Simmons stated as much on a recent podcast episode.

According to Complex, Simmons revealed that little tidbit on The Bill Simmons Podcast. With the contract with TNT ending next year, there has been speculation as to which network (or streaming service) would place a bid to pry it away from the hands of TNT. Simmons predicts that the deal has been done for more than a week and that the Peacock Network was the winner who will be able to showcase the games in the future.

“One of the funniest things ever is that we’re all pretending the TV deal wasn’t done like a week-and-a-half ago… I think it’s done,” said Simmons during a discussion on the episode. “I think Warner already lost it. I don’t know why we’re waiting til after the playoffs. Maybe that’s how they have to do it, but it’s a wrap. NBC’s getting it.”

If Simmons is correct, it would most likely blow up one of the most popular NBA shows in existence, Inside The NBA. The show features Ernie Johnson and three former NBA players, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal. The show has been on TNT since its inception in 1988. One of the most-watched sports programs has taken home eighteen Sports Emmy Awards in over 30 years on the air. The chemistry and witty banter between the four hosts will be greatly missed if the contract between the NBA and TNT is not extended.

The speculation is that Johnson would not be leaving the network if the deal isn’t extended, but the future of the former NBA players is up in the air, with rumors circulating that Barkley will be out the door if Simmons is correct.

So far, the NBA and TNT have not disclosed any news on the reported talks.

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