TNT Reportedly Looking to Keep Some NBA Rights, Bring Local Games to National TV & Max




, ,

The classic expression, “It isn’t over until it’s over,” couldn’t be more true, as WarnerBros. Discovery is throwing up a buzzer-beater to retain some of NBA rights before the shot clock runs out.

According to a new report from Michael McCarthy at Front Office Sports, WBD could secure a deal to keep some NBA games:

“It’s not over until it’s over. Sources tell me TNT is still at the table for a smaller, less-expensive fourth package that could include regular-season and some playoff games. Another scenario? For the NBA to slice off a package of locally televised games from teams and turn them into national games for TNT, according to Puck.”

The latest news comes ahead of Game 1 of tonight’s NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, and a day after it was reported that the NBA is closing on a $76 billion media-rights deal with Amazon, NBC, and ESPN.

TNT has been home to NBA games for over 40 years, and many fans want the network to retain rights because of the critically acclaimed studio show Inside the NBA. The studio show has won 19 Sports Emmys and is known for viral moments and commentary from hosts Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson.

No deal is official, as of yet, and WBD could still match any offer from NBC or Amazon to keep games on the network. With WBD trying to stay profitable as more people switch to streaming, a smaller rights deal could be seen as more beneficial to their bottom dollar. Losing the NBA completely may hurt TNT in the long run as one of TV’s most-watched networks.

Recently, WBD agreed to a five-year deal with ESPN to bring the College Football Playoffs games to TNT and Max. That deal should help boost subscribers for the Max with the B/R Sports add-on. However, since WBD paid for those rights, they may be willing to pay less for a huge NBA deal.

What Local Games on TNT & Max Could Mean for Fans

For NBA fans, the smaller package could be seen as a positive since it’ll unlock more games on national TV. In-market NBA games air on RSNs, and you can find them on live TV streaming platforms, including DIRECTV STREAMFuboHulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV. However, depending on the RSN, it could be hard to watch your favorite team play, due to not every platform carrying every team.

Bally Sports RSNs make up most of the NBA’s in-market broadcasts, and you can find those games streaming on DIRECTV STREAM  and Fubo, with the latter recently reaching a multi-year deal to keep the networks. However, Bally Sports’ future isn’t clear, and they may be rebranded again under FanDuel at the end of the MLB season.

If WBD carries more would-be local games and airs them nationally on TNT or truTV then fans could have an option to watch live by subscribing to Max. With TNT currently operating and NBA TV, this could be an incentive for the league to keep some relationship with the network.

Plus, WBD is partnering up with Fox and Disney to create Venu Sports, a streaming platform that offers sports from the largest leagues. Cord cutters who sign up for the platform will want the most sports possible; if WBD loses NBA rights, that’s fewer games available to stream. Especially, if those would-be games aired on a competitor service such as Peacock or Prime Video. For fans, it will be an extra expense to subscribe to another service to enjoy their favorite teams.

With everything still going through negotiations, it is only certain that the NBA’s current media deal expires at the end of the 2024-25 season. Fans may get more insight into the NBA’s future before tonight’s Game 1, as Adam Silver could discuss it during his news conference.

Disclaimer: To address the growing use of ad blockers we now use affiliate links to sites like, streaming services, and others. Affiliate links help sites like Cord Cutters News, stay open. Affiliate links cost you nothing but help me support my family. We do not allow paid reviews on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from :

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.