Don’t Count Out TNT in Battle With NBC to Keep NBA Package

A sports business reporter says he's positive about TNT's chances to remain an NBA partner.
Apr 9, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; TNT analyst Reggie Miller (left) and play-by-play
Apr 9, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; TNT analyst Reggie Miller (left) and play-by-play / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. News broke earlier this week that NBC has offered the NBA $2.5 billion to steal TNT’s (aka, Warner Brothers Discovery) package of games when the current television deals expire after next season.

The “A” package of games are expected to remain on ABC/ESPN, according to Puck senior correspondent, John Ourand, while Amazon is expected to get a “C” package in the new television deals.

Appearing on a brand-new episode of the SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast, Ourand said despite the monster offer, it’s far from a lock that NBC would get the “B” package from TNT.

“I am very positive about Warner Brothers Discovery’s chances to keep the NBA,” said Ourand.

“I know they prioritize the NBA. I know their NBA contracts are a big part of why TNT and TBS command so much money from cable and satellite operators. I know the idea that they’ve had the NBA since the 1980s, that’s part of the DNA of the company. So even though the executives haven’t been around for that long, it’s just who that company is. I believe WBD will pull out all the stops in order to keep the NBA.”

Ourand, who cautioned that the negotiations are “fluid" and things can change at any time, also said it is a “big plus” that WBD has matching rights for the NBC offer.

Ourand said he expects the NBA to announce the new television deals within a couple of weeks.

In addition to a full breakdown of where everything stands with the NBA’s negotiations for new television deals, Ourand also shares thoughts on how the new TV deals would impact the future of the Inside the NBA crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal.

Ourand also discusses the changes at CBS’s NFL Today with Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms out and Matt Ryan in, whether the NFL draft would ever move to a Wednesday-Thursday-Friday schedule instead of Thursday-Friday-Saturday, the status of the Marchand & Ourand Podcast and more.

Following Ourand, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week’s topics include an NFL draft shocker, a blow to an MLB superstar, Dave & Busters allowing gambling, Jerry Seinfeld turning 70 and much more.

2. Earlier this week, I said that Charles Barkley has been on an unbelievable roll (even for him) this postseason. That continued Wednesday when he went after people on hot take shows, or as he called them, “punks, idiots and jackasses,” who like to pretend the Lakers and Warriors are good teams.

3. How pathetic is this? Philadelphia’s ownership group had to purchase tickets to tonight’s Knicks-Sixers game in order to prevent New York fans from infiltrating the Wells Fargo Center like they did last Sunday for Game 3. So not only does the team have to resort to sad tactics because Sixers fans won’t support their team, but the game still had tickets available! Double whammy.

4. While not as exciting as the sound picked up by Aaron Boone after getting tossed by an umpire a couple of weeks ago, we had another solid audio moment from a baseball game Wednesday night.

After Pete Alonso was thrown out at home plate to end the Cubs-Mets game, resulting in a 1–0 Chicago win, New York challenged the play. There were two things in question: whether Alonso was out and if Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya illegally blocked the plate.

Replay ruled Alonso was indeed out, but umpire Chad Fairchild botched the call with some word salad.

“After review, two calls on the field, blocking is confirmed. There is no blocking. After review, the call of out on the field stands. Runners out.”

When Fairchild said, “blocking is confirmed” the Mets fans cheered, only to then be given the gut punch of Fairchild saying Alonso was out.

This brought out New York skipper Carlos Mendonza, who went at it with Fairchild.

“I’m not in replay,” said Fairchild. “I’m telling you what they told me.”

“But the rule says you cannot stand on homeplate without the baseball,” pleaded Mendoza.

“I’m not arguing with you, Carlos. But I’m saying …”

“That’s bulls---,” declared Mendoza.

“Take that up with the office,” said Fairchild.

5. Regarding that Cubs win over the Mets, Shōta Imanaga picked up the win after tossing seven shutout innings to improve to 5–0. It was the Japanese star's first time playing in New York and he shared his impression of the Big Apple after the game.

6. Peacock will air a three-part docuseries on the 1990 Yankees, Bronx Zoo ’90: Crime, Chaos and Baseball, premiering on May 16. Even if you hate the Yankees, as I know many of you do, you can’t deny that this looks extremely entertaining.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 52nd birthday to the People's Champion, The Great One, The Brahama Bull, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter,Instagram and TikTok


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Jimmy Traina

JIMMY TRAINA

Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.