Ernie Johnson Would Reportedly Stay At TNT Even If They Lose NBA Rights To NBC

The future of Inside the NBA rests in the hands of David Zaslav and Warner Bros. Discovery being willing to meet NBC’s offer to the NBA for the third piece of the league’s next rights package alongside ESPN and Amazon.

Earlier this week Charles Barkley confirmed he built an opt-out into his new 10-year deal with WBD that would allow him to go to a new network if TNT loses the NBA. That led to many fans hoping that the whole Inside crew would simply move to one of the league’s new homes if TNT lost rights, but that sounds like it would not be the case.

According to Tom Friend of Sports Business Journal, host Ernie Johnson would stick with WBD Sports even if they lose NBA rights. Johnson also does MLB play-by-play and hosts March Madness studio coverage, and would be unlikely to look to move to a different network. Friend also notes sources indicated skepticism the ever-busy Shaq would look to find another TV home if TNT loses rights.

As of now, NBC is considered a frontrunner for the third piece of the puzzle, but WBD gets the chance to make the final decision matching that offer to keep what would be a smaller piece of the pie than they have now — Amazon is expected to get part of the playoff package in their deal. If they do, then Inside will continue on for the foreseeable future. If not, the greatest sports studio show ever will be coming to an end soon.