TNT reups entire Atlanta-based ‘Inside the NBA’ team including Charles Barkley

The deal will keep the group ‘together for many years to come’

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

TNT announced Monday that it has signed its entire “Inside the NBA” team of Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal to new contracts.

Terms of the contracts weren’t divulged, but the network promised the broadcast team will “stay together for many years to come.”

Charles Barkley, the former NBA player who has become an iconic analyst since he joined the show in 2000, has talked publicly about retiring from TV in the past. “I love Ernie, Kenny, Shaq and everybody we work with,” he said at a press conference earlier this year, “but I just don’t feel the need to work until the day I die. I don’t, man. I’ll be 61 years old if I finish out my contract.” (He is 59.)

Over the summer, he pondered leaving TNT for big money with LIV Golf but decided not to join the controversial Saudi Arabian-backed golf tour. He noted in July: “I’m staying with Turner for the rest of my TV career.”

Johnson remains the longest-running member of the show, working there since the show’s launch in 1989. Smith joined in 1998 and O’Neal began full-time duties at TNT in 2011.

The New York Post, citing unnamed sources, thinks Barkley’s new deal could last 10 years and exceed $100 million. His current contract runs three more years, coinciding with the expiration of TNT’s agreement with the NBA after the 2024-25 season.

TNT, which was launched by Ted Turner in Atlanta in 1988, continues to do most of its sports programming out of the city, including “Inside the NBA.” Since Discovery took over what is now Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this year, management has made major cutbacks across the company and nixed original scripted programming from both TBS and TNT.

But the company has doubled down on sports programming, which has prevented many subscribers from cutting the cord.