Charles Barkley has signed a new, long-term deal with TNT worth well in excess of $100million, after flirting with the idea of covering LIV Golf over the summer.
The former NBA star, 59, has agreed to a 10-year deal that could possibly see him earn closer to $200 million, according to the New York Post.
He has three years left on his current deal with Turner that pays him $10 million per season and speculation surrounding his future had been growing over the last several months after the ex-Phoenix Suns forward previously admitted in February that he’d like to retire from broadcasting duties by the time he’s 60.
Barkley, however, has changed his mind after TNT managed to extend the contracts of his ‘Inside the NBA’ game show colleagues, Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson and Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith.
‘We’re all a big family – Ernie, Kenny and Shaquille are brothers to me – and I wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for them and all the amazing people who work on our show,’ Barkley said on a statement on Monday.
‘I’m not gonna lie, though, this is a life-altering deal…and I’m blessed to be able to do live television for a living.’
Charles Barkley, 59, has signed a new 10-year deal with TNT well worth over $100million. He has been part of the channel’s coverage of the NBA since retiring in 2000
Barkley joins Shaquille O’Neal (far left), host Ernie Johnson (second from left) and Kenny Smith in signing new long-term contracts with one of America’s largest cable network channels
Barkley had been considering the idea of joining LIV Golf’s broadcast, and in June, he joked about the massive salary he’d receive if he were hired, referring to the high income that the tour’s golfers earn.
‘I don’t judge other people,’ Barkley once told Pat McAfee on his podcast. ‘Listen, if someone gave me $200 million, I’d kill a relative. […] I’m serious. They said Phil Mickelson got $200 million and Dustin Johnson got $150 million. For $150 million, I’d kill a relative, even one I liked!’
The man famously called ‘Chuck’ even met LIV CEO Greg Norman over the summer, the New York Post reported.
However, Barkley turned down the opportunity to join the Saudi-backed golf tour before negotiations even started, after he said he’d be willing to overlook criticism about the tour’s sportswashing and unlimited resources of wealth.
Barkley (pictured playing golf in July) flirted with the idea of being part of LIV Golf’s coverage
‘I want to thank Greg Norman and LIV for their interest in me,’ Barkley said over a phone interview, The NY Post reported. ‘I wish those guys great success and nothing but the best. But, in my best interest, and being fair to Turner — because Turner and basketball have given me every single thing in my life — It is best for me to move on, and I’m staying with Turner for the rest of my TV career.’
Exact details of Barkley’s new deal have not yet been revealed, but ‘Chuck’ does have the option to retire from broadcasting before the expiration of his new contract, according to the NY Post.
As things stand, TNT’s deal with the NBA runs until the end of the 2024-25 season, and the cable television channel owned by the Warner Bros. Discovery will surely want to keep its hosts and sports audience happy by signing an extension too.
Among rival digitals platforms that are interested in obtaining rights to broadcast league games are Apple and Amazon.
Barkley (34) was an 11-time All-Star and the league’s 1993 MVP. Pictured with Michael Jordan
Barkley will also be able to collaborate as well as produce documentaries and shows with TNT and his own production company, Round Mound Media. He has served as a studio analyst for TNT since retiring in 2000.
The league’s 1993 MVP and 11-time All-Star has won four Sports Emmy Awards for his work on Turner.
Additionally, since 2011, Barkley has covered broadcasting of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament for both TNT and CBS Sports. He has been part of every Final Four show since 2011.
He, along with host Ernie Johnson, Shaq and Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith are back in the studio for TNT on Tuesday as the 2022-2023 NBA season starts again with the Los Angeles Lakes facing the reigning champions, Golden State Warriors.
The other league opening night matchup will be Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics.