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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Report reveals how much Charles Barkley could make if he leaves TNT

Charles Barkley holds a microphone

November 23, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Turner Sports sportscaster Charles Barkley before The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley could soon become the most coveted free agent in sports media history, and that would likely be good news for his bank account.

The current media rights deals that TNT and ESPN have with the NBA are set to expire after the 2024-25 season. Barkley signed a new 10-year contract with TNT’s “Inside the NBA” in 2022, but he is not locked into the deal. The 61-year-old revealed this week that his contract has an opt-out clause that he can exercise if TNT parent company Warner Bros. Discovery loses its NBA rights.

If Barkley does end up with another network or streaming giant after next season, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports predicts that Sir Charles will draw offers of up to $20 million annually.

“If Tony Romo is worth $17 million, Charles is worth at least that, or more,” one source told McCarthy. “Charles is a magnet. He’s loved. And he brings ratings.”

Barkley said he loves working for TNT, but it is worth noting that his current deal is for a reported $100 million over 10 years. If McCarthy’s estimate is accurate, that means Barkley could be in line for a massive raise if TNT decides to exit the NBA business.

ESPN is widely expected to sign a new deal with the NBA. The big question is whether TNT will want to match or surpass the massive offer NBC is prepared to make.

Barkley indicated two years ago that he planned to retire from television after the 2023-24 season, but that is clearly no longer the case. If he doubles his salary a year from now, it will be even harder for him to walk away.

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