Charles Barkley has agreed to a 10-year deal with TNT that is expected to be well into nine figures, The Post has learned.
Barkley currently has three years left on a contract that pays him $10 million per season. His current contract coincides with TNT’s agreement with the NBA deal expiring after the 2024-25 season. If Turner were not to keep the NBA, Barkley could potentially own rights to go work for another network or a digital platform, if Amazon or Apple or others are involved.
The exact amount Barkley will make is not yet known if he fulfills the entire contract, but it will be well in excess of $100 million and could approach $200 million. Barkley could decide to retire from TV before the deal ends.
Barkley, 59, has repeatedly spoken about retiring at 60, but TNT has made a huge commitment to him and his partners. While Shaquille O’Neal already has a long-term agreement, TNT has also re-signed host Ernie Johnson and analyst Kenny Smith to new deals. Turner officially announced all the deals later on Monday.
“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. “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.”
Barkley is arguably the greatest sports studio analyst of all time and the landscape for what sportscasters are paid has changed dramatically in recent years, led by the NFL. Tom Brady has a contract with Fox to be a game analyst that, The Post previously reported, will pay him $375 million over 10 years when it begins. That comes on the heels of Tony Romo and Troy Aikman making in the neighborhood of $18 million a year as NFL game analysts.
With Warner Bros. Discovery, TNT’s corporate parent, Barkley will add to his portfolio by producing documentaries and other projects with his production company, Round Mound Media, according to sources.
This summer, LIV Golf’s Greg Norman met with Barkley about joining that tour as a commentator. Barkley spoke openly about being interested in seeing what LIV might offer and spoke out about “selective outrage” regarding LIV, believing there was precedent to accept money from the Saudi-backed upstart association. Before LIV made an offer, Barkley pulled out of negotiations. At that point, Turner had not started talks with Barkley, but sources indicated to The Post that they would.
Now, they have an agreement, which will keep the iconic team of Barkley, O’Neal, Johnson and Smith together for a long time.