David Zaslav Credit: CNBC

David Zaslav hasn’t been shy about speaking his mind in the news. The Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO stirred the sports world up on Tuesday with shocking comments about a WBD Sports staple. Zaslav spoke at an RBC Conference and offered up a whopper of a quote, saying the network doesn’t necessarily have to have the NBA in its arsenal.

Joe Flint wrote in a tweet, “‘Sports is hard.’ — Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav on rising costs and ratings challenges. Sports once ‘lifted all the boats.’ Says we have a favorable deal on March Madness, NHL, and baseball playoffs. On NBA he says, ‘we don’t have to have NBA.'”

The NBA on TNT has been a staple for the media conglomerate for decades. Its first broadcast of the hit pre- and postgame show Inside the NBA came in 1989. Sports become so synonymous with the networks they belong to. Monday Night Football on ABC was an innovator in television. March Madness and the SEC on CBS are CBS’ golden geese, as is The Masters. For a cable network, it’s even more impressive. Especially in the fast-changing sports media rights landscape.

Zaslav’s quote is already a concern. Especially with how things have gone in his tenure. But it’s also entirely possible that he negotiated WBD Sports’ next deal with the NBA here to the press. That being said, this quote drew nothing short of a wide range of reactions from the NBA world.

[Joe Flint]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022