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Shaquille O’Neal Puts the Spotlight on Potential $95 Million Contract Amidst the NBA’s New TV Deal

Shubham Singh

Shaquille O'Neal Puts The Spotlight On Potential $95 Million Contract Amidst The NBA's New TV Deal

ESPN, NBC, and Amazon are reportedly finalizing the NBA’s media rights valued at over $7 billion a year, effective from the 2025-26 season. As a result, the contracts in the league will undergo an unimaginable amount of uptick. In that wake, Shaquille O’Neal agreed that an elite player can earn as much as $95 million per year with the increasing media rights value. Shaq took to his Instagram stories and shared a graphic with this information.

It stated, “NBA players could make up to $95 million a year on a supermax contracts if the potential NBA media rights deal $7B annual media rights deal is finalized”.

The post had a picture of 2024 ROTY Victor Wembanyama predicting a hefty payday for the potential superstar.

Spotrac contributor Keith Smith confirmed the validity of this prediction. He expects the cap space to rise as much as 10% from the 2025-26 season onwards. As a result, by the end of the 2028-29 season, the cap space can hit the 200$ million mark, paving the way for $95 million per year deals.

ESPN NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks speculated future contracts for the superstars, who will be eligible for a supermax extension in the 2025 offseason. He relayed that Luka Doncic, who will be eligible before the 2025-26 season, can end up nabbing a four-year, $346 million contract effective from the 2026-27 season onwards.

Meanwhile, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also expected to clinch a four-year, $294 million deal during the 2025 offseason. His supermax contract will kick off from the 2027-28 season and he can become the first NBA athlete to earn more than $80 million a year by the 2030-31 season.

However, the current media rights deal is still in murky waters. While Warner Bros. Discovery has been hesitant to empty their pockets for the historical media rights deal, they still have a chance to match the amount by NBC Universal.

Will Warner Bros. Universal relinquish NBA broadcasting rights?

NBA’s current media rights deal amounts to around $24 billion. After the new ones kick in, they expect a windfall of $76 million in 11 years. While Amazon and Disney, which owns ESPN, are considered a lock as the two broadcasting partners, NBC Universal is expected to edge out Warner Bros. Discovery as the third partner.

WBD, which owns Turner Sports, may be on the cusp of losing its media rights after being a part of the NBA broadcasting affairs since 1989.

This could mean the end of the ‘Inside the NBA’ which has been a fan-favorite for multiple decades. This is a huge jolt for many NBA fans since they have been used to watching the quartet of Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson.

Charles Barkley recently opened up about becoming a “free agent” after the 2025-26 season and expressed concerns for the show’s crew. If NBC Universal becomes the third broadcasting partner, will they look to resurrect the show on their platform? 

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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