The same old team is set to take to the screen for TNT’s “Inside The NBA.” But their settings may look a little different.
When Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson take to Warner Bros. Discovery Network’s signature sports program, they’ll do so in an open space that includes big screens, large fixed displays and a whole lot more. A design that reflects some of the needs of modern production. It is the first time in four or five years that the sports department of the company is renewing the look of the event.
“The set has become the fifth character of this show,” said Craig Barry, chief content officer at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. A typical set of sports studio hosts.
“We believe authenticity is a big part of the show,” explains the executive. “The scenes aren’t always perfect. Maybe someone comes in late or walks in on the set halfway through the show. We want them to have a place to showcase the unique side of the show.
But there are other forces at play. In order to develop a social media response to the program, some of the monitor and screen layouts had to be adjusted. Vertical monitors help the show use video contributions that can be based on TikTok or Instagram content, and the big screens help the producers highlight tweets or other quotes from fans and viewers.
“The main push there is that we want more social media presence in the linear program,” Barry said. You don’t have to be a celebrity to tweet and be seen on air.
The new collection Warner Bros. The Discovery emerges after taking steps to keep its occupants stuck. Earlier this week, the media company re-signed Johnson, Barkley and Smith to new multi-year deals to host “Inside The NBA,” pending negotiations over the NBA’s ongoing rights deal, which expires with Warner Bros. and Walt Disney ESPN after the 2024-2025 season. O’Neill has signed an extensive deal with the parent company in 2020.
“We really see the event as an incentive to differentiate the show,” Barry says.