NBA on NBC roundball rock Screen grab: NBA on NBC

As NBC’s flirtations with the NBA gained steam, one of the biggest questions for fans was whether it might mean the return of “Roundball Rock.”

But while the NBA’s return to NBC has yet to be finalized — at least publicly — the network has apparently already reached out to the theme song’s composer, John Tesh, about re-licensing the popular anthem.

“They have, actually,” Tesh replied when asked on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Tuesday whether NBC has contacted him regarding the song. “It’s nothing firm. But they said, ‘Hey can you stay frosty on this? — like a Navy Seals thing — because we’d love to talk to you about this.’ We’re actually talking right now about licensing it to them for the Olympics in Paris.”

Not only that, but it appears that if NBC does re-license “Roundball Rock,” it will be getting an updated version of the song. Tesh revealed that there are currently plans to re-record the song, with some minor tweaks, with an orchestra in Nashville next month.

“At the end of June, we’re heading to Nashville and we’ve got a full orchestra on hold and we’re going to re-record it,” Tesh said. “I think it still sounds great, but I wanted to make a few changes. Maybe open the middle. Maybe we’ll send it to you guys, you could turn it into an EDM track. You know, that kind of stuff.”

Originally recorded in 1990, “Roundball Rock” was a staple of NBC’s presentation of the NBA throughout the network’s last run as one of the league’s media partners, which ended in 2002. In the time since, the fast-paced instrumental has been licensed for occasional one-offs by TNT and ESPN, and NBC’s broadcasts of the 2008, 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics. It’s also been used by Fox for college basketball since 2018.

While the re-recording of the song appears to have been set in motion for this summer’s Olympics, the idea of NBC relaunching its NBA coverage with an updated version of the famous theme song certainly makes sense. Seemingly, all that’s left is for the NBA to officially announce its return to NBC with its new rights deal, which some believe has been completed for weeks now.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.