August 3, 2015
Starting next season, the NBA will let fans watch individual out-of-market games for $6.99 on smartphones, tablets and PCs, as well as from any cable or satellite provider that offers NBA’s League Pass. Providers such as AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon currently offer League Pass. A $120 package for all out-of-market games of an individual team will also be available. Although $6.99 per game is not exactly cheap, it may be a good deal for fans who want to watch a particular matchup, and costs only a fraction of League Pass.
“The decision to offer individual games can be seen as the NBA’s realization that casual fans probably find the $199 subscription price of League Pass far too costly,” notes The Verge.
During the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference earlier this year, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said “most people don’t want to consume that many games.” Offering individual games may be a solution.
The new model differs from streaming and is more like a pay-per-view. The only stipulation is that nationally televised games cannot be purchased, as they will be broadcast on networks such as ESPN and can be seen by anyone.
According to ESPN, “There are no immediate plans to sell pieces of games, like to allow a fan to buy the last couple of minutes of a game by clicking on a link within their Twitter or Facebook timeline, but that could be something the league will look at in the future, one team source said.”