NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Regional Sports Network NESN is launching a subscription streaming service called NESN 360 for $29.99 per month, with the first month priced at $1. NESN 360 allows fans to purchase a direct subscription to NESN’s live programming and video-on-demand content. Launched in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Major League Baseball, NESN 360 makes NESN the first regional sports network in the country to launch a direct-to-consumer service bypassing cable. Annual subscriptions are priced at $329.99 and include eight tickets to see the Red Sox play in 2022.

“NESN 360 is the latest iteration in NESN’s long history of innovation and providing fans with the best sports viewing experience,” NESN president and CEO Sean McGrail said in an announcement. “We believe the direct subscription option will build on NESN’s reach in the region, and will be an excellent complement to the existing, valuable partnerships we have with TV providers to bring NESN to all homes in New England.”

“Subscribers can stream NESN’s live feeds and VOD library directly to their computer, iOS, Android, Apple TV or Roku device,” reports Variety. “Fans who already have NESN through a participating TV provider will be able to authenticate into the NESN 360 app to access the same experience, including streaming live Red Sox and Bruins games and video-on-demand content.”

Because Major League Baseball owns out-of-market Red Sox rights, NESN’s new service is limited to subscribers in the New England region, Variety explains.

In addition to the live TV programming, NESN 360 will include expanded access to Red Sox content, including highlights and select on-demand historical Red Sox games, as well as Bruins games, Bruins highlights, some new and exclusive original content and a library of hundreds of video-on-demand titles. NESN 360’s video-on-demand library will feature full games of notable 2022 Red Sox season matchups, including nationally broadcast games after they’ve aired.

“We are creating a full, 360 fan experience, combining a premium digital offering with the excitement of the venues and teams,” NESN’s chief marketing officer Ahmed Darwish said. Darwish joined NESN earlier this year from Starz to help launch NESN 360.

In the coming months, NESN will introduce new features and functionality, including 4K HDR, cloud DVR, and will expand its reach with Amazon Fire TV and Google TV apps. NESN is also exploring an exclusive live home batting practice feed in partnership with the Red Sox.

“The first deal of its type comes as millions of Americans are canceling pay TV subscriptions each year amid the growing popularity of streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max,” writes CNBC.