NBA experimenting with 99-cent fourth-quarter streaming

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The NBA drew a lot of attention for offering single-game streaming for $7, but I was always skeptical of its usefulness. How often would:

  • Someone want to spend that much to watch a single game?
  • Someone not already have a season-long package for an involved team or the entire league?
  • The game not be near where the person was and therefore blacked out?
  • The game not be nationally televised and therefore blacked out?

Those are a lot of conditions to meet, and there’s an incongruity between them. Fans dedicated enough to spend so much often already have season-long plans. The games worth spending that much on usually involve a favorite home team or are nationally televised.

But, this, I can get behind.

Vasu Kulkarni‏:

Fans would already know whether a game is set up to have an intriguing ending. Plenty of random games look compelling after three quarters.

For this to take off, the league must improve its streaming service. People excited enough to buy the fourth quarter of a game would be very disappointing if the video freezes or jumps.

But if that’s handled, there’s little reason not to offer this option and generate extra revenue. I think many would find it attractive.