You get home after a dinner and a couple of drinks with friends, plop down on your couch, pull out your phone and notice that Golden State is locked in a close game with Denver as they head to the fourth quarter. You keep thinking “I want to watch that,” but you don’t have NBA League Pass, so…
Starting this season, you can buy just the fourth quarter. For just $1.99.
Daren Rovell of ESPN broke the story and spoke to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about it.
Fans will be able to purchase the remainder of any out-of-market game on League Pass once the buzzer sounds to end the third quarter. The price initially will be $1.99 whether the fan buys it at the start of the quarter or to watch the last 30 seconds.
“It’s a big moment, but it’s also a small first step,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN on Thursday. “There are limitations in the technology right now, but we’re working as quickly as possible so that, at some point in the near future, fans can choose to buy any part of any game.”
Ultimately, the NBA wants to be able to sell watching the game in as little as 10-minute blocks on a stream, if you just want to see some segment of it.
This is the NBA pushing the technology envelope in ways other professional leagues could not or would not. The NBA’s younger fanbase (compared to other major American sports leagues) streams more and often prefers it to watching via traditional television, and the NBA caters to that crowd. The idea is to make the game as accessible as possible — if you restrict it, or try to get people to pay too much to see it, they will just walk away. The NBA wants its fans to access its content (which is why you can find any NBA highlight you want on YouTube, go and try that with the NFL).
It’s just smart business by the NBA.