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Report: NBA near deal to allow local streaming of home team

Oct 21, 2013, 2:54 PM EDT

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If you live in San Francisco and want to watch Stephen Curry and company rain down threes, you couldn’t just stream it to your laptop or phone. You could get out of market streams — buy league pass broadband and you could stream the Knicks — but not the team in your market.

That is about to change.

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that the NBA is near a deal to allow live streaming of games in market.

The league is finalizing TV Everywhere deals with Fox Sports Media Group and NBC Sports Group, the country’s two biggest owners of regional sports networks. Other RSNs, such as Root Sports, MSG, Time Warner Cable Sports, and Altitude Sports and Entertainment, are expected to offer live in-market streaming later this season….

Now, the financial viability of live local streams will be tested, starting soon after the NBA opens its season later this month. The deals will allow people who subscribe to a distributor that carries Fox Sports Net or Comcast SportsNet to log in and watch their local teams’ games via broadband or mobile.

Just to be on the up-and-up, this is an NBCSports.com blog and is part of the same NBC Sports Group as is being discussed here.

The NBA is the only major sports league doing this — the MLB and NHL do not allow streaming in market, and the NFL doesn’t much like your streams period.

To make this happen, the NBA backed off asking the regional sports networks for extra cash per game to be allowed to stream it. The NBA also backed off wanting those streams on team sites — the local networks still wanted to control where you watched. Teams can promote and link to the stream.

Live streams can be a revenue stream, but not necessarily as lucrative a one as television broadcasts, where you have to pay for the channel and they can sell ads into it. We’ll see how this works financially. You are going to have to subscribe to your local cable provider, or AT&T/Verizon, etc. (as happens with other streaming services) but if you have one of those you can watch the game on your favorite device.

To me this is smart — the NBA’s younger demographic is less likely to be planted in front of a TV to watch a game. Let them stream it on their phones and you get more people watching the product. That seems smart to me.

  1. jabronikid - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I don’t live in the US so i don’t experience those blackout issues on my League Pass. I will be very happy for the US citizens if this will address the blackout issues.

  2. eureca323 - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    You were able to do this last in LA for Laker games last season with the Time Warner Sportsnet app and on their web site.

  3. hildezero - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    “The NBA is the only major sports league doing this — the MLB and NHL do not allow streaming in market, and the NFL doesn’t much like your streams period.”

    What about MLS? Why mention NHL when MLS is more popular than NHL?

    • dadawg77 - Oct 21, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Prove it? One thing NBC just signed deals with both leagues, one pay $200 million yearly and the other league gets $40 million from all TV sources.

    • gl2006 - Oct 21, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      Why mention NHL when MLS is more popular? Maybe because that isn’t true?

  4. johngalt1783 - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    I used to watch streamed games on NBA dot com. I stopped two seasons ago when AT&T U-verse offered NBA TV Access.

    Streaming is great if you are not in front of a TV and want to watch any sport. However, bandwidth problems along with other technical issues make streaming a nice alternative to TV but nothing more if you can’t watch the game on TV.

    While internet access has gotten more reliable it will never be as reliable as TV. So I agree watching any sport via streaming is a nice feature if you don’t have access to the game on TV.

    The other advantages of TV over streaming are the ability to go back and watch a game a year or two afterwards or more which serious fans do especially via NBA TV and/or recording games on TV,

    • antistratfordian - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      “While internet access has gotten more reliable it will never be as reliable as TV”

      Well that’s not going to be true for very long. At some point “television” is also going to come through the internet as cable and dish technologies/models are rendered obsolete.

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    This is so great. First they add ABC/ESPN/TNT/NBATV games to LP Broadband and now local games? I’m very happy. I don’t have a TV service, I just buy the LP Broadband and watch games that way. Now I can watch Bobcats games!!! Oh… nevermind.

  6. kavika6 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    I guess there’s no hope for free streaming for those of us that live outside our favorite team’s marketing area, huh? It sucks being a Spurs fan in Utah.

    • spursareold - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      This isn’t really “free” streaming. You have to be a subscriber to cable or SAT TV.

      If you get LP broadband, since you are out of the SA market area, you should get all of the Spurs games. It’s $129 for the season, and they’ll even break it up into 5 payments for you.

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