The NBA is making a cord-cutting play: NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour basketball channel previously available only through a cable or satellite TV provider, is now available as a standalone streaming service.
Pro hoops fans can subscribe directly over the internet to NBA TV, which carries over 100 live games per season along with original programming and a library of VOD content, for $6.99 per month (or $59.99 per year). Digital access to NBA TV will continue to be available on an authenticated basis for viewers who get the channel as part of their package through a pay-TV provider.
For what it’s worth, the league says NBA TV is first linear sports league network to launch a direct-to-consumer subscription product. NBA TV is run by NBA Digital, jointly managed by the league and Turner Sports.
“We think it’s the right step – fans want to watch [NBA programming] when they want it, where they want it,” NBA senior VP of direct to consumer Chris Benyarko said. “This is another touch point for our fans.”
The ability to streaming NBA TV over the internet joins the league’s longstanding NBA League Pass subscription service, which provides up 40 out-of-market games per week, available direct to fans. League Pass is available directly from NBA Digital; via pay-TV providers like Comcast and DirecTV; and via internet partners Amazon and YouTube TV.
Customers can sign up for and access NBA TV through NBA.com and the NBA app. The service offers advanced viewing options via mobile devices, connected-TV devices, gaming consoles, tablets and web browsers.
In an enhancement to the digital product, NBA TV recently debuted new viewing options for “Center Court,” a series of 20 live NBA games throughout the 2019-20 season. Alternative-viewing options are “Backcourt” streams with statistical overlays on the game feed and “Frontcourt” streams incorporating alternative audio options with rotating groups of NBA influencers.
Overall, NBA TV presents more than 100 live, nationally televised, out-of-market games throughout the season, along with coverage and additional live games from the WNBA, NBA G League and NBA Summer League. In addition, NBA TV includes on-demand access to every NBA Finals game from 2000-2019 and other throwback programming.
Studio shows on NBA TV take fans around the league with live look-ins on games and analysis and reporting from the network’s roster of talent. Additional programming includes magazine-style shows like “Beyond the Paint”; franchises like “Shaqtin’ a Fool”; a reimagined pregame show experience with “The Warm Up”; and regular nightly shows such as “NBA Crunchtime” and “NBA Game Time.” The lineup also includes new shows focused on social conversation, stories, legends and current players surrounding the game such as “The List,” “#Handles,” “Say What,” “High Tops” and “Basketball Stories.”