We’ve discussed the fallout that could come from lawsuits that essentially said season packages (Sunday Ticket, League Pass, Center Ice) were illegal, and now the NBA is taking proactive measures to combat any future lawsuit by offering $6.99 single games. This is just another option for people looking to consume NBA games. In the end it may not be cost effective, but it will add ancillary income from fans who won’t commit $119 for a single team package or $199 for the entire league pass.
It’s simple math, $6.99 x 82 games is $573.18. If a fan will watch more than 17 games of their favorite team, they should just purchase the single team package. If a fan is going to watch more than 28 games a year, they might as well purchase the entire league pass and have access to every non-nationally televised game. $6.99 is an interesting price point that probably is focused on the casual fan.
It is that casual fan the NBA has to be targeting. There are too many benefits to the other packages and that doesn’t even take into account that nationally televised games – generally the best teams and biggest names – are blacked out on every package. This is an interesting test for the NBA, but is more of a move for ancillary revenue than anything else.
It will be interesting to see if the NBA starts offering pieces of games in the future. How much would it cost for a fan to watch the last four minutes of a game? What if fans could just watch a fourth quarter of a close match-up? This new offering will be a nice test case, and it doesn’t really cost the NBA that much to offer a package like this.
Michael Colangelo is Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute and Senior Editor of The Fields of Green.