The NBA will be offering single games on social media through NBA League Pass this season in addition to the already publicized and announced single team packages, which will cost $119.99 per team. I’ve already stated my gripes about the cost of the single team package, and it’s been the subject of much discussion with a class-action suit against the NHL, but what’s the deal with this social media access?
For the first time, NBA LEAGUE PASS will provide fans with one-step access to live games available on the service via posts from the league’s social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. New “watch” links highlighted in posts will launch the newly redesigned NBA App and put fans as little as one click or tap away from watching live games on NBA LEAGUE PASS.
That doesn’t tell us a whole lot, but I can assume viewers will be treated to something like /text content/ /highlight video/ WATCH THE GAME HERE! /link/, leading to a whole bunch of people complaining that the NBA wants them to pay to watch the game because nothing in life is worth paying for, or something.
The NBA also officially announced the details of the single team and single game streaming plans.
The NBA will become the first major U.S. professional sports league to offer an NBA SINGLE GAME option for fans throughout the regular season. The NBA SINGLE GAME offering, available for purchase three days prior to the game, will allow fans to watch individual NBA LEAGUE PASS live games during the regular season ($6.99 per game). Additionally, a new NBA TEAM PASS package ($119.99), available for all 30 NBA teams, will give fans the option to follow one team through the regular season.
These new offerings will be available to subscribers on the web, iOS and Android phones and tablets, and connected devices.
Along with the new packages, NBA LEAGUE PASS will continue to offer its traditional, comprehensive full season package ($199.99), providing access to nearly 1,000 live out-of-market games and a rich archive of NBA content.
You can view the full list of compatible devices on the League Pass website, but both current and previous generation Playstation and Xbox consoles are included, along with iOS and Android devices, various smart TV manufacturers, and streaming media players like Roku and Apple TV.
Also, games in local and national broadcast windows will be blacked out on all plans – so if you’re a cord cutter in Los Angeles that wants to watch the Lakers or Clippers, you’re out of luck.
There will never, and I mean never, be an ideal solution for anyone. Local and national blackouts aren’t going away through services like League Pass, NHL GameCenter, and MLB.tv. Cable providers and networks don’t seem immediately inclined to offer a la carte streaming packages to cord cutters.
So here we are. Cord cutters who are a fan of their local team? Still out of luck. Cord cutters who are a fan of a team hundreds of miles away? They’re fine with a single team plan, except for nationally televised games and games against their local team.
The immediate social media viewing of games is pretty cool too, but by the game you end up paying for a game, are you going to be in a situation were you paid $6.99 for one half or one quarter? The NBA was kicking around the idea of allowing fans to buy parts of games through social media, and while there was no immediate word as to whether or not there would be different prices for games if they’re linked through social media at different points of the game, fans would probably end up feeling better about paying $1.99 for a quarter or half or whatever than $6.99 for the same amount of game.