Starting with next month’s NBA All-Star Game, fans will be able to watch the out-of-market League Pass subscription package on Verizon’s platforms, including Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Fantasy. In addition to games, the partnership between the NBA and Verizon will bring an original daily program that will include highlights and commentary on Yahoo Sports.

The key here is that while Yahoo will have the live NBA games, you still have to purchase a subscription to access all of the games. Verizon customers who don’t subscribe will be able watch up to eight League Pass games as a free preview. The League Pass package will cost $99 for the season.

You won’t have to subscribe to Verizon to see the Yahoo-exclusive content, similar to Verizon’s deal with the NFL to stream games on Yahoo. NBA content on Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Fantasy will be available to all, regardless of wireless carrier.

The official announcement points out that the NBA and Verizon will develop content in new formats calling for “augmented reality and other new forms of content leveraging Verizon’s leading network technology in partnership with the NBA,” meaning it will built for the company’s 5G network.

The partnership begins this week with Yahoo Sports’ premiere of the “NBA Morning Run,” featuring a mix of talent from NBA TV and Yahoo.

The NBA deal comes in the wake of Verizon’s NFL renewal late last year. It shows that Verizon is trying to differentiate itself from its wireless competitors with live content, and it’s also bolstering Yahoo Sports in the process with live games.

[Variety]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.