NBA to Live Stream Local Games Online

by October 21, 2013

Great news, Internet people! According to Sports Business Daily, the NBA is set to become the first major pro sports league in the U.S. to (legally) stream local games live online: “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. The agreements break a six-year logjam that prevented viewers from watching their hometown teams on their computers or handsets locally. The frustrating negotiations also caused industry executives to question the viability of such a service, even as national TV channels were profiting from their own streaming services. 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. Fox has deals with 16 NBA teams; Comcast has deals with eight teams. MLB and the NHL have yet to cut deals that allow for live in-market streaming. ‘It is not going to roll out at one time for everyone,’ said Bill Koenig, executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel for the NBA. ‘My sense is that Fox, from a technical standpoint, is further along. The good news is that I think it will happen in a significant way this year.’ The streaming deals run through the 2015-16 season, ending at the same time as the NBA’s linear TV deals.”