The digital division of North American basketball league the NBA has confirmed landmark plans to allow fans to purchase and watch live games in-progress at a reduced price.
The new service will be provided through out-of-market live game subscription service NBA League Pass and will be available for all games beginning with the 2018-19 season.
The initiative is said to be a first for a major sports league and was initially disclosed at the weekend. On Friday night, certain League Pass subscribers who utilise push notifications on their NBA app received messages offering the opportunity to watch the fourth quarter of the game between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder for $0.99 (€0.8).
A pricing strategy has not been set for the new scheme, but ESPN.com reported that the NBA will continue to experiment by offering fans various fees to see a certain percentage of a game.
The announcement was made yesterday (Tuesday) as the NBA’s digital partner, media company Turner, unveiled Bleacher Report Live as its new live sports streaming service.
Available to all fans via the NBA App and NBA.com, as well as B/R Live, the new League Pass offering will provide fans with real-time access to live NBA action including pivotal matchups, record-setting performances and major comebacks.
League Pass currently offers fans a full array of options including a traditional, comprehensive full season package, along with League Pass Premium, Team Pass and Single Game.
B/R Live will also distribute NBA League Pass beginning with the 2018-19 regular season. Fans will have access to nearly 1,000 live out-of-market NBA games through Turner’s new direct-to-consumer platform.
David Levy, president of Turner, said: “Our long-standing partnership with the NBA has been led by a shared vision to provide fans with the most engaging experiences that match a wide variety of viewing preferences.
“This is a game-changing initiative to provide fans with personalised access to premium NBA content. From games on TNT and NBA TV or the volume of out-of-market games through NBA League Pass, to the defining moments of a thrilling matchup with a compelling story arc, we’ll have it covered.”