The extensive though ultimately flawed coverage of the Olympic Games on NBC could have opened the door to other sports looking to the Internet for viewers. Basketball is the latest subscriber to the power of Web video.
The NBA is looking to open up its Broadband rights for the coming 2008/2009 season, which begins in late October.
The biggest result of this decision is that games could now be streamed live online locally.
VOD & Streaming
Video streaming would go hand in hand with interactive TV and video on demand coverage, but it’s the one of the three services being launched by the League that would have the biggest impact.
According to Sports Business Journal, the plan would see each team having the right to cut a local deal. So Chicago Bulls fans would be able to watch matches on the Bulls.com website and/or the website of the regional sports networks.
Internet users from outside of the local area would be prevented from watching the matches online by the use of geo-blocking technology.
Paying For Interactive Features
Costing is currently unknown, with each team being able to individually work out whether it wants to show them for free with advertising feeds included or charge for the privilege instead.
Streaming games would include interactive elements such as scores and statistics, and multiple camera angle options. While the video on demand offerings would include replayed games and highlights packages.
These interactive elements are the core reason for the NBA attempting to open up viewing rights as it believes they are key to attracting new fans and keeping younger fans interested for longer periods of time.
Details are currently being hammered out and if this plan were to come to fruition, it would set up an almighty battle between the NBA and the cable and satellite operators who currently enjoy exclusive rights to broadcast games.
The NBA is following in the footsteps of the NFL in embracing the Web. From September, every Sunday Night Football game will be available to watch for free on NBC and other sites.
Have Something To Say?
Have Your Say:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire by Email
Keep up to date with Web TV, Video and IPTV News:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire via RSS