NBA Begins Experimentation with In-App Micro Transactions

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The NBA is experimenting with giving fans the ability to live stream the 4th quarter of out-of-market games, through the NBA League Pass app. The in-app micro transaction ($.99) gives fans an easy and affordable way to catch crunch-time of a close game; historically, fans who wanted to watch the last few minutes would have been forced to pay the cost of a full out-of-market broadcast ($6.99). The NBA has not officially announced the launch of the service and it currently remains available on an invitation only basis. There is no word on if there will be an additional charge to stream overtime.

Howie Long-Short: Adam Silver talked about fans “paying a set price for five minutes (presumably the last 5) as opposed to what they would pay for two hours” 2 years ago at CES, so this experiment didn’t exactly come out of the blue. I’m expecting micro transactions to move the needle for the NBA, so naturally the rest of pro sports will follow with their own versions. Some are concerned the newest offering will cannibalize the League Pass subscription base, I don’t foresee that happening. Hardcore fans are still going to want the entire game. I see micro transactions as a new revenue stream for the league, targeting the casual fan that otherwise would not be paying for league content.

Fan Marino: Don’t buy a ticket to a Warriors game expecting to see Steph Curry (or several other stars), for the next several weeks. Curry has a Grade 2 MCL sprain, an injury expected to keep him out at least 3 weeks. If he remains on schedule, he should be available for the start of the playoffs. Curry is just the latest Warrior to go down; Draymond Green has been suffering from a bruised pelvis, Kevin Durant out with a broken rib and Klay Thompson has been on the shelf with a fractured right thumb. Coach Steve Kerr recently joked (I think) “hopefully, we’ll have 5 guys that can suit up by the playoffs.”

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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