Report: NBA Wants to Sell Streaming-Only Package in Next Broadcast Deal; Apple Undecided on Potential Bid
The NBA’s goals for the future of its broadcast rights are becoming a little clearer. According to a new report from The Information, the NBA is looking to triple the revenue from its next media rights deal and wants to carve out a package of games to sell exclusively to a streaming service.
Google and Amazon have both reportedly expressed interest in bidding on those rights when they become available after the 2024-25 season, but The Information’s reporting suggests that Apple is unsure if it will enter the bidding, countering an earlier report that suggested that the tech giant was indeed interested in pursuing NBA rights.
Apple’s hesitance likely has something to do with the league’s reported asking price. The NBA wants to make a total of $7-$8 billion on its next broadcast and streaming deals, which is part of the reason it wants a national streaming-only package. That deal would stand alongside its two linear broadcasting agreements, which are currently held by Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery. The league already owns NBA League Pass, on which users can stream out-of-market games, but it appears an in-market streaming package is attractive to the NBA as well.
Apple has been willing to make big moves in the sports streaming world in the past. The company offers select MLB games on Apple TV+ and recently launched a new streaming platform called MLS Season Pass to carry every Major League Soccer game for the next decade.
Its reported competitors are also not neophytes to pursuing large sports deals. Google owns YouTube TV, the live TV streaming service that just swooped in to snap up NFL Sunday Ticket after Apple could not come to terms to acquire it. Prime Video is the streaming home of the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” and Amazon reportedly intends to launch a standalone sports streaming service as well. The tech company’s Prime Video already streams select NBA games in Brazil and Seattle Storm WNBA games.
The NBA wants to have its cake and eat it too, by expanding its lucrative TV broadcasting deals and creating a streaming-only package at the same time. That likely won’t go over too well with potential broadcasting partners, but they may not have much of a choice if pay-TV continues to decline at the rate it is currently losing customers.
NBA League Pass
For fans of the NBA, the various League Pass services offer the opportunity to follow one team or the entire league with every game (blackout restrictions apply). Prices and features vary greatly, depending on what you’d like to watch.
Subscriptions include Home and Away broadcasts, Mobile View, plus additional languages and camera angles. You’ll also get in-stream advanced statistics so you can check the box score and get live stats on players and teams without ever leaving the stream.
The NBA offers three plans: “Team Pass” ($13.99) provides great options if you only want to follow a single team.
“League Pass” ($14.99) lets you see every game across the entire league.
The “League Pass Premium” ($19.99) plan provides the option to watch on 2 devices without commercials.
NBA League Pass is also available as an Amazon Prime Video channel.