The NBA this week put a price on keeping its fans connected to all of its games from tipoff through the final minutes.
The league -- through its NBA League Pass out-of-market game package -- on Dec. 10 provided fans the opportunity to purchase any live game on a quarter-to-quarter basis via NBA.com and the NBA App, as well as participating digital NBA League Pass distributors such as Turner’s Bleacher Report Live streaming service.
Consumers can now pay $4.99 to watch any game at the end of the first quarter. If James Harden has 40 points at halftime, fans can purchase that Houston Rockets game before the beginning of the third quarter for $2.99.
If Stephen Curry has a shot to break teammate Klay Thompson’s record of 14 three pointers after three quarters, viewers can buy the fourth quarter of that Golden State Warriors game for $1.99, according to the NBA.
The NBA has always been on the fast break when it comes to tailoring live game purchasing options for its avid fan base. As part of its NBA League Pass offering last year, the league launched a $6.99 single game purchase option.
When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver first revealed plans for quarter-by-quarter purchasing within live NBA games this past spring, he said the offering would cater to those fans who don’t always have the time to sit down and watch a full-game, but still want tune in when they can or if something big is developing during a game.
“We know that most fans are not watching an entire game,” Silver said at the time. “We all recognize that if we were designing our products from scratch today I’m not sure we wouldn't design them in the same way because people’s attention spans are shorter. I think this notion of micro transactions will catch on with all programmers.”
Time will tell whether the league’s quarter-by-quarter pay offerings will score with its fanbase.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.