With the NBA season set to tip off on Christmas, NBA Digital is giving basketball fans a three-point play by combining its NBA League Pass linear, broadband and mobile offerings for one price.
The league's out-of-market package, which will offer up to 40 games a week, will retail for $169 for the league's abbreviated 66-game 2011-12 regular season schedule, according to industry sources. For the first time NBA League Pass will include mobile access to live games -- last year the mobile package was an additional $39 on top of the $189 NBA League Pass package -- along with broadband access of the games, according to NBA Digital general manager Christina Miller.
NBA Digital will also run a free, two-week preview of NBA League Pass beginning the day after Christmas and ending Jan. 8, Miller said.
"Across the board it's about wall-to-wall coverage and that portfolio feeding every desire of the NBA fan across the spectrum, from causal to hard core," Miller told Multichannel News. "We should be able to deliver NBA coverage like no other, so if that means watching all the games no matter where you are in your house on the go any screen available we should be able to provide that. It's the true meaning of basketball anywhere anytime."
Miller said she's confident that NBA fans will purchase the NBA League Pass at the same levels as last year, although she would not reveal specific numbers.
"I think that fans are excited to have the NBA back -- the interest is still there and the NBA has a strong brand," she said. "The fans will still want to make sure that they can see their games anywhere and everywhere, so I think that actually people consume media today."
With regard to NBA TV, the network will air 96 live games during the 2011-12 season, Miller said. The network will return its "Fan Night" offering on Tuesdaya -- in which fans can choose which game they watch on the channel -- as well as live games on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights.
Miller added that the NBA On TNT personalities, including the newest member Shaquille O'Neal, will be part of the network's GameTime studio show. "We have some great talent, and we will be blending the talent much like we did last year, with Shaq integrating into NBA TV programming," she said.
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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.