NBA TV, Comcast Reach Distribution, VOD Deals

In a two-pronged distribution agreement, the National Basketball Association Tuesday announced deals with Comcast Corp. for its digital service, NBA TV, as well as a comprehensive, highlights-driven video-on-demand package.

Comcast in April will begin rolling out NBA TV in several markets -- including Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Los Angeles; Sacramento, Calif.; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; and Seattle -- NBA officials said.

The network will offer highlights packages and other NBA TV shoulder programming as part of Comcast’s On Demand service -- the first MSO VOD deal for the league, NBA TV president Ed Desser said.

He added that the NBA TV and VOD offerings have separate rate cards, but he would not comment on specific figures.

"We’re putting our feet in the water [with VOD] to see what our fans are most interested in with regard to making use of this technology," Desser said. "We have tried to be at the forefront of utilizing whatever new technology has evolved, so the advent and fairly wide availability of VOD presents a new opportunity to dip our toe in the water."

R. Thomas Umstead

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.