In a television rights deal that is expected to be officially announced sometime today or tomorrow, the NBA has re upped with ESPN and TNT for nine more years.
The $24 billion contract will begin in 2016 and is worth almost three times as much the current deal the NBA has with the two basic cable networks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, ESPN and its parent company Disney are also expected to announce that they will be launching a streaming service for NBA games that doesn't require a cable or satellite subscription. Presently, ESPN streams sporting events on WatchESPN. But to access the service you have to prove you pay a cable bill.
The new service is likely to be available a la-carte, meaning you can just pay to stream individual games and don't have to buy a League Pass-like package. It probably won't cover the games that are being broadcast by TNT and ESPN, so the cable networks won't be competing with themselves, nor would it be available for the postseason.
Still, this would be a boon to hard core NBA fans (and degenerate gamblers) who don't pay for cable service.
If you knew you could pay to watch your favorite NBA team on the Internet would you be more likely to cut your cable chord?