After two decades in which fans could buy only a package involving all games through NBA League Pass, the league announced Wednesday that it will begin offering individual games for $6.99 or all games for one team for $119.99.
The price for the full, traditional package of out-of-market games will be $199.99. The service is available both for TV and broadband.
The move carries with it the risk that some fans who might otherwise have bought the full package will opt for one of the more limited options. But commissioner Adam Silver said the league had no choice but to adapt with the times.
?It?s the first time we?re selling individual games and in fact it may cannibalize the overall package, but ultimately the consumers dictate,? he said, speaking before he appeared on a panel at the Prudential Center as part of Beyond Sport United, a conference to promote and discuss social consciousness in sports.
?Our fans are going to tell us what the appropriate price is, and even if it does cannibalize to a certain degree, the most important thing is to satisfy the fans of the game.?
Asked if he considers this a big moment in sports media, Silver said, ?Yeah, I feel it is. Really the obstacles have been technological over the years. We?ve known from hearing directly from our fans and doing consumer research that our fans wanted the ability to buy individual games.
?As you can imagine it?s not necessarily the best consumer proposition to say your only option is to get every game for a set price, because even for the heavy users there are of course a fair number of games they won?t be able to watch.
?I think it?s a very good deal, in essence $200, to get all the games, but for those fans who either want to sample League Pass broadband or truly just want one game, maybe because there?s something spectacular happening in a game, they?re following it on Twitter and all of a sudden they say, great, what?s going on, I want to see Kobe going for a new scoring record, it?s a great opportunity.?
Silver said the current options are enough for now.
?I think the three options ? an individual game, a team package or in essence a full League Pass ? makes sense, those three options,? he said. ?I think ultimately it gets too confusing for consumers, especially at that price point, for $6.99, I don?t think it?s worth having that many more options.?