The National Basketball Association (NBA) will begin offering live streaming of games online in Autumn (fall), according to reports.
The offering will however come with a catch: games will only be streamed to local markets via team websites. Teams will also be able to offer online interactive TV and video-on-demand coverage. There is no word yet as to whether the streams will be offered for free or payment, or even if this will be decided by each individual team.
The move follows the decision by the NFL to offer Sunday night football online in July. It’s also further proof that the end result, a live sporting event, is not dependent on broadcast media to be distributed.
Alone I thought that maybe the NFL was being progressive, but with the NBA now accepting the reality that more and more people are switching to the internet to consume content, we could see a trend emerging. More sports will follow the NFL and the NBA online, because ultimately the content goes where the people are. The more live content offered online, the less reason people have to consume broadcast television, and the more the death spiral accelerates. Sure, this might not be HD yet, or even easily viewable on a television so you get the big screen experience, but as the tech catches up, internet access continues to be embedded into television and cable boxes, and the costs come down, it will happen.