Sports Leagues Could Soon Offer Live Content On Internet

It’s still not known the trend of cord cutting – just how big it is. However, for people who want to ditch the cable cords and want to get their viewing material through the Internet, the future is certainly bright… and getting brighter every day.

The NBA recently made a huge $24 billion broadcast deal with both TNT and ESPN, which means its content could soon be found on the Internet.  The deal means ESPN will work with the professional league to create a new Internet video service that shows “live” regular season games and is open to any household who doesn’t have a cable or satellite provider.

This means the U.S.’s four major sports league could soon make a good portion of their content available online without the need for a subscription:

  • MLB has Internet services that provide access to all games that are “out of market” teams – non-local teams.
  • NHL provides similar service as MLB.
  • NFL games can be streamed online but only if you have a pay TV company (DirecTV) and if you live in an area where you’re unable to get the company’s complete satellite service.

According to Re/Code’s Peter Kafka, the NBA offers subscribers a league pass to attain access for the “out of market” games. It’s not known if the ESPN service is going to be similar to the NBA product or something else entirely. Kafka said the ESPN service isn’t likely to be live until two more years.

ESPN tends to make the majority of its earnings from the carriage fees that come from pay TV companies, and has limited online content availability to people who don’t have a pay TV subscription. Therefore, the company looking at this Internet-only option is tremendous.

More people are ditching pay TV subscriptions due to the availability of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu along with video-on-demand services like Amazon Instant Video and iTunes. HBO is currently offering online content but with a pay TV subscription. This could soon change where many older series (exception being Game of Thrones) can be found on Amazon Prime.

Cable companies have more broadband customers than they do video customers, which means the dynamics are certainly changing and will continue to move toward online content.


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