Today, with last night’s loss fresh in our minds, I thought I’d take the opportunity to use that foul taste to vent on something that’s been bothering me all season: NBA League Pass and its bastard step-child NBA Broadband.
I live in Canada, and I don’t have extended cable, but I’d like to watch the Sonics play. These are my options:
1. Get digital cable, which enables me to see the Sonics about once every other week on the various Canadian all-sports channels.
2. Buy a satellite dish, and get somebody to install an illegal satellite chip that enables me to watch Fox Sports NW.
3. Buy NBA League Pass, which enables me to watch the games on tv ... and on the internet.
But here’s the kicker. This is the option I want, but cannot get:
4. Get NBA Broadband, but not League Pass
You see, I’m not interested in paying $200 for NBA League Pass for the occasional time I’d like to watch the Sonics play. I am interested in NBA Broadband, but according to NBA policy, you can only get NBA Broadband IF you order NBA League Pass, or, as the league puts it, “NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband is not sold as a stand-alone product. You must be an active NBA LEAGUE PASS satellite or digital cable subscriber to get NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband.”
My question is: Why? Why can major league baseball – perhaps the most stodgy of all the major sports – offer all of their games on the internet for about $15 a month, but the NBA can’t? Why am I forced to subscribe to something I don’t want – NBA League Pass – in order to get something I do want – NBA Broadband?
Can someone smarter than me explain why the NBA deems it necessary for their customers to buy League Pass, when there are thousands of people like myself who only want to watch the games on the internet, and who are willing to pay for it? That it’s either pay us $199 for League Pass, or nothing?
At this moment, you can go to mlb.com and sign up for mlb.tv all winter long for $15. Now, there’s not much going on in the winter, but that’s a heckuva deal. Why is Major League Baseball able to do this, but the NBA – the self-proclaimed purveyor of all things hip and now – is not?
Maybe there’s an intelligent explanation out there. Until I hear it, though, I’m forced to use things like TVU or SopCast to watch TV on the internet, and hope the connection works when the Sonics are on.