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ESPN Streaming NBA Games: Bunk or the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread?

ESPN Streaming NBA Games: Bunk or the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread?

ESPN just signed a massive 9 year deal with the NBA which will allow them to offer out of market games through their websites without having a cable or satellite subscription. This monster deal calls for ESPN and Turner Sports to pay the league $24 billion dollars over the life of the contract.

While the main contract sets Turner Sports and ESPN as NBA game broadcasters for the next nine years, it is the streaming ability that has some fans overly excited about this. This new clause in their contract will allow the network to offer a NET TV, but it is unclear when they will actually begin to offer this service.

The only problem with this deal is that it does not help local fans watch their favorite local teams without having a paid TV subscription. The reason why is that this deal forces to block local fans access to watch local games. For example, if you live in Chicago and want to watch your Bulls play, you had better have a paid TV subscription or tickets to the game, because you will not be able to watch the game from the ESPN NET TV offering.

The League understands that most fans love their closest local team exclusively, and therefore will pay the ever increasing subscription fees being charged by cable and satellite providers. This deal deal is aimed at the recently displaced fan, or the guy living in Maine that has always been a Lakers fan. This will allow those fans to watch whatever games they want, including their favorite teams, which are not local and therefor subject to the lock out.

This move is very similar to the NFL imposed black out on local viewers if the game was not sold out 72 hours prior to the game start. It is a way for the league and the cable or satellite providers to squeeze those extra dollars out of their fans anyway they can.

Analysts predict that this new game streaming service should become available in the next year, possibly even before the NBA finals next spring.

One thing that does have fans scratching their heads though concerning this deal is the NBA League Pass, which is available on Playstation and Xbox networks, which allows you to watch all games. So why pay for this seemingly inferior service, when it has been available on these two networks for several years now.

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