Monday, December 8, 2008

NBA to Hand RSNs Broadband Streaming Rights

The NBA is about to become the first professional sports league in America to allow regional sports networks to control local digital rights, a sign that the league believes that teams and their media partners are better suited to delivering digital content locally than the league office. League executives are working on deals with regional sports networks representing 29 of the 30 teams. The deals will allow most of the 29 regional sports networks with NBA team deals to roll out video-on-demand and some broadband services after the All-Star Game in mid-February. More significant is that local in-market streaming rights of live games are included in the packages, though no live games are expected to be streamed locally this season. The breakthrough in the digital rights package comes as part of a larger five-year deal that regional sports networks will sign with the NBA to renew their extended market rights.

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