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· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thank you. If the price is the same , seems this is a better option than subscribing via my Apple device again this year.
A positive through subscribing through a TV provider is that you can access on your TV and at the app at the same time. If you subscribe directly through the NBA, you'll need the higher tier to access two devices at once. It's not a huge cost difference, but something to consider.
 

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Looking out over the horizon of US TV sports rights, I wonder if we won't see Apple's next big play in sports be, not the NFL, but rather the NBA. Recent stories suggest that Apple is unhappy about all the restrictions around NFL Sunday Ticket -- local black-outs, premium pricing, etc. -- and instead wants to partner with a sports league in offering something more akin to their groundbreaking deal with MLS, which will start next year, in which Apple has exclusive streaming rights for every game, every team, regular and post-season, accessible by anyone anywhere, not just in the US, but the entire world. Wow.

The NBA is, by most accounts, the second-most popular/viewed sports league in the US. And there are reasons to believe that Apple may be able to put together a deal with it in coming years that's similar to their MLS deal. First, consider where things now stand. The great majority of NBA regular season games are available in-market from each team's RSN, with those RSNs generally having in-market streaming rights too. Those same games are available to out-of-market viewers via the league's NBA League Pass service, which is available via traditional MVPDs as well as via the NBA's own standalone streaming app.

But there are also a significant number of games blacked out from the RSNs and League Pass. Those are games aired nationally via three companies: Disney (mostly ESPN, with a few games on ABC), Warner (TNT), and the NBA itself via their own NBA TV cable network. ESPN and TNT share the semi-finals while the finals air on ABC. But the contracts for all those deals ends with the '24-25 season. I don't know if these national game contracts include only traditional TV rights or if they also include streaming rights.

Meanwhile, the future of the RSN model looks shaky. Bally Sports has managed to get all 16 of the NBA teams covered by their RSNs on board with their new DTC streaming service Bally Sports+. But their business is faltering under debt and they may have to sell their RSNs. Some rumors suggest that the leagues themselves (NBA, MLB, NHL) may have to get involved to salvage the situation. Meanwhile, the NBA's other 14 teams' RSNs are owned by other companies, mainly Comcast and AT&T, who have both shown interest in selling their RSNs as cable TV subscriptions continue to nose dive and it seems unavoidable that RSNs will eventually have to become unbundled a la carte options.

It isn't difficult to imagine that come the '25-26 season, possibly sooner, Apple could have an exclusive streaming partnership with the NBA. As with the MLS, the NBA might be free to strike deals with multiple TV networks to air games on traditional TV but the only way to stream any NBA game over the internet would be via the Apple NBA service inside the Apple TV app. (This would also mean that vMVPDs like Youtube TV would have to black out all NBA games from the broadcast and cable channels they carry and it would preclude those channels from live streaming the games through their own authenticated TV Everywhere apps.) Apple might sell subscriptions to any individual team (regardless where you live) or, for a higher price, to the entire league. All subscribers would also get all post-season games. Perhaps a couple games each week would be exclusive to Apple and not air on traditional TV at all. (The NBA could give those games to Apple from out of the 100+ games currently exclusive to their NBA TV channel.) Those games would be available to all subscribers of the Apple NBA service and might also stream on Apple TV+.

Given current multi-year contracts in place, Apple wouldn't have the opportunity to be the exclusive streaming partner with rights to every game in the league of the NHL until at least 2028; of MLB until at least 2029; or of the NFL until at least 2034. Given that the NBA draws more viewers than any of those leagues except the NFL, and given that its rights will become available the soonest, it seems the likeliest US sports league to me to strike a major partnership with Apple any time soon.
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
For those that dabble in the sports betting world: FanDuel is offering three months of the NBALP base package free for anyone that places a $5 wager on any NBA game. The bet and the odds don't matter. Simply place a $5 bet on an NBA game, and you'll receive a promo code for three months.
 

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For those that dabble in the sports betting world: FanDuel is offering three months of the NBALP base package free for anyone that places a $5 wager on any NBA game. The bet and the odds don't matter. Simply place a $5 bet on an NBA game, and you'll receive a promo code for three months.
I use Draftkings. I wonder if they also offer a promo code. Off to the Betmobile, Robin (poor batman humor)
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I use Draftkings. I wonder if they also offer a promo code. Off to the Betmobile, Robin (poor batman humor)
Unfortunately, I didn't find anything for any other sportsbook services.

On a side note, especially for NBA and NFL betting, I'd recommend hooking up with FanDuel if you're able. The offer alternate lines for things like player points, rushing yards, etc., giving you a lot more flexibility than DraftKings will, especially with parlays.
 
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