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NBA is testing a 99-cent stream for casual viewers

The NBA has a plethora of streaming options for basketball fans. If you want the whole season-long, league-wide package, there’s League Pass. The league has made strides in improving its viewer experience over the last couple of years, including the ability for consumers to pay for single games that are out of their market.

Now, Adam Silver says the league is looking into selling the final five minutes of a game for a small fee.

“Certainly we’re going from a place where it was one price for an entire season of games. Now just in the last two years, we’ve made single games available,” Silver said of the NBA League Pass package. “But I think you’re going to get to the point where somebody wants to watch the last five minutes of the game, and they go click, they’ll pay a set price for five minutes as opposed to what they would pay for two hours of the game.”

He added: “ I think you’re going to take the same great content, and you’re just going to make it that much more available to people who want it.”

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It’s very easy to see this model working for other sports. In some ways, the NFL already started it with RedZone, but that’s a subscription channel you pay for that covers every team, every game, and runs the whole season. It doesn’t have the same “sure, why not” appeal of micro-payments. The NBA risks cutting into its own League Pass profits and angering cable partners with a movie like this, but it feels inevitable.

However, it’s a possibility that the NBA might charge more for this once it decides to roll out this feature widely, but it’s not confirmed at this point in time if and when it will do that.

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