KqWIN wrote:I understand why we're talking about ratings, it's how the NBA currently makes it's money...but the real discussion should be how the NBA can monetize digitally. Feels like when we're stressing about ratings we're stressing about something that might not even exist in 10-15 years.
I'm no expert in this field, but I would imagine that the next "TV Deal" is going to be with some kind of streaming service like Netflix or YouTube...maybe both. It will be the digital giants fighting over the NBA, not Networks.
Yes but that is the thing many people are saying. It's a good chance that it will be a Hulu/Netflix that will be the provider to get the TV rights for the NBA. What many are asking though is, how much will that deal be compared to what they have now. The Netflix/Hulu's of the world ain't going to drop billions of dollars for something that has its championship drawing low numbers in ratings.
Let's say the NBA is still getting around 20 million to watch every finals game, but only 5-7 mil are watching where it can be tracked. The Netflix/Hulu's of the world don't care about the 13 mil that aren't being tracked. They're going to pay for the 5-7 million that they can track and make money on. And that will be a major hit financially for the NBA.
They have the exact same problem right now. Putting the game on cable does not make the illegal streaming thing any better. I'd be willing to be that having the games on cable makes the problem worse. People watching on illegal streams don't have cable..but they probably have Netflix/Youtube/Twitch ect. Users are willing to pay for a good UX. Sure, people still pirate movies and music, but that's really not a huge issue because people have more convenient (paid) ways to get the content. Right now, the NBA has a lot of interest online...but the delivery to the online fan base is trash. I live in Utah and unless I have cable I can't even buy the ability to watch Jazz games because of blackouts. This is true for every fan in their local markets.
The benefit that cable brings is the standard viewer base. You have people that are going to watch TV no matter what, and the NBA is hoping that they choose to watch the game and become casual fans. The cable viewer base is shrinking and especially in the demographic that the NBA appeals to. The NBA cannot fix this problem, young people don't watch cable. The digital platform is growing and cable viewership is shrinking.
It's not like cable networks have deeper pockets than the tech giants. The new deal with Netflix/Hulu will be worth more than the Networks if they can provide more value on Netflix/Hulu and vice versa. There's nothing magical about being on cable that makes you more money. What makes you more money is to deliver value, and personally I think it's pretty obvious that the NBA can deliver more value on a digital platform than on cable networks in the future.
Viewership isn't 1 to 1 either. A viewer on YouTube, for example, is more valuable than a viewer on cable. The YouTube viewer will be signed into their google account and be open to all of google's platform. Instead of watching normal commercials for national companies that might not even be in you're state, you're getting a personalized ad from a company that knows everything about you. Yes, it's creepy, but that's just reality. Data is the new gold and you know these tech giants are going to want it. They are way more efficient in how they deliver ads and that alone will allow the NBA to deliver more value on a per viewer basis.
Again, I'm no expert, but this is a no brainer to me. The next deal is going to be digital...focus on that and not how to save cable. Forget about getting people to tune into ABC and start thinking about being on the YouTube homepage.