The New ‘Up To The Minute’ Sports

MLB’s BAMTech measures Viewing in minutes when providing audience numbers. Total Viewer Minutes. It was the first big step to creation of the new Revenue Model in Sports. The NBA may soon take the second big step.

NBA’s League Pass already allows Fans to buy single Game Passes. But the last time I looked at the average Viewer Times it was barely over 30 minutes. Perhaps that is a big factor in the announcement made today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The NBA may soon sell Game Passes for watching only the last five minutes. No word on how much but it’s a good bet it’ll be a couple bucks a shot.

I hate the thinking. But I love the thought that’s going into really trying to maximize New Media’s potential for providing a huge range of options for Fans.

The part of the thinking I hate is the quickness in giving up on getting Fans interested enough in the Games to watch more than just the last few minutes. Despite Silver’s hopes this will lead to new Fans I think we all know where this is headed.

The further watering down of Sports.

But maybe I’m wrong. As some like to point out, it wouldn’t be the first time. Maybe the NBA will show such well thought out comprehensive strategies and exercise the serious discipline necessary to not completely roll over and give in completely to the “Entertainment” Fans who are quickly becoming the Death of Sports. Maybe this would be just the teaser, the hook, the bait. And not the whole meal.

The NFL fell for it…hard. And now it’s struggling to not lose all of those “Football ‘Purists'” Forbes Sports Money says the league is all to willing to lose in its efforts to captivate the Zombie WrestleManiacs and their Fantasy Lives. Seems when faced with the possibility it actually is losing those “Purists” or, as I like to say, the Multi-Generational Fans for whom the Teams, the Players, the Franchises are like parts of the Families, the NFL went to commercial. Football is Family commercial. Maybe someone finally figured out they were trying to turn the trimmings into the main course and you can’t run a Major Sports League that way.

The money just isn’t there.

Maybe the NBA already knows that. They certainly appear to have a strong Commissioner who takes his job’s responsibilities much more seriously than the NFL’s does.

Silver alluded to things I’ve talked about here in terms of new ways to keep Fans right up to the minute and keep them right on top of the action.

If the NBA’s last minute purchase plan (almost literally) is somehow managed to be kept to being simply more options for Fans and isn’t a harbinger of the NBA becoming entirely its own version of the RedZone Channel this is a positive step.

There was a time I gave Leagues and Commissioners the benefit of many doubts. But then I spent some time around Football.

I don’t do so much of that anymore.