Could former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer really take local video coverage of his newly acquired NBA team over-the-top? After a New York Post report surfaced last week that Ballmer is considering doing just that with his Los Angeles Clippers, SNL Kagan kicked the tires on the prospect of an owner familiar with online video tech going OTT -- and found it, well, plausible.
"If it's a negotiating ploy, it's an elaborate one, but I don't think it is," said SNL Kagan analyst Adam Gajo. "Ballmer has a technology background, and this could be new model for a new team."
Ballmer and the Clippers are currently at an impasse in renewal talks with 21st Century Fox to keep the team on regional sports network Prime Ticket. The RSN is offering a yearly pay raise to $60 million from $25 million. The Clippers, who play in a market in which the rival L.A. Lakers make more than $150 million a year off their RSN deal, want more than $100 million a season, too.
The team is considering, according to inside sources, launching a subscription-based, direct-to-consumer streaming platform for its games. You can read the full SNL Kagan report here.