NBA unbundles League Pass at $6.99 per game; will DirecTV's 'NFL Sunday Ticket' follow?

The NBA has revealed pricing for the new a la carte extension of its League Pass programming service, making individual out-of-market regular season games available to customers for $6.99.

The move marks another unbundling of a popular programming service, which previously required subscribers to pay more than $200 to see all the regular season games for pro basketball teams not operating in their market.

In addition to the new individual game option, customers can also pay $119.99 a season to see all the games from a specific out-of-market team.

League Pass is not only available as a linear TV product through pay-TV operators, but it is also sold as a standalone streaming service, available for iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as Macs and PCs, directly from the NBA.

The NBA's decision to unbundle League Pass follows the settlement of a lawsuit filed against the National Hockey League. Hockey fans filed a class-action complaint against the NHL to similarly unbundle the league's streaming package.

The NBA's decision could be a harbinger for one of pay-TV's biggest products, the DirecTV-distributed NFL package NFL Sunday Ticket. 

The NFL and DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) are currently being sued by bar owners, casinos and other businesses that show NFL games to customers. The complaint contends that Sunday Ticket should not be offered to DirecTV exclusively and should be opened to other pay-TV operators to increase competition and lower the price. The plaintiffs say the package currently violates two sections of the Sherman Antitrust Act. 

In August 2014, DirecTV signed an exclusive, multi-year $12 billion deal with the NFL to re-up the Sunday Ticket package. The deal, which runs through 2022, increases DirecTV's licensing fees from $1 billion a season to $1.4 billion. Depending on their size, businesses pay between $2,314 and $120,000 a season to purchase Sunday Ticket access, the suit says.

For more:
- read this TV Predictions story
- read this Mashable story
- read this story from The Verge

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