In a major boon to Los Angeles area cord cutters, Spectrum SportsNet and the Los Angeles Lakers today announced the launch of what’s being called Spectrum SportsNet+, a direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service that can be viewed on NBA.com and the NBA App. It will deliver a 24/7 feed of Spectrum SportsNet programming, including live Lakers games and behind-the-scenes Lakers content, to sports enthusiasts.
Starting today, fans can purchase a Spectrum SportsNet+ subscription at NBA.com and watch across a wide range of devices including iPhone, iPad, Roku, Android mobile, Android TV, Amazon Fire, Hisense, PlayStation and Xbox. Spectrum SportsNet+ will be powered by the NBA’s integrated digital platform.
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Previously, fans of the Purple and Gold in the region had to subscribe to AT&T’s UVerse, DirecTV or Cox’s cable services, which were the only bundles to offer Spectrum SportsNet. But those cable services are significantly more expensive than the new D-to-C offering.
Now fans in Southern California, Hawaii and Southern Nevada without access to Spectrum SportsNet can purchase Spectrum SportsNet+ for $19.99 per month or $179.99 per season. Existing Spectrum, DirecTV and Cox pay TV customers who have access to Spectrum SportsNet programming will be able to watch via the Spectrum SportsNet app at no additional cost, and with authenticated access to Spectrum SportsNet+.
“With the start of the NBA regular season, the launch of Spectrum SportsNet+ will allow even more fans to enjoy live Lakers games and in-depth, unique coverage of their favorite team, with or without a pay TV subscription,” said Dan Finnerty, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Spectrum Sports in a statement. “By offering a variety of packages, we’re giving fans more choice and flexibility and taking another step towards evolving the Regional Sports Network model in this new era of sports viewing.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver presaged exactly this kind of move in an interview yesterday with Yahoo Sports.
“There’s no doubt there needs to be a reinvention [and] a fix in terms of the delivery system…If you’re a fan of your local team, you should be able to go to the NBA App or whoever our partner is and click and get that game for a reasonable fee,” he said. Silver also stressed the relative importance of streaming offerings to the NBA vs. other major leagues in the U.S.
“We’re paying attention to the fact that not only is the basic cable universe decreasing, but the demographic of that audience is changing as well. It’s beginning to look less like America — older and less diverse — and the NBA has a particularly young and diverse audience,” Silver observed.
“So we recognize that, in some ways, the decline of cable has disproportionately impacted the NBA. Our young audience isn’t subscribing to cable, and those fans aren’t finding our games.”
Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery now pay the league $2.7 billion a year to air games nationally – on ESPN/ABC and TNT, respectively. That agreement ends with the 2024-25 season. Teams like the Lakers are looking forward to a potentially very different media landscape once the current contract expires.
“This new service gives Lakers fans another way to watch their favorite team in action on the court,” said Tim Harris, President of Business Operations, Los Angeles Lakers. “The launch of Spectrum SportsNet+ brings the premium, in-depth coverage, analysis and behind-the-scenes content to more fans across the region, allowing us to reach more people every day and grow the next generation of Lakers fans.”
Spectrum SportsNet+ will include live regular season Lakers games starting Sunday, October 29 vs. the Sacramento Kings at 6 p.m. The Access SportsNet: Lakers pregame show will be on offer 60 minutes prior to every Lakers game throughout the season, providing game previews, interviews and coverage. Immediately following each game, Access SportsNet: Lakers postgame will include player and coach interviews, game highlights and in-depth analysis.
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