AT&T TV should use NBA ties to lure sports fans
AT&T announced on Friday that it’s raising TV prices again, but is also adding NBA League Pass. Why is the add-on separate from the raised monthly fee?
Well, pretty much everything to do with AT&T’s TV is separated. Even AT&T TV NOw is separate from the soon-to-be-launched AT&T TV. Per Friday’s news, courtesy of Cord Cutters News, NBA League Pass can be added for an extra $40 per month to stream non-nationally-televised games.
The question posed in the intro, though, is one leadership in charge of AT&T’s TV services ought to ask themselves. The parent company’s massive reach and cord-cutting revolution should trigger a shift in business strategy.
How, you might ask? Permit an explanation, if you will.
AT&T TV is confusing
As was also just announced, AT&T TV is launching its own separate service in February 2020 (h/t Cord Cutters News).
Consumer confusion is never a good thing. The beginning of this article itself is probably already confusing. I even worded it to give that effect, as I feel like that epic Charlie Day GIF trying to wrap my mind around all this.
A&T TV offers live TV, and starts at $59.99 per month. However, after the first year, the monthly cost goes up to $93. AT&T TV Now is its own thing. It’s allegedly supposed to combine with HBO Max, the new streaming service, when that launches in May 2020.
What was linked to in the initial news about AT&T raising its prices actually pertains to preexisting DIRECTV packages. This only adds to the confusion. They’d all do well to consolidate!
Confused yet? Yeah, same here. With so many opting to cut the cord, why even bother with two or more separate services? Why not combine forces?
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How the NBA could be a game-changer
Yes, the NBA would still stand to make a lot of money from individual League Pass subscriptions. But what if Now, once combined with HBO Max, offered is as a complementary feature?
From personal experience, I can say many diehard sports fans cling to pay TV subscriptions solely for their sports packages. It’s a familiarity factor, and it’s convenient.
Here’s the kicker: what more profit does the NBA need from League Pass subscriptions? Bundling it with AT&T TV Now would be an excellent move. If anything, make NBA League Pass an add-on as part of the AT&T TV standalone package, as is tradition.
It makes no sense to have an over-the-top TV provider make League Pass an add-on still. The NBA has TV rights deals with ESPN and Turner — the latter part of the AT&T and WarnerMedia giant. It’s a nine-year, $24 billion deal that runs through the 2024-25 season.
With the NBA making hand-over-fist money from nationally televised games alone, why not experiment, at least for now, by making League Pass a complementary part of Now?
Not only does that appeal to cord-cutters, but it’s bound to rack up subscriptions by the bunches. Plus, HBO already has had success with its sports branch, and could only stand to benefit with a big brand like the NBA associated with its new HBO Max streaming service.
Bottom-line solution: combine AT&T TV, AT&T TV Now and NBA League Pass. With HBO Max included, as it already is.
Do a smart bundle thing like Disney is with Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.