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NBA sells its online rights

The LAT offers a piece today by Dawn Chmielewski and Greg Johnson about ABC, ESPN and TNT buying both the over-the-air and online broadcasting rights to eight years' worth of NBA games for a total of $7.4 billion. This strikes me as a good thing for viewers online because it encourages advertiser-supported business models there, rather than the subscription and pay-per-view approaches that are dominant today. (Here's Greg Johnson's sidebar on the approaches taken by the major pro and college sports organizations.) A network that has the rights to air the games across multiple platforms can create attractive packages for advertisers, who may be even more interested in broadband viewers than those watching on TV. That's not possible when a league sells the over-the-air rights to the networks while keeping the online rights for itself or some other entities.

Also in the paper today, a nice follow-up by Alex Pham on the medical establishment resisting calls to treat video-game addiction as an honest-to-goodness medical problem.


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Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

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