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DIRECTV SIGNS DEAL TO CARRY REGULAR-SEASON NBA GAMES
Published November 30, 1994
DirecTV Inc., a unit of GM Hughes Electronics, announced a deal yesterday to carry more than 400 regular-season NBA games on its direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service. DirecTV customers will be able to subscribe to the "NBA League Pass" starting on December 1. The package will include games not shown on local broadcast and cable channels and will cost $149 to residential users. DirecTV plans to carry more than 700 NBA games in '95-96. DirecTV President Eddy Hartenstein: "With exciting action from the NBA, combined with our other professional and collegiate sports packages, sports fans of any team will be able to watch the games they want through the convenience of an 18-inch satellite dish." NBA Commissioner David Stern: "We continue to explore innovative ways to provide our fans with additional NBA programming. DirecTV is an exciting complement to our national broadcast partners, NBC and Turner Sports." DirecTV already carries expanded NFL coverage through "NFL Sunday Ticket" (DirecTV). "The exclusive programming only adds to concerns that DirecTV will steal market share from cable TV system operators. Some money managers are predicting that DirecTV will snare as much as 10 percent of cable's 56 million subscribers by the end of the decade" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/30). The NBA is expected to announce another deal today with DBS service PrimeStar Partners (W.S. JOURNAL, 11/30).