DIRECTV SIGNS DEAL TO CARRY REGULAR-SEASON NBA GAMES
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).