NESN to offer standalone streaming service for games (IN MARKET)

soxhop411

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The local cable network that airs Boston’s Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games is launching a standalone streaming subscription, marking a first for regional sports networks.

The option from NESN will be available starting Wednesday and lets people sign up to watch live games without paying for a cable subscription. It comes as millions of Americans are canceling traditional pay TV subscriptions each year as streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max become more popular.
Starting Wednesday, NESN will charge $29.99 a month for streaming access to its network’s programming, which includes live Red Sox and Boston Bruins games. The first month will cost $1 as a promotional price. An annual subscription costs $329.99 and comes with eight tickets to any Red Sox game in 2022.



The service, NESN 360, will only be available to people in the New England area. MLB owns out-of-market streaming rights for its MLB TV, a streaming service that’s available nationally.
“We believe the direct subscription option will build on NESN’s reach in the region,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.
NESN, majority owned by Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group, is seeking to win over a new, younger audience by offering a digital streaming alternative for Red Sox and Bruins games. But the service will be pricey relative to existing streaming services. Netflix and HBO Max, the most expensive global streaming services, have standard plans that cost about $15 per month in the U.S.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/01/red-sox-broadcaster-to-offer-streaming-service-outside-of-cable-bundle.html
 

tonyandpals

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I wonder that this means for their time on FUBO. I think it's $70 a month or so for the cheapest plan that has nesn.
 

Senator Donut

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Hopefully this means a big update to their NESN apps. It’s mostly fine for baseball, but hockey looks horrible. I can’t imagine someone being satisfied with that for $30 per month.
 

begranter

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A VPN/DNS server with MLB.tv is still cheaper... Disappointing.
 

Ale Xander

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$30? Are they nuts

wish it didn’t include tickets
Guess they’re having problems selling
 

bohous

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Gut reactions:

1) Seems very expensive
2) 8 tickets to any game?
Yeah, would like to know more about those 8 tickets. Where are the seats? Multiples seats per game?
I'm planning to cut the cord in August and have a hard time swallowing another $30/mo just for Sox games.
 

BringBackMo

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Smart move. I hold my nose and pay $70 a month for FUBO and quite literally the only thing I watch are Sox and Celtics games. Throw in the annual pass discount and the tix and this deal sells itself to someone like me.
 

drbretto

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I'm guessing they are using the tickets to justify the price, not to boost ticket sales.

That price is even worse that it looks when you consider there's only baseball 6 months out of the year (assuming the yearly option is the only one).

This seems like it could appeal to a very small and specific subset of the fanbase.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I'm guessing they are using the tickets to justify the price, not to boost ticket sales.

That price is even worse that it looks when you consider there's only baseball 6 months out of the year (assuming the yearly option is the only one).

This seems like it could appeal to a very small and specific subset of the fanbase.
Hoping that the Sox fans are also Bruins fans, I bet
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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How does this affect the NESN app?

(Which is actually not very good.)

And does Charlie Moore get a slice of this streaming pie?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I'm guessing they are using the tickets to justify the price, not to boost ticket sales.

That price is even worse that it looks when you consider there's only baseball 6 months out of the year (assuming the yearly option is the only one).

This seems like it could appeal to a very small and specific subset of the fanbase.
It's also a lousy time to roll out this proposal given that attendance is down and the team on the field stinks.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I'm curious about the video quality. I found the difference between baseball/hockey on YouTube TV and cable was drastic (with the cable picture quality much, much better).

Does anyone have experience watching games on the NESN app?
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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MLB.TV is $25/month looks like their gambling that home market fans in New England would be willing to pay more to watch the Sox. I'm not sure it's a horrible bet and there's probably some pressure on them to have a high price to justify the rate that they get every single Comcast and Verizon Cable subscriber to pay on a monthly basis.
 

JCizzle

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I'm not sure if you ruled it out for some reason, but for out of market viewers MLB.TV is affordable and now offers the pre and postgame stuff from NESN. You'll just be blacked out from any games the Red Sox play in your local California market. I get it free from T-Mobile, but don't think it's much more than ~$125 per season.

ESPN+ is less than $100 annually and will give you the Bruins.
 

ifmanis5

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I wonder how much more money they would make if they could open it up to non-New England subscribers? The old franchise rules don't really fit the streaming age.
 

saintnick912

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Hoping that the Sox fans are also Bruins fans, I bet
Back in the 80s, both NESN and SportsChannel were $10/mo add-ons to our cable. We did NESN in the summer for the Sox and SportsChannel in the winter for the Celtics. So I ended up watching more Whalers than Bruins as a side effect.
 

Jungleland

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I recognize this might change as alternative internet providers become more widespread, but having lived mostly at apartments where Comcast is the only option, the cost of internet + cable vs the cost of internet alone is only like $40 more...there would be absolutely no point in me cutting the cord until I can get internet cheaper and/or the things I still pay for cable for have cheaper alternatives than $30 a month.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I'm not sure if you ruled it out for some reason, but for out of market viewers MLB.TV is affordable and now offers the pre and postgame stuff from NESN. You'll just be blacked out from any games the Red Sox play in your local California market. I get it free from T-Mobile, but don't think it's much more than ~$125 per season.

ESPN+ is less than $100 annually and will give you the Bruins.
Not ruled out for sure, but was hoping this might work out better
That makes sense, I literally forgot about hockey for a moment.
Easy enough to do
 

RedOctober3829

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I wonder how much more money they would make if they could open it up to non-New England subscribers? The old franchise rules don't really fit the streaming age.
Yeah it really sucks that NESN shut down streaming options to out of market. I signed up with my parents' login and used to be able to watch Bruins and Sox games. But ever since close to the end of the hockey season I haven't been to watch anything on the NESN app. Seems very stupid that with a valid login I can't watch anything because I'm out of New England. So people can't leave New England on vacation or business and use the app to watch games? Makes no sense to me.

But yes, opening this up to people outside of New England would be huge for them and their model.
 

NoXInNixon

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It looks to me as if your 8 tickets have to be for the same game, and there are no details about where the tickets are or what games are available. There seems to be no way to get more details until after they have your $330.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I'm not sure if you ruled it out for some reason, but for out of market viewers MLB.TV is affordable and now offers the pre and postgame stuff from NESN. You'll just be blacked out from any games the Red Sox play in your local California market. I get it free from T-Mobile, but don't think it's much more than ~$125 per season.

ESPN+ is less than $100 annually and will give you the Bruins.
not if you are in the Boston market, it won’t.
 

soxhop411

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Yeah it really sucks that NESN shut down streaming options to out of market. I signed up with my parents' login and used to be able to watch Bruins and Sox games. But ever since close to the end of the hockey season I haven't been to watch anything on the NESN app. Seems very stupid that with a valid login I can't watch anything because I'm out of New England. So people can't leave New England on vacation or business and use the app to watch games? Makes no sense to me.

But yes, opening this up to people outside of New England would be huge for them and their model.
I am pretty sure that the Sox would LOVE to do that, However there is one small problem as the article states
Only New England area subscribers will have access to NESN 360 since MLB owns out of market rights.
And don't count on MLB allowing this anytime soon, as that would eat into their MLB.tv $$$$
 

Comfortably Lomb

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$30/month for NESN seems... insane.

At that point you might as well just get the cheap cable package with NESN. It's only about $50 where I am.

Also, I didn't realize MLB.tv blacks out Red Sox games in the Red Sox market. Also... insane. But you should be able to watch through a VPN, no?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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But yes, opening this up to people outside of New England would be huge for them and their model.
But they're already available to outside the market viewers via MLB.TV and ESPN+/NHL Live. This appears to be targeting cable cutters in the Red Sox market who are blacked out on the league-wide streaming options.
 

wilked

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If they allow 3 simultaneous streams... I am in with 2 other people to split it up
 

RedOctober3829

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But they're already available to outside the market viewers via MLB.TV and ESPN+/NHL Live. This appears to be targeting cable cutters in the Red Sox market who are blacked out on the league-wide streaming options.
Hmm, I checked out MLB.tv and it's actually cheaper to go that route for out of market than this theoretical NESN package. I didn't know they had a single team feature that is only $99.99 for the year. Even the whole service monthly is only $24.99/month.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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But they're already available to outside the market viewers via MLB.TV and ESPN+/NHL Live. This appears to be targeting cable cutters in the Red Sox market who are blacked out on the league-wide streaming options.
Excatly, and they have to charge a premium in order to not upset their relationships with cable operators. They don’t want to cannibalize that business. They get like $10 or maybe more from every sub whether they watch nesn or not.
 

cornwalls@6

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I wonder that this means for their time on FUBO. I think it's $70 a month or so for the cheapest plan that has nesn.
My question exactly. Seems like a prelude to them leaving. But I still need some live tv service for the nfl, CFB, and other games on network, ESPN, etc. I do not want to pay an additional 30.00 per month on top
of the 70.00 for FUBO. The cheap, insurgent days of steaming were fun while they lasted.
 

Captaincoop

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So they're targeting the window of consumers that have cut the cord on cable completely, live in New England, and are not savvy/edgy enough to use a VPN. Some slice of market.
 

Ed Hillel

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Hmm, I checked out MLB.tv and it's actually cheaper to go that route for out of market than this theoretical NESN package. I didn't know they had a single team feature that is only $99.99 for the year. Even the whole service monthly is only $24.99/month.
Yes, this is for in-market streamers who don't like Fubo and don't use a VPN and run through MLBTV. I fall into the first two categories and am figuring out of I want to use a VPN or just pay for this.
 

Marceline

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The 8 tickets means it's not that bad a deal. I'm going to assume it would be bleacher seats to a random game, so probably in the range of $25-$35 per ticket. You could just sell them and recoup at least half of the $330.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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So they're targeting the window of consumers that have cut the cord on cable completely, live in New England, and are not savvy/edgy enough to use a VPN. Some slice of market.
Or pretty much everyone they went with YouTube TV.

How many people that you know are savvy enough to deal with a VPN connection for their TV just to get MLB.TV for $5/month cheaper? I'm guessing these folks make enough that the effort to save $30 for the season pays for itself.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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So here's an unpopular opinion: I think it's actually a reasonable price.

In-market games are clearly significantly more valuable than the out-of-market MLB app, so comparing the prices is apples-and-oranges. [Or, more properly, apples-and-grapes.]

And comparing the price to using a VPN is akin to comparing the price of a used car to stealing one. Of course it's not the same... but one is legal and the other isn't.

Certainly many people get expensive cable packages specifically to get the Red Sox and/or Bruins, and they now have the option to stream. OTOH, this is no skin off the nose of folks who prefer to keep the bundle.

And 8 tickets is a pretty good carrot -- if they're $25 bleacher seats, that's a couple hundred bucks right there. If there's any flexibility at all in those tickets (e.g. can you split them up among multiple games, can you trade them with friends, can you sell them off), then it's really a no-brainer.

The big if to me would be if the quality of the stream and the app is solid. I have to admit I don't have huge confidence in NESN on that front, but maybe MLB/BAM is helping with the build-out?
 

DamageTrain

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Yep I'm intrigued as an in-market long-time cord cutter who doesn't love using a VPN and has found that VPN performance slows my streaming. I could upgrade my VPN or go legit.

This is especially competitive if I can buy monthly and the team makes a move mid season.
 

Hank Scorpio

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If the pricing was more in line with other steaming services, say $8.99/month … it might be something to be excited about, but not at $30 a month.

And frankly, I wouldn’t pay even a dollar if it meant I had to see another Charlie Moore commercial. Putting that putz out to pasture should be item #1 on their agenda.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If the pricing was more in line with other steaming services, say $8.99/month … it might be something to be excited about, but not at $30 a month.

And frankly, I wouldn’t pay even a dollar if it meant I had to see another Charlie Moore commercial. Putting that putz out to pasture should be item #1 on their agenda.
But $9 a month is less than nesn gets from the cable companies for each sub. So it makes no sense form their perspective to offer it at that price.
 

Hank Scorpio

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One more note: comparing the price to using a VPN is akin to comparing the price of a used car to stealing one. Of course it's not the same... but one is legal and the other isn't.
I don’t think it’s actually (edit) ILLEGAL (end edit) to use a VPN ago circumvent Blackouts, just that MLB aid obligated to the cable companies to blackout local games, and thus has to try and enforce the policy if they catch someone using a VPN. They might ban your subscription if they catch you, but I don’t think there’s any law they can prosecute you on.
 
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Madmartigan

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Isn’t it a pain in the ass to set up a VPN to work on a tv? I know it’s straightforward on a PC and you could output from there to a TV via HDMI, but if I just want to watch on a TV with a Roku there’s no easy solution for this that I’m aware of.
 

begranter

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And comparing the price to using a VPN is akin to comparing the price of a used car to stealing one. Of course it's not the same... but one is legal and the other isn't.
This isn't North Korea, there is nothing illegal about using a VPN to access geo-restricted content. It may be against the T&Cs of streaming services, but you can't be prosecuted or even fined for doing it.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Here's another way to look at it:

Let's say a heavy user of Netflix or HBOMax streams 50 hours/month. The value of those hours is comparable to going to a movie, so call it 7.50/hour -- getting you $375 dollars worth of entertainment for your $15/month.

A moderate user of NESN's app might watch 8 games/month. The value of those games is comparable to an unexceptional seat at the ball park, call it $25/game. That's $200 dollars worth of baseball for the $30/month. Throw in $200 worth of bleacher seats for the live experience and you're up to $400 in value -- so the same surplus entertainment value (SEV) as a Netflix subscriber pays. And everyone thinks Netflix and HBOMax are good values.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I don’t think it’s actually legal to use a VPN ago circumvent Blackouts, just that MLB aid obligated to the cable companies to blackout local games, and thus has to try and enforce the policy if they catch someone using a VPN. They might ban your subscription if they catch you, but I don’t think there’s any law they can prosecute you on.
Yeah, "legal" probably wasn't the right word. But "steal" is. VPN's enable you to get content the rightsholder is trying to prevent you from accessing. And the rightsholder paid an awful lot of money for those rights and the opportunity to monetize them.