Utah Jazz fans just got big news about their options for watching next year’s games online. ROOT Sports, the TV station that currently broadcasts all games over satellite and cable, just announced that all Jazz games in the 2017-2018 season will be streamed online.
Right now, if fans want to watch Utah Jazz games outside of the local area, they’ll have to turn to the NBA’s $200 yearly League Pass streaming service. Fans inside the local area are blacked out of League Pass, and have to watch on ROOT.
Starting next year though, fans in the Utah area will be able to stream games even if they don’t have a cable package. It hasn’t yet been officially announced what service ROOT has partnered with, but DIRECTV NOW and Playstation Vue are the most likely candidates. Various packages are available, but the most common Vue package is about $50 a month while DIRECTV NOW comes in at about $35 a month.
Both Vue and DIRECTV NOW have decent sports offerings, with multiple ESPN and Fox Sports stations available, plus several regional sports networks.
For fans who already have a standard cable or satellite subscription, most early indications are saying there will be no additional fee to stream online. MLB fans who have their team’s game broadcast on ROOT can watch online just by logging in to their cable/satellite account. The games are streamed though MLB Advanced Media’s setup, but the word is ROOT is working on their own technology.
At the start of the ’16-’17 season, the NBA said every team would have access to local streaming, but three teams actually ended up with no option (likely due to delays caused by AT&T’s purchase of DirectTV).
ROOT’s rights to broadcast live Jazz games currently extend through the 2020-21 season thanks to a $240 million 12 year deal that was signed in 2008. The network also broadcast games in Pittsburgh, Denver and Houston, so it will be interesting to see if this deal extends to any other sports or areas.
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