The NBA season ended last night with a TV bang. The Golden State Warriors’ championship-clinching win over the Cleveland Cavaliers capped a record-setting series for ABC, which has broadcast the NBA Finals since 2003. At nearly 20 million viewers per game, it was the most watched championship series since Michael Jordan made his last Finals appearance, in 1998. But just before last night’s mass audience tuned in to the 67-year-old network, the NBA made a small announcement with big implications for its digital future: Next season, for the first time, the league’s subscription package for out-of-market games will be offered on a per-game and per-team basis.
Dish Network is making the first big news in what’s likely to be a busy year for the future of television. At the International Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, the company unveiled its Internet television service, a $20-a-month alternative to cable that’s the most ambitious play for cord-cutters to date. The service, confusingly, is named Sling TV, even though it has no direct connection to the Slingbox, another device aiming to appeal to people fed up with the restrictions of cable. Sling TV will be available on a range of connected televisions, streaming boxes and sticks such as Roku, and mobile devices.