BOSTON—The New England Sports Network (NESN) has become the first regional sports network (RSN) to offer a direct to consumer service (DTC) with the launch of NESN 360, a digital subscription service that will allow fans to purchase a direct subscription to NESN’s live programming and video-on-demand content.
The NESN 360 SVOD regional sports service allows Red Sox and Bruins fans to stream 220+ live games through a direct subscription or a participating TV provider account.
The service was launched in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Major League Baseball (MLB).
The launch comes at a time when Sinclair's Bally Sports and others are planning to launch similar DTC services this year.
NESN has also announced that it will introduce new features and functionality in the upcoming months, including 4K HDR, cloud DVR, and will expand its reach with FIRETV and Google TV apps. NESN is also exploring an exclusive live home batting practice feed in partnership with the Red Sox.
“NESN 360 is the latest iteration in NESN’s long history of innovation and providing fans with the best sports viewing experience,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s president and CEO. “We believe the direct subscription option will build on NESN’s reach in the region, and will be an excellent complement to the existing, valuable partnerships we have with TV providers to bring NESN to all homes in New England.”
Fans who choose to subscribe directly have an annual and a monthly subscription option, each with its own limited time promotion for the launch of the new product. The monthly plan will bill $1 for the first month, followed by $29.99 once per month. Annual subscribers will be billed $329.99 once per year, which reflects the first month as just $1, and will receive eight tickets to a 2022 Red Sox game of their choosing, while supplies last.
Subscribers can stream NESN’s live feeds and video on demand (VOD) library directly to their computer, iOS, Android, Apple TV or Roku device. Fans who already have NESN through a participating TV provider will be able to authenticate into the NESN 360 app to access the same experience, including streaming live Red Sox and Bruins games and VOD content.
In addition to the live TV programming, NESN 360 will include expanded access to Red Sox content, including highlights and select on-demand historical Red Sox games, as well as Bruins games, Bruins highlights, exclusive new content and a library of hundreds of video-on-demand titles, including NESN original shows. Additionally, NESN 360’s video-on-demand library will feature full games of notable 2022 Red Sox season matchups, including nationally broadcast games after they’ve aired.
NESN has also invested in original content featuring notable personalities, including baseball content creators Jared Carrabis and Pitching Ninja. There are also collaborations in progress with other content partners such as The Boston Globe.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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