With the COVID-19 pandemic having gripped the nation and forcing Americans to self-quarantine, there is probably no better time to discuss the future of streaming in sports and in the NBA. Industries that primarily require physical presence in order to generate commerce, such as brick-and-mortar retail, airline travel, live events, hospitality, casinos and restaurants, have fallen to standstill in the wake of government-ordered shelter-in-places. Conversely, companies that are catering to our new quarantined reality have thrived.
The old adage in the media and entertainment business is that “content is king,” and live sports has certainly worn the crown for some time.
Zoom Video Communications (ZM), a company whose primary purpose is web-based video conferencing, has seen its share price double in value in little over a month. Amazon, which, over the years, had realized the importance of establishing a physical retail presence through its acquisition of Whole Foods and establishment of Amazon-branded storefronts, is now banking more than ever on its unrivaled e-commerce platform, as Americans are unable to shop for goods other than those provided at “essential businesses.” As such, Amazon’s stock price has increased in a time where businesses more vulnerable to the pandemic have declined as much as 70%. The value of streaming giant Netflix dipped approximately 25% in mid-March, though has since recuperated much of that value, as its 167 million subscribers are more captive than ever to its now expansive collection of original content. Which brings us to evaluating the current state of streaming in sports.