Steve Ballmer is certainly gutsy, you have to hand him that, if not perhaps absolutely insane.
The former Microsoft CEO recently bought the Los Angeles Clippers, maybe out of boredom, maybe seeing a major investment opportunity.
Regardless, despite Bill Simmons recently going on a Tweet storm hounding Ballmer for his already questionable ownership of the team, Ballmer piqued our curiosity with an interesting and forward-thinking concept for the future of Clippers games.
The NY Post is reporting that Ballmer turned down a 60 million dollar television offer to broadcast Clippers games and is instead working on a potential streaming application, that in one way or another would give fans of the team the opportunity to stream Clippers games through some proprietary service.
This would be a first for major sports broadcasting, as most often streaming is an afterthought to lucrative standard television deals. But perhaps Ballmer sees the future and is well aware that more and more consumers are turning to streaming services for their entertainment. After all, live sports is virtually the final frontier when it comes to SVOD, and it’s certainly only a matter of time before streaming live sports is seamless.
There are rumors circulating that the intention of threatening to bring his team exclusively to a streaming service is merely a negotiation tactic in order to up the price networks are willing to pay, but the reality of a standalone streaming service doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibilities.
We’re willing to guess Ballmer, with his tenure at Microsoft proving he’s willing to take risks, no matter how foolish they might look in hindsight, is ready to rumble when it comes to testing new ways of distributing games. Now the question is, would users pay for an individual service in order to watch only one team? We’re excited to find out.