The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Kevin Wilson
Managing editor 

WNBA season price too good to pass up

 


I’ve never had anything against the Women’s National Basketball Association, but I’ve never considered it appointment TV either.

I don’t mind the fact there have been less than 20 dunks in league history. You kind of sign up for that when you watch a WNBA game.

I know the men’s 100-meter world record is nearly a full second faster than the women’s record, but that doesn’t mean the female runners are competing against each other any less.

My lone complaint with the league, to be honest, is the way the NBA spent 15 years relentlessly pushing the WNBA to NBA fans who weren’t interested, and had no problem finding it themselves if they were.

When the 2004 Pistons shocked the world and beat the Los Angeles Lakers, Pistons owner Bill Davidson was asked how it felt to own the reigning NBA and WNBA champions. We just watched one of the greatest defensive performances in NBA history; why does that matter?

Let’s put it this way: Imagine you bought a Coke at the grocery store, and the cashier asked, “Do you also want to buy a Pepsi?” Also imagine this happened any time you bought a Coke at any store for 15 years. You’d roll your eyes when you saw the Pepsi logo, even though Pepsi never did anything to earn your scorn.

Bottom line, I’d always felt the NBA’s marketing approach ended up making the WNBA less intriguing. I didn’t know just how much until last week.

Year in and year out, I consider ordering the full season of NBA League Pass. It’s $200, but I’d get every game live or archived and there are even condensed versions.

Turns out the WNBA has the same type of service, so I looked out of curiosity. Maybe the NBA would offer a WNBA League Pass subscriber an NBA League Pass discount, and I could think of it as an investment.

Given the WNBA has only 12 teams (NBA, 30) and plays about four months (NBA, eight), I figured its package to cost 15-20 percent of the NBA equivalent.

I had a back-and-forth conversation with a few knowledgeable sports people playing, “What do you think it costs?” We all came up between $30 and $50. Pro sports packages aren’t cheap, after all.

I scrolled through the signup page ahead of Thursday’s season opener. There’s a free one-week trial, and after that the full season is ... $16.99.

What a half-shockingly, half-amusingly low price point:

n I was going to order a stuffed crust pizza, but I figured after delivery and tip I could just have an entire season of basketball games.

n If my friend and I just skip the concession stand at Friday’s movie, we could watch an entire season of basketball.

Seriously, $17? It was the second time in my life I’d overbid on how much a pro sports item would be — the first time being an authentic Texas Rangers dugout jacket sitting in a Montana JCPenney, in my size, for $30.

I didn’t pass up the jacket, and I didn’t pass up the, um, pass.

I guess there’s only one question left. Dare I submit the $16.99 to our business office as column research?

Kevin Wilson is managing editor of The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at:

[email protected]

 

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