Would You Overpay to Watch Just One Netflix Series? MSG+ Tests the Waters with Pay Per Game
ManOfTheCenturyMovie News Would You Overpay to Watch Just One Netflix Series? MSG+ Tests the Waters with Pay Per Game

Would You Overpay to Watch Just One Netflix Series? MSG+ Tests the Waters with Pay Per Game



Would You Overpay to Watch Just One Netflix Series? MSG+ Tests the Waters with Pay Per Game

What’s it worth to watch the New York Rangers open their 2023-24 season on Thursday vs. the Buffalo Sabres? MSG+ put a price on it: You can stream just that game for $9.99.

MSG+ is the first regional sports network to offer single-game rentals. Sports fans can also sign up for an entire year ($309.99) or play by the month ($29.99). By pure math, the single-game option represents a massive premium: From October to April, MSG+ will average 40 games per month; the streamer has nearly 300 games per year.

Pay Per Game (PPG) gives access to a single game, from pregame show to postgame show, followed by 72 hours of replay access. It’s never going to appeal to a super fan and that’s the point, Kevin Marotta, MSG Networks SVP of marketing and content, told IndieWire.

“We think $9.99 is a price point that works and it resonates with our audience,” Marotta said. It offers casual fans the “flexibility to jump in and test something out.” He believes it is more than fair: Hockey and basketball games offer “two-plus hours of entertainment;” boxing or MMA pay-per-views can cost $80 — or more. “The main card could end in two minutes,” he said.

Related Stories

‘Frasier’ Revival Largely Takes the Wrong Lessons from Dr. Crane’s Unlikely Longevity

A photo of David and Victoria Beckham from Netflix docuseries "Beckham"

Netflix’s ‘Beckham’ Is a Very Good Docuseries with Two Glaring Flaws

Sure, but a regular-season NHL or NBA game is one of 82. There’s excitement and optimism for Thursday’s Rangers season opener, but most games are not season openers; some aren’t even good games. Still, Marotta says he’s “not worried” about a PPG renter feeling cheated.

“Fans go into it knowing the possibilities and go in with eyes wide open. If it’s not a great game, that’s not great — not a great experience for them,” Marotta said. “I think they know that it’s outside of our control and outside of their control.”

Marotta also pointed to the competing cost of a PVOD movie rental. The going rate for three-day premium video on-demand rentals run $19.99 (give or take $5, depending on the film). And don’t get Marotta started on Redbox.

“A movie that you saw 20 times in the ’90s, you could rent for $5. Or you could get this Rangers-Islanders game for $9.99,” he said. “We think that holds up for sure.”

For MSG+, the true value in PPG lies in just how expensive it is. Marotta acknowledges that $9.99 is meant as a gateway drug: Someone who is willing to pay $10 for one game may well be willing to pay $30 for 40 games, or $310 for 300.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05: Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on October 05, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on October 05, 2023 in New York City.Getty Images

This approach could also be a role model for streamers seeking (yet) another revenue stream. Amazon Prime Video could allow non-Prime members to “rent” a “Thursday Night Football” game. If a random Knicks game is worth $10, imagine what a primetime NFL game is worth. And if someone doesn’t want to subscribe to Netflix but wants to watch, say, Netflix original series “Fall of the House of Usher,” why not offer the option to overpay for the single access? (Neither Amazon Prime Video nor Netflix responded to our request for comment.)

Of course, that would eat into the whole Netflix ideology, but so did ads. And the one-off model might drive someone to pay $15.49 per month (or whatever the new Netflix monthly price will soon be).

“We haven’t really looked at how this could impact SVOD services on an event basis, whether that ‘event’ be an original title or a live event,” Marotta said. “But I think it’s a super-interesting question, super-interesting thought exercise to… see what other things have that pay-per-view value around it in someone else’s ecosystem.”

Related Post