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Watching Your Favorite Team Could Cost You More Than Netflix

Regional sports networks are looking for ways to lure cord-cutters—without cannibalizing their cable business.

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Illustration: Yann Bastard for Bloomberg Businessweek

NESN 360 is the standalone streaming app of the New England Sports Network, the basic-cable home of the Boston Red Sox and the NHL’s Bruins. It became available last summer, and if you live in New England and cut the cord, it’s the main way to reliably watch these teams play. But it can be glitchy, and the network has already rolled out more major revisions (98) than Red Sox wins last season (78). “It takes a long time to assemble this kind of tech product,” says Sean McGrail, NESN’s chief executive officer, in an early March interview at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb west of Boston. “We want the experience to be flawless.”

It needs to be: NESN 360 costs $30 a month, more than the ad-supported subscriptions to Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock combined. “It’s more like twice the price of Netflix,” McGrail says. “At $1 a day, how inexpensive is that to have live access to almost every single Red Sox game and Bruins game?”