The league announced in January it would turn over its digital media to Turner Broadcasting System. Currently, only subscribers to NBA's cable League Pass can stream games live. An NBA YouTube channel has produced more than 60 million streams of highlights and other extras. The league is looking to replace a cell-phone partnership with the now defunct Amp'd Mobile.
Outside North America, fans can stream games live, but at home broadcast rights preclude streaming games online to fans who are not cable Sunday Ticket subscribers. (As a once-a-week product, the NFL is much more tightly tethered to its TV contracts.) Some of the league's vast reserves of highlights and other specials are available on NFL.com; more on iTunes.
While lagging far behind the other leagues in traditional broadcasts, the NHL is more progressive with its digital offerings. NHL.com offered subscriptions to live streaming games for the first time last season. A partnership with Slingbox allows customers to clip and share highlights, while a YouTube channel has notched 20 million streams (mostly highlights).
A version of this article appeared in the April 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.