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Guessing Game Time: How Many People Are Subscribed to WNBA’s “LiveAccess?”

By / 06.10.12

LiveAccess mirrors NBA’s League Pass, both of which enable fans to watch any non-televised game outside their local area. Like League Pass, WNBA LiveAccess charges a subscription fee. Unlike League Pass, that subscription fee costs less than a sandwich at Subway.

$4.99 for anything these days seems like a pretty good deal. Then again, it’s the WNBA we’re talking about. A league that isn’t so much the NBA’s sister as it is the thoroughly ignored step-sibling. If professional sports were a high school cafeteria, the WNBA would be the token girl who clearly doesn’t fit at the popular kids corner, but tries to sit there anyway. And when she does snag a seat, its a constant battle to keep her butt wedged firmly on the edge of that table. 

Is this relegation to societal obscurity the WNBA’s fault? No, its actually very, very unfair when you actually think about it. But is it the truth? Absolutely. 

Upon seeing the blitz of WNBA LiveAccess commercials these past few days, I couldn’t help but wonder who the f*ck would possibly subscribe to this. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Family Members
2. Friends
3. Friends who’d rather not, but feel annoyingly obligated in the way people feel annoyingly obligated to read their friend’s blogs.
4. Boyfriend who would be riding on the coattails of WNBA fame and fortune, but isn’t because its the WNBA
5. Odd guy at work that keeps his weekend plans so secretive that zero people know what he does after work, despite him being there for five years. (This is Family Guy’s WNBA “fan.”)
6. Joe Lo Truglio’s character in “I Love You Man”
7. Random international person who mistakenly signs up, but is completely thrilled about it.

There are twelve teams in the WNBA. Each roster features 11-12 players, a head coach, two assistant coaches, and an athletic trainer. Four teams also have an assistant trainer or strength and conditioning coach.

Assuming every team fills up their roster, the WNBA has 144 players and 52 coaches. We'll add an extra 29 people to this tally, which will account for owners, general managers, and five other random people who are associated with the league in some loosely legitimate way. This brings the total sample size to 250 people

Taking these numbers into account, we can now estimate how many people in the world are actually subscribed to LiveAccess:

Family: You’d have to assume that despite their venture into the WNBA, parents and siblings will be supportive of the endeavor. Although each family would have an account, it’d be tough to imagine more than one account per family. Given the state of the economy, its much more practical to make a family account and share the password between everyone.

Total: 250

Friends: I’m talking besties here. Friends that inspire sappy memes, friends that will actually not go on a date to a five-star French Bistro with a Venture Capitalist on a Tuesday night because the Connecticut Sun is playing the Phoenix Mercury.

Excluding significant others, people generally don’t have more than 2 of these in their lives. Additionally, given the social circle of friends, a lot of these people may be teammates or other WNBA players.

Total: 184

Obligated Friends: This is the crowd that will subscribe solely to maintain the homeostasis of the friendship, and give off the false impression that they're totally invested in something that provides zero benefit to them. Expect this person to watch about 2-3 quarters during the course of an entire season, using it to survive the yearly catch-up lunch. There are many, many, more of these.

Total: 994

Coattail-Riding Boyfriends: Complete guesswork, but let’s say that half of players are either married or single. This means that the other half has at least one boyfriend, who will likely only remain the boyfriend if committed to the subscription. Husbands will not be accounted for here, as they’d use the family account.

Total: 125

Odd Guy At Work: Figure there’s at least one of these in every major city, probably around five in the cities that have WNBA teams.

Total: 75

Joe Lo Truglio: There is only one #JOLO

Counting the random international guy, this means there are approximately 1,630 people subscribed to WNBA LiveAccess. Based on that number, the total profit comes to a whopping $8,133.70.

Well, that was exhausting. Time to watch a montage of WNBA highlights with “Saving Jane” playing in the background. Phenomenal pump-up material.


TAGSbasketballMoneyWNBA
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