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Viasat (VSAT) Partners With NBA, Boosts Streaming Services

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In a bid to enhance entertainment services in aircraft, Viasat, Inc. VSAT recently announced a multi-year agreement with a professional basketball league based in North America — the National Basketball Association (“NBA”). The entities have jointly unveiled NBA League Pass, the league's premium live game subscription service to provide passengers with a first-hand access to live and on-demand NBA content and games on the back of Viasat’s in-flight connectivity (IFC).

Markedly, the growing adoption of in-flight Wi-Fi services in commercial aircraft is proving conducive to Viasat’s business growth. Hence, the latest move is considered a strategic fit as majority of the airline companies are sparing no efforts to provide best-in-class in-flight entertainment options to lure customers. Moreover, fast-tracked deployment of vaccines and gradual lockdown relaxations are likely to give a major boost to the uptrend in leisure air-travel demand in the days to come.

The Carlsbad, CA-based company enjoys a solid competitive advantage over its rivals in terms of bandwidth economics, global coverage, flexibility and bandwidth allocation. These factors are expected to bolster growth in the long run. With the commencement of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 22, airline passengers will be able to make the most out of the premium streaming service on a real-time basis with no additional costs, driven by the NBA League Pass availability. As a matter of fact, the NBA League Pass will be accessible across any route, except for flights plying within Canada, the United States and China.

Apart from entertaining global NBA enthusiasts with differentiated over-the-top content, the NBA League Pass will enable passengers to leverage enhanced functionalities such as multiple viewing options, multiple in-language streams and live stats, thanks to Viasat’s global satellite network coverage. Notably, the surging popularity of high-engagement IFC solutions has necessitated major airline companies to search for new ways to utilize Viasat’s high-capacity satellite solutions while maximizing passenger satisfaction.

The company’ impressive bandwidth productivity sets it apart from conventional and lower-yield satellites providers that run on incumbent business models. Its high-capacity Ka-band satellites further set the entertainment quotient a notch higher on the back of its superior Internet connectivity from takeoff to touchdown. Equipped with unmatched speed and quality, Viasat’s Ka-band service has been specifically designed to meet accretive demands of data.

The Ka-band capitalizes on global bandwidth to provide avant-garde Internet service with appropriate pricing to boost the competitiveness of the business jet market. Markedly, JetBlue is touted as one of the first airline companies to provide NBA League Pass service on Viasat-equipped aircraft. Supported by such focused endeavors, the latest alliance is expected to enable Viasat to not only evolve the content consumption dynamics among airline passengers but also tap lucrative potential market opportunities through new business models to fuel future partnerships and customer acquisition.

Viasat currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The stock has gained 11.4% compared with the industry’s growth of 54.1% in the past year.

Some other top-ranked stocks in the industry are Nokia Corporation NOK, Clearfield, Inc. CLFD and Aviat Networks, Inc. AVNW, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Nokia delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 215.2%, on average.

Clearfield delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 79.8%, on average.

Aviat Networks delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 57.3%, on average.

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