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Anyone who thought the NFL RedZone channel was a bad idea and wouldn't catch on with die-hard football fans was quickly proven wrong.

When your team isn't playing, fans regularly tune into the RedZone to watch other games when teams get inside the 20-yard line and are threatening to score. The growth of fantasy football (which has desensitized fans' allegiances to their favorite teams anyway) has only helped fuel the RedZone's rapid popularity.

If commissioner Adam Silver has his way, the NBA Five-Minute Warning might be coming to your HD television soon.

Silver hinted at a different way to watch his league in the future that just might have some merit. Last week at the CES 2017, a technology show, in Las Vegas during a Sports Business Innovation panel, Silver said there may come a point where some fans just want to watch the last five minutes of a game.

Instead of having to buy a single game, which the NBA made available two years ago for $6.99, viewers could have the option of selecting the final five minutes (and, presumably overtime) for a much lower price.

Silver didn't say whether the league would devote an entire channel to the last five minutes and bounce around games like the Red Zone Channel does. 

Most of the excitement of an NBA game usually comes in the last two minutes, which sometimes takes 15-20 minutes of actual time. A channel could easily go from game to game without missing much meaningful action of other games.

Would a Ninth-Inning Channel be something that would be a hit with Major League Baseball fans who don't want to shell out bigger bucks for either a single game or entire season? Maybe.

Rest assured, watching TV sports in 10 years will look nothing like it does today.

College BB: Arizona at UCLA (CBS, 3 p.m. Saturday): If you haven't seen UCLA freshman guard Lonzo Ball, make it a point to watch this showdown between Pac-12 heavyweights. You'll think Magic Johnson.  

NFL: Packers at Falcons (Fox, 2 p.m. Sunday): Aaron Rodgers' legend seems to be growing with every game. If Green Bay wins another Super Bowl, the statue outside Lambeau Field starts going up Feb. 6.

Tennis: Australian Open semifinals (ESPN2, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday; ESPN, 2:30 a.m. Friday): Watching Serena Williams won't require setting the DVR on Wednesday, but seeing the guys in action live on Friday and the next night might cut into sleep time. 

Contact Jim Benson at



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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