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The NBA League Pass is an online streaming service that got off the ground at the start of the 1995/96 NBA season. It’s operated by Turner Broadcasting System, on behalf of the NBA and provides live coverage of every NBA regular-season and playoff game. However, access to some matchups will be affected by local network blackouts.
In addition to subscribing directly to the service, NBA League Pass is available through several third-party providers. This includes on-demand video streaming service Amazon Prime Video, live streaming services like AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV, as well as television providers such as DirecTV, DISH, Xfinity, Spectrum, and Verizon Fios. NBA League Pass costs $200 per year or $29 per month across all of these providers.
NBA League Pass is available on Apple and Windows web players, Android and iOS mobile devices and tablets, gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox One, streaming devices such as Amazon Fire Stick and Roku, additional streaming devices, and smart TVs. It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Echo, which means users can change games and adjust features using their voice.
NBA League Pass Packages at a Glance
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*Pricing information reflects full-season pass. Pricing will change throughout the season.
How We Evaluated NBA League Pass
The number of cable services, live streaming providers, and video streaming services available to choose from can make it difficult for sports fans to know where to get their fix of live coverage. Luckily for NBA fans, there’s no need to worry about where all the live basketball action is thanks to NBA League Pass.
We took a look at NBA League Pass Premium and compared its features to other streaming services that provide coverage of live NBA games.
NBA League Pass vs. Other NBA Streaming Services
NBA League Pass Key Considerations
Never miss an NBA game again
NBA League Pass’s comprehensive coverage of NBA action, including every regular-season and playoff game, makes this app a slam dunk for basketball lovers. Viewers that can’t watch a broadcast for any reason also have the option of enjoying full-match replays for 24 hours after the excitement ends. Users could, in theory, also try to keep up with up to 20 matches at the same time — NBA League Pass provides five simultaneous streams with up to four live games on each device via its Mosaic View.
Schedule blackouts affect live game access
A key consideration is that certain networks have exclusive regional rights to select NBA games. Those matchups are shown on ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT. NBA League Pass subscribers must wait for three hours until after the game has ended to watch the competition on the service. NBA blackouts will affect viewers’ viewing options differently, depending on where they live. Pair NBA League Pass with a live streaming service that offers these channels, such as YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV and missing the action won’t be much of an issue.
NBA League Pass provides broadcasts catered to viewers’ personal needs and appetite for live basketball. League Pass Premium enables users to stay on top of the action with In-Arena Stream, which avoids commercial breaks. People who are only interested in watching games that include their favorite basketball team are better served with the NBA Team Pass option. And casual fans can simply sign up for access to one-off games if and when the need for live basketball strikes their fancy.
Additional viewing extras
Subscribers who really want to get the most out of NBA League Pass have a number of choices available to enhance their basketball viewing experience. Adding NBA TV to a subscription for an additional $39.99 per year ensures live coverage of every game and a huge back catalog of NBA content that isn’t available with some packages. The avid basketball fan can get even closer to the action by adding the NBA League Pass Virtual Reality feature for a one-time payment of $49.99. And for those subscribers that can’t access blacked-out games, home and away radio station streams are available with a one-time $9.99 payment. All plans except NBA Team Pass also give viewers access to classic NBA games.
The Bottom Line
NBA League Pass is a basketball fan’s dream come true, offering coverage of every NBA game both in the regular season and throughout the playoffs. It’s a particularly attractive choice for anyone whose favorite team is not in their local area, as the service guarantees live coverage of every matchup during the season. However, fans of their local NBA supermen will find their viewing options restricted.
NBA League Pass is a great option for people that are only, or primarily, into basketball. The service is cheaper than subscribing to a cable provider or an all-encompassing streaming service that carries NBA League Pass on top of additional sports programming.