NBA League Pass Review 2020

The best streaming service for NBA junkies everywhere.
NBA League Pass logo
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Price:
$119.99–$249.00
Games available:
All (except blackouts)
Recent Updates: 2 months ago
The NBA season is postponed (what will we do with our spare time?). How about a free subscription to NBA League Pass?? The NBA is letting all basketball fans enjoy NBA League Pass until April 22 for no cost at all. So, jump on it!

The NBA does this to us every year. Anthony Davis is on the Lakers? Russell Westbrook is on the Rockets? Kyrie Irving is on the Nets? The Knicks have a million guys playing the same position? Yeah, I think I’m going to need to watch basically every game. And that’s why NBA League Pass is nothing short of magical.

Allow me to demonstrate just how much basketball is at your fingertips with NBA League Pass:

Now that I’ve got your attention, the most important thing to know about NBA League Pass are the dreaded blackout games. You can’t watch your local team live if you live in the same TV market, and you can’t stream games that are broadcast on ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, or TNT.

What’s a blackout for NBA games?

Depending on where you live, specific broadcast networks are licensed to play regional teams. That means NBA League Pass could take away shares of those audiences. Thus, it’s restricted from airing those games in those locations until three hours after the event has ended.

The kids from Beverly Hills and Scruff McGruff from Chicago, Illinois, will have different NBA blackouts based on their ZIP codes. The Beverly Hills kids might have Lakers games blacked out and Scruff might have his Bulls games blacked out.

Price Tag icon
Can I get an NBA League Pass free trial?
Yes, you can! But it only lasts for the first week of the season. Sadly, that time has come and gone for the 2019–2020 season, but make sure to stay on the ball for the NBA League Pass free trial starting next season.

How to get NBA League Pass

You can get NBA League Pass from basically any TV provider, but sadly that probably won’t change the price you pay for the service.

NBA League Pass providers
TV providerNBA League Pass availablePriceDetails
Amazon PrimeYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
DIRECTVYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
DISHYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
XfinityYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
Verizon FiosYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
SpectrumYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
YouTube TVYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
Hulu with Live TVYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans
Sling TVYes (as add-on)$199.99/yr. or $28.99/mo.View Plans

Price and channel inclusion vary according to location.

The main perk of getting NBA League Pass through your current TV provider is the convenience of having everything in the same place. You can flip from watching Jeopardy! over to the Bucks and 76ers game from the same interface.

Pin icon
This year, I’m using YouTube TV for my NBA League Pass.
Usually, I just get my NBA League Pass fix through the NBA app itself. Though the NBA app worked perfectly fine, I have to admit, it’s nice having live TV and NBA League Pass all in the same place.

NBA League Pass cost

Pay for one team or for the entire league.

You’ve got a couple of options for your NBA League Pass consumption. Here’s how the NBA League Pass pricing breaks down:

  • NBA League Pass Premium: $249.99/yr. or $39.99/mo.
  • NBA League Pass: $199.99/yr. or $28.99/month
  • NBA Team Pass: $119.99/yr. or $17.99/mo.
  • NBA League Pass Audio: $9.99 (one time)
  • NBA League Pass Virtual Reality: $49.99 (one time)

So what’s the difference between all these NBA League Pass prices? It all depends on how much of an NBA junkie you are. With League Pass Premium, you get access to every out-of-market game, and your stream stays in the arena instead of jumping to commercials.

Here’s a breakdown of all the features you can find for each tier of NBA League Pass:

NBA League Pass features and pricing
FeaturesNBA League Pass PremiumNBA League PassNBA Team PassNBA Single Game
Price$249.99/yr. or $39.99/mo.$249.99/yr. or $39.99/mo.$119.99/yr. or $17.99/mo.$6.99
Watch live games in HDAll teamsAll teamsOne teamOne game
Access to NBA classic gamesYesYesNoNo
Watch four games with mosaic viewYesYesYesNo
Commercial freeYesNoNoNo
In-arena streamYesNoNoNo
DetailsView PlanView PlanView PlanView Plan

NBA League Pass

If you’re a hardcore NBA fan, you really should opt for Premium. Not only can you keep up on division rivals and any out-of-market game, but you can also revisit classic games like Bird vs. Magic in ’87, Jordan pushing off in ’98, or Shaq and Kobe being bailed out by Big Shot Bob in 2002. Not to mention you can avoid those cringe-worthy James Harden/Chris Paul State Farm commercials.

NBA Team Pass

If keeping up with the entire league sounds like a lot, or if you just want to make sure you can watch your beloved Lakers while taking advantage of that sweet cost-of-living in Utah, then NBA Team Pass should do just fine. You can save about $80 for the year and use it to buy a ticket and see LeBron in person when he comes to Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Screenshot of a basketball game viewed on NBA League Pass

©NBA League Pass

You can watch all the out-of-market games of your favorite team.

NBA Single Game

If you’re dying to watch a single game that’ll settle a bet between you and your college buddies, NBA Single Game costs less than a bucket of popcorn at the stadium.

Let’s say you’re neck and neck with your opponent in your fantasy basketball league, and you want to see Giannis Antetokounmpo put up wild stats and win the week for you. You can pick up the odd Bucks game and root for your fantasy stars.

Bullhorn icon
Is it worth it to upgrade to NBA League Pass Premium?
I always get the Premium Pass—I can’t help myself. One time I saw John Wall and Bradley Beal fighting during a timeout because of my in-arena stream, and now I just can’t go back. Plus, I hate commercials.

How to stream NBA League Pass

You can use the following mobile devices, tablets, connected devices, and gaming consoles to watch NBA League Pass:

  • iPhone (iOS 10.0 and higher)
  • iPad (iOS 10.0 and higher)
  • Android phone (version 5 and above)
  • Android tablet (version 5 and above)
  • Kindle Fire
  • Roku 3 and above
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick
  • Xbox One
  • PlayStation 3 and 4

You can also integrate Amazon Alexa and Echo so you can change between games or adjust the volume using your voice. Try “Alexa, open NBA and play the Rockets game,” or “Alexa, when do the Celtics play?”

NBA League Pass blackouts

Games are blacked out based on your ZIP code, and the reason for this is licensing, or in simpler terms, money. So some games in your local area will get blocked by a Shaquille O’Neal–sized blackout screen.

The NBA wants to get its money, and we understand that. More butts in seats means more money, which means more ability to bring top talent to the area, improve the stadium, and even upgrade those foam fingers.

But what if we want to see all the games?

Screen Shot of a Portland Trail Blazers game

©NBA League Pass

If you lived in Portland, you couldn’t watch the Trailblazers on League Pass.

Other ways to watch the NBA

You’ve got two options at this point, dear reader. You can watch this video about streaming NBA League Pass, or you can read some more. Let’s start with the video:

Now let’s break this down even more.

If you’re a fan of the Lakers, Clippers, 76ers, or Pelicans, tons of your team’s games will air on national television frequently. This is true of every team in the NBA (except maybe the Wizards), so you’ll need a backup plan when League Pass doesn’t carry the game.

You’d be wise to supplement your League Pass subscription with another streaming service so you don’t miss hanging out with Shaq, Chuck, Charles, and Kenny on TNT. Oh, and all NBA playoff games air on national TV. You won’t want to miss those.

Take a look at all your options for streaming services that carry the essential NBA channels

NBA channel streaming services comparison
ChannelAT&T TV NOWYouTube TVHulu with Live TVSling TV
ABCYesYesYesAdd-on
ESPNYesYesYesYes
TNTYesYesYesYes
NBA TVYesYesYesAdd-on
DetailsView PlansView PlansView PlansView Plans

We also recommend buying an HD indoor TV antenna to make sure you get ABC, along with your other local stations, so you don’t miss out in case some streaming services don’t have all the local network affiliates.

Bullhorn icon
Watch the NBA with cable or satellite
If you’re looking for a new cable or satellite TV subscription to watch NBA games, check out our list of the best TV service providers and see who’s in your area. Cable or satellite is your most reliable bet for catching your local team.

Recap: Start watching the NBA now

NBA League Pass is a gift to NBA fans everywhere. It’s the one streaming service I make sure to sign up for every year. It’s expensive, true, but if you’re a fan of the NBA, and in particular, if you’re a fan of a team that isn’t in your local market, NBA League Pass feels like a no-brainer.

So who are you most excited to watch this year? Who are your favorite NBA League Pass teams? Let us know in the comments below.

FAQs

What is NBA League Pass?

NBA League Pass is a service that lets you watch games outside of your local viewing area. It’s a way of watching games that aren’t on your normal NBA-viewing channels like ABC, TNT, and ESPN, as well as classic games. Plus, you’ll get free radio stream access, which is rad for when you’re working or out on the road but still want to hear the action.

Money icon
Listen to NBA games on the cheap
Don’t need to see the game but still want to tune in? Throw $10 (one time) at NBA League Pass Audio as a standalone package for the season. You’ll be able to listen to all live games for all teams. No blackouts here, folks.

What do I get with NBA League Pass in the offseason?

If you want to catch up on some rising stars you may have missed, NBA League Pass gives you access to last year’s season on demand, including the playoffs. It’s a solid way to refresh your memory of Donovan Mitchell’s acrobatics, King James in all his glory, or James Harden’s best flops.

What’s the difference between NBA League Pass and NBA TV?

NBA TV showcases exhibition, regular season, and playoff games, as well as related content like analysis programs, specials, and documentaries. It’s like an ESPN for the NBA.

NBA TV encompasses NBA League Pass’s digital platforms in addition to your regular TV lineup, but you must purchase it from your cable or satellite provider. NBA League Pass lets you watch from all digital platforms, and you can buy it online.

  • Codylox Keeler

    Your tip #3 is an option they no longer offer

    • Denis_

      You’re right

  • Jennifer Kanaski

    How do I get the league pass to play via my fire tv stick? I have the NBA app on there but it keeps shutting off!

  • Jay Sully

    If i get league pass today(Nov 27,2017) will it last until Nov 27, 2018 or until the finals is over?

    • Vi M

      I think it’s til the season is over, because there are discounts in January. But don’t quote me on that.

  • lori fair

    We bought the okc thunder game on NBA league pass for 1 x for 6.99. Can’t get it to play. Any help would be great