NBA League Pass Review

Need an assist when it comes to watching out-of-market games?
Take NBA games with you wherever you go with NBA League Pass.
Price:
$119–249
Games available:
All (with exception of blackouts)

OVERVIEW

The 2018–2019 NBA season starts on October 16th. If you’re feeling slam-dunked by the funk of not being able to watch your favorite NBA Team (go Jazz!), then adding NBA League Pass to your line-up can help—but beware of blackout games (*thunder cracks and lighting strikes*).

NBA League Pass providers

TV providerNBA LEAGUE PASS available?PriceDetails
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

If you’re already subscribing to a cable or satellite TV service, then NBA League Pass is usually offered as an add-on. You can switch between ABC, TBS, ESPN, and NBA League Pass on one TV with ease, or use a device in the mix to watch as you run around town. And you can watch as many games as possible in your area. Blackout restrictions still apply.

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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 3 hours after the event has ended.

The kids from Beverly Hills 90210 and Scruff McGruff from Chicago, Illinois (60652) 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. If you don’t wanna take a chance, Lance, get a VPN (more on that below).

NBA League Pass price

NBA League Pass has four different packages to choose from:

  • NBA League Pass Premium: $249.99 per year or $39.99 a month
  • NBA League Pass: $199.99 per year or $28.99 per month
  • NBA Team Pass: $119.99 per year or $17.99 per month
  • NBA League Pass Audio: $9.99 (one time)

We wouldn’t exactly say NBA League Pass is a good deal for the price, but it is the only way to fill out your NBA season with as many games as possible. If you already have ABC, TNT, and ESPN, you’ll get a healthy amount of games, but maybe not the ones you want to watch.

We’d recommend it for hardcore NBA fans, and single-team, die-hard fans—especially if you’re willing to use a VPN (see video at bottom of article).

What you need to know about NBA League Pass

With different levels of service, you can go all-out if you love basketball as much as Joan Jett loves rock ‘n’ roll, or you can snatch up a season of your favorite team’s games for the price of two nosebleed seats at the arena.

NBA League Pass features and pricing

FeaturesNBA League Pass PremiumNBA League PassNBA Team PassNBA Single Game
Price$249.99/yr. OR $39.99/mo.$199.99/yr. OR $28.99/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

We dig that NBA League Pass caters to a variety of needs. Hardcore NBA fans should opt for Premium to watch all out-of-market games, revisit classic games, and avoid commercials. The regular NBA League Pass gives you all the teams and classic games, but you miss out on commercial-free viewing and an in-arena stream.

For die-hards of a single team, the NBA Team Pass should do fine and save you about $80 for the year—then you can use that money to attend a game in person. Sweet.

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What's the digital-only form of NBA League Pass?

If you don’t already have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you’ll want NBA League Pass Digital. You can watch games via the NBA app or other streaming devices like Apple TV, iPhone, Android phones, and more. That way, you can watch on the go or on your big screen.

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

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

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.x and above)
  • Android Tablet (version 5.x and above)
  • Kindle Fire
  • Roku 3 +
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick
  • Xbox 1
  • PlayStations 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. Play the Rockets game” or “Alexa, when do the Cavaliers play?”

How to try NBA League Pass before you buy

You can check out NBA League Pass during the free preview period going from October 16th through the 23rd. It’s at the beginning of the regular season, which is a great way to window-shop NBA League Pass.

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 with 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?

Avoid NBA League Pass blackouts with a VPN

Using a VPN (virtual provider network) can help you bypass blackouts. Basically, by using a VPN program that creates a safe, encrypted connection, you can pretend to be in a location other than your own (let’s say Mexico) to stream a game that would otherwise be blacked out.

Blackouts are based on location, so avoid setting a location that’s in the same division as yours. For example, setting your VPN location to Los Angeles won’t help much if you’re trying to watch a Sacramento Kings game—if nothing else, because they’ll play the Lakers at least four times in a season. Go international, baby.

VPNs are NOT illegal. Plus, your identity will remain anonymous and your connection will be secure. Setup is easy and should take under 10 minutes. Try to do this before tipoff to keep your homies happy.

For more information on how to use VPNs, watch our VPN video below.

Other ways to watch the NBA

If you don’t have (or want) a cable or satellite TV service, you can always scope out a streaming service. Just make sure they carry TNT and ESPN in your package, those channels air the most games alongside ABC.

Live TV streaming providers

ProviderABCESPNTNTDetails
DIRECTV NOWYesYesYesView plans
Hulu with Live TVYesYesYesView plans
PlayStation VueYesYesYesView plans
Sling TVAdd-onYesYesView plans
YouTube TVYesYesYesView 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.

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Watching 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, see who’s in your area, and get watchin’ some prime NBA dunks.

NBA League Pass FAQ

What is NBA League Pass?

You can buy a regular season package through NBA League Pass to watch games outside of your local viewing area. It’s a way of watching games outside of 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.

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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. 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 is 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’ 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