NBA League Pass Review: How to Live Stream NBA Games

nba league passFor those who are unaware of what NBA League Pass is, it is a service that packages most NBA games for you to watch. It is the NBA equivalent to an NFL Sunday Ticket or MLB Extra Innings. NBA League pass has been around for over 20 years and is available in the United States and in the United Kingdom. While League Pass is not a cheap service to use, it is well worth it if you are an avid fan and want to watch more than just the nationally televised game each week. If you are a die-hard fan of the Portland Trail Blazers but live in Minnesota, League Pass offers up a single-team pass where you can get just one team to stream. Overall NBA League Pass is a great product and has been adapting to customer demands over the last ten years.

Overview

The sport of basketball has been growing for a while and between all the advanced stats and new ways to view the game, League Pass has shifted with the times. NBA League Pass is built for the die-hard basketball fan and/or hardcore fantasy basketball player. The ability to watch multiple games each night is what it was built for. Those who are more casual and watch nationally televised games and tune in more come playoff time, the price tag is going to be a bit high for what you’d likely use it for.

When you get League Pass you have access to classic games, home/away streams, and can go back to watch full length or shortened game highlights. Down below is the listed devices that support League Pass and there are a lot of them. League Pass offers a few different packages to consider and does have a little something for everyone. You can also get the single-game and audio purchases if needed.

Pricing & Packages

PackageMonthly PriceYearly Price
League Pass (One Team)$17.99$119.99
League Pass (All Teams)$28.99$199.99
League Pass (All Teams W/ No Commercials)$39.99$249.99

The NBA regular season is a seven-month-long process and if you plan on sticking around the full year, take the discount and sign up for the year package. Usually, there are free trial periods at the beginning of the season. They do not require any sort of sign up and are broadcasted for free for those looking at the package and can’t decide if they want to use it or not. One of the great additions to the League Pass set of packages is the one-team bundle. If you are a fan of the Boston Celtics but live out on the West Coast, you can subscribe to their games. Just remember you will not be able to watch nationally televised games, so those main channels will be needed from another service. For a team like Boston, this can be frustrating because they play so many nationally televised games.

The prices above are the before season prices that they have locked in. League Pass will adjust their prices usually around the halfway mark of the season and then over the last few weeks of the season. This is great for those who want to tune into more of the final stretch of the season. You can expect the packages pricing to be slashed in half or pay a quarter of the price over the last two months of the season. Keep an eye on those free trial alerts but each package also does come with a 7-day trial for those who want to sign up during a period where they are not just offering a free look-in.

nba league pass live stream

Interface

Depending on the device you are using you might see small differences in the interface, but each app brings a great screen to watch basketball on. The mobile view is one of my favorites as it is less about the bells and whistles of other games and stats and just enhances the game. There is also a mosaic view which lets you watch up to four games at the same time. This is great for those games all ending at the same time or if you are trying to watch multiple games due to fantasy reasons. If you have a VR system, the NBA has begun to dip their toes into new technology. You can watch through VR if the game is supported. If you are a stat geek like myself and love to see what is going on mid-game with all the data and numbers that are available, League Pass has made this easier to track in-game. For my fantasy purposes, this is a great way to watch the game.

Reliability

Streaming reliability is always a big question mark when it comes to sports. During a show or movie, if the stream lags, a quick restart or rewind can get you back on track. If a stream goes out with two minutes left in a game, you are scrambling to get it back up and running. The stream quality is very solid, and are usually at 60fps.

Pros

  • Can Be Bundled With Hulu, YouTube, & Sling TV
  • Access To 40 Out-Of-Market Games A Week
  • Simultaneous Streaming
  • Sleek Interface
  • Watch Multiple Games At Same Time
  • Single-Team Packages
  • Personalized Broadcasts
  • Updated Pricing Throughout Season

There is a lot to like about the League Pass, and if you do not care about the extra spending it can be bundled monthly with Hulu, YouTube, and Sling TV. This is a great way to make sure you have those televised games covered. In addition, you will have up to 40 out-of-market games each week and that means you are totally covered and won’t miss a game. For those with a few family members or friends tuning in each night, the simultaneous streaming makes sure you can watch games on multiple devices. The interface and stat incorporation into the app are one of my favorite aspects of the League Pass service.

If you are a fantasy basketball player like myself, you will likely have the urge to tune into multiple games at the same time. I can select up to four games to watch in a same-screen view. This is perfect for tracking multiple players or if a couple of games are coming down to the wire at the same time. There is also the option to pick one team to stream as a package as well as having personalized broadcasts. Select the home or road announcing team. If you are looking to tune in more towards the end of the season or half-way point, the pricing will update at different stages of the season.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Nationally & Locally Televised Blackouts

There are really only two big flaws that keep people away from this package. If you have are looking to save money, League Pass is a bit pricey, especially if you have to bundle it to get those blackout games covered. These exclusive rights are just as frustrating for the NBA as they are us viewers, but it is how it goes with most sports. Even a single team package for local games will not be covered, so the only option to get total coverage is to spend more money to bundle with live TV service.

Nationally Televised & Local Blackouts

As mentioned above one of the major downsides to NBA League Pass is the local and national blackouts. For nationally televised games, that means any game on NBATV, TNT, ESPN, or ABC will all be blacked out. If you have cut the cord and do not have any access to these channels then you are out of luck. If you have a service that includes this then you won’t be missing out on anything. The local blackouts all have exclusive rights and this is standard for all sports. If you live in New York, then getting Knicks games won’t be an option for you through the NBA League Pass. Because you can bundle with a streaming service that offers these games, that might be your best option to get all games covered.

Supported Devices

  • Smart TVs
  • Apple TV
  • Xbox
  • Playstation
  • Android Devices
  • iOS Devices
  • Amazon Fire
  • Chromecast
  • Web Browser
  • Roku
  • VR Devices

NBA League Pass has done an excellent job of adding to the supported devices over the last few seasons. You have your gaming consoles, which the interface looks tremendous on the PlayStation. Both Apple and Android phones have supported apps within their app store and League Pass has incorporated a lot of stats and added features into these apps. One of the best ways to watch League Pass is actually through a web browser. The multi-game feature is very cool and it is easy to navigate from game-to-game. The VR device feature that some games offer is really a twist from other sports packages. This is something that is becoming a trend for the future, although I have not tested out this offering from NBA League Pass.

Is NBA League Pass Worth It?

Given the consistent effort put in each year to listen to the feedback and improve the product, League Pass is very much worth the price tag. While that can be a little much, they do offer multiple ways to try and cheapen it a bit or sample the free trial to really get a look into what you are using. The streaming quality and reliability have never been much of an issue. The only major flaw continues to be the blackout restrictions. If you have those channels covered already through another service or have bundled League Pass, then you are going to be just fine. In comparison to some of the other sports packages, League Pass has been the most intuitive in upgrading its services and putting effort into their app interfaces.

For the average fan, I can see passing on the product due to the pricing or possibly waiting until it gets cheaper towards the end of the year. The NBA has plenty of nationally televised games each week, so it is hard to feel like you are truly missing out. The League Pass package does suit those who are not in the area of their favorite team and can pick a single-team package to watch them. For those diehard fans that do not want to miss any game and want to keep track of multiple players/teams, League Pass is definitely your best bet to do so.

FAQ

What Is NBA League Pass?

The NBA League Pass is a sports package that is made for out of market fans, that can give you up to 40 games a week. You can subscribe through their app or through a cable provider. League Pass uses local and regional sports networks to broadcast most games in one spot.

How Much Does NBA League Pass Cost?

Now the NBA League Pass will have varying prices at different stages during the season but at the beginning of the season, you can watch all teams for $199.99 a year. If you want to subscribe to one team it is $119.99 a year. All have monthly prices from $17.99 to $39.99.

Does NBA League Pass Have A Free Trial?

League Pass will run free trial periods throughout the season and usually, they offer a test run at the beginning of the year for those who are on the fence about signing up. Keep an eye out for their free trial promotions.

Do I Need A Cable Subscription For NBA League Pass?

While you can sign up for League Pass through a cable subscription, you do not need one if you sign up through your mobile or streaming device. You just need an active internet connection to watch games.

Can I Watch Local Games On NBA League Pass?

This is one of the downfalls to NBA League Pass as you will not be able to watch locally televised games due to blackout restrictions. If you like in Portland, the Trail Blazers will be blacked out through League Pass.

  
Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.