NBA League Pass Review

8

Great

Price 9 out of 10

Interface 7.5 out of 10

Compatibility 9.2 out of 10

New Shows 8 out of 10

Sports fans will probably have heard of the NBA League Pass, which is a sports TV service featuring all National Basketball Association games. The platform is operated by Turner Broadcasting System, who do so out of respect to the NBA.

The NBA League Pass first became available during the 1995-96 season, and is now available both across the US and abroad (as an international pass).

There are blackout restrictions in place with the NBA League Pass. This means that if a local team is playing and the game is available on TV, the feed on League Pass will be made unavailable for viewing.

The rules apply to games which are televised on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV, with users advised to view them by tuning into the relevant channel.

There are many ways to gain access to NBA League Pass – through AT&T U-verse, DIRECTV, Dish Network, fuboTV, Adams Cable, Blue Ridge Communications, Altice, Comcast (Xfinity), Cox Communications, Frontier Communications, RCN, Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS, Sling TV, YouTube TV, B/R Live and Yahoo Sports.

Pros and Cons

Pros

All NBA games are covered. Fans can enjoy live coverage of the top events across the board.

Decent price. Many premium services will require a higher subscription cost.

Many options available. There are a number of passes which can be used to access content.

Cons

Blackout restrictions. Local broadcasts of games will not air for those in that location on NBA League Pass.

Costs add up. Those who have multiple subscriptions will find that adding this one means the monthly cost racks up quickly.

Only provides one sport. This subscription will work best for basketball fans, and those who like watching a range of sports should look elsewhere.

Genres and channels

There are a number of features available with an NBA League Pass subscription. For example, those who opt for the Premium + NBA TV plan, which results in an annual cost of $154.99, will be able to access full length and condensed game replays.

This feature means that archives are made available for non-blacked out games 15 minutes after the game is over. The archives for nationally blacked out games will come online 3 hours after the game has been completed. Finally, the archives for locally blacked out games will make their debut on the platform 3 days after the game has ended.

There are also classic games available. The NBA League Pass site claims that people will be able to relive some of the most memorable times in NBA history, such as Michael Jordan perfecting clutch shots and Magic Johnson delivering outstanding passes. This access to historic matchups will let basketball fans see how these moments changed the game.

This subscription will provide access to every NBA Finals game which has aired between 2000 and 2019. The feature allows basketball fans to binge on demand with every Finals series which aired over the last two decades.

Finally, there are exclusive NBA TV shows to be viewed. Available both live and on demand, there are studio shows, documentaries, player interviews and more. This means that there are hours of entertainment to be had regardless of whether there are live events airing.

Top NBA League Pass shows and movies

NBA Gametime Live – 8 seasons of a show where viewers can watch the latest news, scores and highlights – plus analysis from the best in the industry.

Inside the NBA –  A show which has been airing since 1989. The Emmy Award winning title looks at each NBA telecast on TNT after the event and analyses it, plus there are interviews and more.

Hardwood Classics – A show which has been airing since 1999 and has top ratings from viewers. It features commentary and interviews on the best games in NBA and WNBA history.

NBA Inside Stuff – Originally airing on NBC, this NBA TV show focuses on a behind the scenes look at professional basketball and the off-court personalities of those who feature in the NBA.

The Starters – A show which has been airing since 2006. Originally began as The Basketball Jones when it existed as videos and podcasts. An hour long show which focuses on fan insights about games each weekday on NBA TV.

Shaqtin’ a Fool – This series has been airing since 2011, and provides a weekly look from the show Inside the NBA. The title of this show is a play on the phrase ‘actin’ a fool.’

NBA Action – This TV show has been airing since 1990. It features news, analysis, statistics, interviews and the top ten plays of the week.

Manute Bol: Basketball Warrior – Focuses on the seven foot seven center player and his journey from Sudan to the NBA. Also examines how Bol dedicates his life to those in his homeland who have been persecuted by the civil war.

The Doctor – A 2013 documentary which looks at the life of Julius Erving, a former American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association player who was also a Hall of Fame inductee.

Streaming library

The streaming library available with NBA League Pass is simple and intuitive to navigate. The app or desktop version of the system will vary slightly in appearance depending on the device being used. For example, those on PlayStation devices can scroll through a grid list of available titles, while those who have NBA League Pass as an add-on will need to enable it on their device to begin streaming content.

A user’s profile photo will be available in the top right hand corner of the screen, and this can be clicked on to access account settings. The Games section shows which events are coming up over the next few weeks, with the team logos and scores shared. The scores can be toggled on or off according to user preference.

The options available in the side menu include Live, Calendar, Videos and Teams. Users can decide whether they want to watch a live event, on-demand content, check the calendar for upcoming events relevant to their interests or make a note of when their team is next playing.

Streaming quality

It may be possible to stream content in 4K with NBA League Pass if a subscription has been purchased through a third party which supports this resolution. However, there are no official reports on the video quality resolution supported which could be found at the time of writing.

In the NBA help center, the service states that the NBA app provides the highest quality video streams depending on what the download bandwidth of the user’s internet connection is. They do also specify that this is done up to a maximum of 3MB.

To explain further, NBA describes how the video player uses adaptive bandwidth technology to check the internet connection being used on a regular basis. To this end, the app will deliver the highest quality picture as the content streams. It is worth bearing in mind that the picture quality will change if the bandwidth available also fluctuates.

The help center recommends that people close down applications which consume significant bandwidth before streaming a title or event. Examples of such apps include file sharing applications. A similar situation is found with using real time applications such as VoIP and downloading large files, so this should be refrained from until NBA streaming is complete.

Customer support

There is a contact page available for NBA content users. There is a section where people can submit general comments and questions relating to the NBA, NBA G League and WNBA.

For NBA League Pass Support, there is an email address contact as well as a support ticket system. These modes of contact are to be used for questions which relate to account changes, technical difficulties, cancelation and refunds, blackouts, activation and billing.

There is a US based and international based support site, which comprises a searchable database of the most commonly asked questions. Trending topics typically include questions about how to cancel a subscription, supported devices, technical problems and the difference between subscription types. Users can filter according to the NBA App, NBA League Pass, NBA TV or technical support.

Free trial

The free trials available with NBA League Pass are subject to change, depending on what promotion or offer is being run. For example, at the time of writing, premium subscriptions do not have a free trial available, but this may change in the future.

Those who use a free trial with NBA League Pass will typically be able to claim seven days. If a user does not want to continue with their plan after this time frame, they will need to cancel before the trial expires or risk getting charged.

Plans and pricing

There are four different kinds of subscription for users to choose from if they want to gain access to the NBA League Pass. Firstly, there is the NBA TV Live TV option, which provides access to NBA TV games and around the clock NBA coverage access. This plan costs either $29.99 a year or $6.99 a month.

There is also the NBA League Pass Premium, which is All Teams and No Commercials. This allows users to watch hundreds of games from the league without having to deal with commercials. The price for this one is annual and costs $124.99.

Those who want a standard NBA League Pass with All Teams will be able to pay $99.99 a year for access to hundreds of games from around the league. Alternatively, the NBA Team Pass provides out of market games for a favourite team at a price of $59.99 a year.

The NBA League Pass Premium, NBA League Pass and NBA Team Pass all come with the option to purchase with the NBA TV Add-On.

Competitors

There are not any other providers which offer access to NBA basketball on such an exclusive and in-depth level. Those who live and breathe the sport will definitely benefit from a subscription to this service. However, if there are sports fans considering NBA League Pass who tend to spend more time watching a range of sports, a different service may be more suitable. For example, ESPN+ covers multiple sports, plus offers exclusive UFC event access. Sling TV and fuboTV have some sports channels, so these can be compared to find out which have the channels of your preference. Furthermore, there are league passes out there for other sports which may be more suitable. Ultimately, some may not want to pay a separate subscription just for basketball content, but others may prefer to subscribe to this option and no other live or on demand streaming services.

Is NBA League Pass worth it?

There is certainly plenty to enjoy for those who have enjoyed the NBA League for a while and want to enjoy a next level experience. If the free trial can be obtained, this can provide a nice introduction to the service and help to inform users of whether they would like to pay for the content. There is also a monthly subscription available for those who want to just spend a few dollars and find out what the NBA League Pass is all about.

By paying annually, users do not have to worry about getting money taken from their account each month, and there is no contract involved despite a measure which may seem similar to that of a cable bill. As the user can cancel at any time, they will not need to worry about being charged after their subscription expires.

With a wealth of live and on demand content, NBA League Pass is sure to provide users with hours of entertainment. The access to classic games and other NBA titles with select subscriptions means that restrictions such as live games not being available will be easier to handle. As the platform has a slick interface, decent subscription costs and unparalleled access to the sport, we feel safe in recommending NBA League Pass to users.

FAQ

How to cancel my NBA League Pass subscription
  1. Navigate to the NBA website.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Click on Manage Subscription.
  4. Select Cancel Subscription.
  5. Select your reason for cancellation.
  6. Click on Confirm Cancellation.
How to login to my NBA League Pass account

  1. Navigate to the NBA website.
  2. Click on Sign In.
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. Enter your password.
  5. Click on Sign In & Continue.
  6. Start streaming!
How to delete my watch history on NBA League Pass

This function does not appear to be available at present.

How to restart my NBA League Pass subscription later


Users can cancel their NBA League Pass subscription and resume it again at a later date. This is easily done by first completing the cancellation process as described above. Then, after a particular time period, the user can sign back into their NBA account and select a League Pass subscription to begin their plan again.

How to get a refund on NBA League Pass
?

The refund policy for NBA League Pass is highlighted on the NBA help center site. The policy states that NBA League Pass will not provide refunds except for situations where there are confirmed technical issues or subscribers in the first 30 days of League Pass Season: Auto-Renewed have 30 days from the time of annual renewal to cancel and receive a full refund.

Refunds are only provided to those who purchased a subscription through the NBA site. Those who used a partner such as a mobile App Store, cable or satellite provider, will need to contact this service’s customer support team for further advice on refunds.

Are there any good alternatives to NBA League Pass?

NBA League Pass is unique in that it is the only streaming subscription which combines top of the range access to NBA games in conjunction with a variety of on-demand and live titles from the NBA library. Those who are not into basketball but enjoy other sports may prefer to access a service such as ESPN+ or Fite, while those who enjoy a more varied streaming library may prefer a mainstream live TV subscription such as Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV or fuboTV.

Can I use my NBA League Pass account in another country?

Those who live outside of the USA are able to purchase an NBA International League Pass. This subscription is different in terms of its content, pricing and so on. The International League Pass lets users access all NBA games which are played during the regular season, All Star Weekend, Playoffs and Finals without any blackout restrictions in place. In Canada, subscribers will have nationally televised games blacked out while live. They will only be available for on-demand viewing once the game is over. With the International League Pass, users can also access games from past seasons via the archives.

How to sign up to NBA League Pass
  1. Navigate to the NBA website.
  2. Log in to your NBA account.
  3. Navigate to the schedule on your app or web browser.
  4. Find a game which has League Pass displaying in its tile.
  5. Select a stream – home or away – and either buy the game or choose one of your pre-purchase options.
  6. Log in to your NBA League Pass account using your NBA account details.
  7. Confirm your selection.
  8. Start streaming!

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