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NBA League Pass Review 2018—All the NBA You Can Handle

NBA League Pass hooks fans up with NBA coverage they couldn’t get otherwise

Our Rating
User Experience
4/5
Value
4/5
Features
4/5
Monthly Cost
Starting at $17.99

Our Rating

Package Name PriceMax ScreensTeams Covered Website
NBA Team Pass$17.99/mo.51View Package
NBA League Pass$28.99/mo.530View Package
NBA League Pass Premium$49.99/mo.530View Package
PriceMax ScreensTeams Covered Website
$17.99/mo.51View Package
$28.99/mo.530View Package
$49.99/mo.530View Package

NBA League Pass is your courtside ticket to (almost) all of this season’s drama—from the super duper Warriors with Boogie Cousins, to the feisty Celtics, to the meme team Lakers.

You can watch every buzzer beater, posterizing dunk, and “Shaqtin’ a fool” moment on NBA League Pass. Just don’t plan on watching your hometown team without a VPN service.

So what’s NBA League Pass?

NBA League Pass is your ticket to watching every out-of-market, non-nationally-televised NBA game. Basically, a subscription-based service that allows you to watch entire NBA games on NBA.com and the NBA app. Or in other words, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

Along with live coverage of games, you can also catch replays of recent barn burners and classic matchups. Want to rewatch the most recent Lakers/Celtics finals matchup from 2010, or the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead? You can even go back to games from the 60’s with Bob Cousy and Bill Russell.

Depending upon what package you choose, you can even watch live NBA games without commercial breaks. No more GEICO commercials for you.

How do NBA League Pass blackouts work?

Here are the two things you need to know about NBA League Pass blackouts:

  1. You can’t watch your local in-market team (e.g. you can’t watch the Lakers if you live in the Los Angeles area).
  2. You can’t watch games airing on ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, or TNT.

Every game that doesn’t fall under those rules, you can watch with NBA League Pass. We know—it sucks that you can’t watch local teams, but thems the breaks.

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Unless...

Okay, so there’s a way you can watch your local team with NBA League Pass. With a VPN, you can make it seem like you’re streaming from a different location. Learn about the best VPNs out there here.

NBA League Pass packages

You’ve got three options for watching NBA League Pass live and two payment options for each:

NBA Team PassNBA League PassNBA League Pass Premium
See PlansSee PlansSee Plans
Team Access1 team30 teams*30 teams*
Price (monthly)$17.99$28.99$39.99
Price (annually)$119.99$199.99$249.99
CommercialsYesYesYes
*You can’t watch local games or nationally televised games on NBA League Pass.

Now you decide what level of NBA fanatic you are. NBA League Pass and NBA League Pass Premium both cover the entire league (except your local team). You’ll get those delightful notifications on your phone that say something like “Bucks and Knicks are tied with 20 seconds left to go in the game. Start watching now!” You can hop over to any live NBA game, or watch replays after the fact. Or you can stick to the single-team experience and root for your guys.

NBA Team Pass: Save the most money, commit to one team

For the single-team fanatic, you can opt for the NBA Team Pass and save yourself at least $70 over the course of a season compared to the other packages.

You’ll need to live without keeping close tabs on the rest of the league, but you can always catch highlights and follow other games on social media. At the end of the day, what matters is that you’ll get to watch your favorite team for $17.99 a month.

NBA League Pass: The most popular choice

As is usually the case, the most popular choice is right in the middle. The original NBA League Pass covers the entire league but comes with commercials. You essentially get the local feed from whatever team you want, so you might even catch one of those hilarious H-E-B commercials from San Antonio.

Commercials are a small price to pay to get the maximum amount of NBA coverage for a decent price. But if you can’t stand seeing Chris Paul and James Harden on those State Farm commercials, the next option is for you.

NBA League Pass Premium: The in-arena experience

The chief perk you get with NBA League Pass Premium is the lack of commercials.

Instead of going straight into endless Carl’s Jr. commercials, your stream stays in the arena. You can watch people embarrass themselves on the kiss cam or watch The Red Panda defy gravity. Or you can just hit the mute button during commercials and save yourself $50.

But if you want that in-arena experience, opt for the premium package.

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NBA League Pass Audio

For the truly old-school fan, you can also get NBA League Pass Audio for a one-time fee of $9.99. You get access to the entire league, and you can gather your family around the radio to listen to the New York Knickerbockers broadcast.

You can listen to NBA games on your web browser or the NBA app.

Catch all the games you miss

Every single team has 82 games in a season, and there’s just no way you can keep up with everything as it unfolds live.

Thankfully, NBA League Pass holds onto replays of games that you can watch from start to finish. There are even condensed versions of games that cover all the action in 10 or so minutes. You can stay up to date with the teams you moderately care about.

Sharing is caring with NBA League Pass

No matter what NBA League Pass package you decide on, you can have up to five streams going on at a time.

You’re probably wondering, “Does this mean I can split a subscription with some of my friends?” The answer is yes. Go in on a subscription with your dream team of friends, and you can pay much less over the course of the season.

Just know that if you use the mosaic option (which just means there are multiple games streaming on one screen), every one of those streams counts towards your total. But if you avoid the mosaic option altogether, you can easily share your NBA League Pass subscription.

How do I use NBA League Pass?

Don’t go looking for an app or website specific to NBA League Pass because it doesn’t exist. Yeah, we were confused at first, too.

All NBA League Pass content streams on NBA.com and the NBA app. Let’s run through both.

Accessing NBA League Pass on NBA.com

  1. First things first, go to NBA.com and sign in.

2. Look at the column on the left, where it says “ALL GAMES” and “MY GAMES.”

3. Click Watch under the matchup that you want to enjoy.

It’s actually super simple when you figure out the interface. Just remember that your NBA League Pass content is right on the NBA.com homepage, and the worst is over.

Accessing League Pass on mobile devices

  1. Download the NBA app from your mobile store.
  2. Open the app and hit the Scores tab at the bottom.

3. Scroll through until you find the game you want to see and click the Watch button.

Streaming quality

The quality of an NBA League Pass stream depends on the quality of your internet connection. You can’t expect LeBron-James-level streaming with a Carmelo-Anthony-quality internet connection.

No matter what internet connection you have, NBA League Pass will get the most out of it with adaptive bandwidth technology. This is a fancy way of saying that your streaming quality will change in real time depending on your internet speed.

You’ll want a connection speed of at least 3 Mbps to enjoy NBA League Pass. In fact, aim for something a little higher to avoid lag or choppy streams.

NBA League Pass device compatibility

You can watch NBA League Pass with pretty much any streaming device. If you own something that streams TV, it’ll probably work with NBA League Pass.

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Stay in the know

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NBA League Pass review summary (our verdict)

Pros

  • Tons of NBA access
  • Different subscription options
  • Replays of old games

Cons

  • Blackouts for local and nationally televised games
  • Prices a little on the expensive side

NBA League Pass won’t work for everybody, but for those it does work for, it’s amazing. You just need to make sure you’ve got a workaround for those inevitable blackouts. If NBA League Pass works for your geographic situation, there’s nothing better for the NBA fanatic.

What are your thoughts on NBA League Pass? What teams are you most excited to watch next season? Let us know in the comments below.

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