Tag: NBA league pass

nba league pass

NBA makes new League Pass features official, all nationally televised games now archived


When the NBA posted the list of features for its League Pass offering this season, a couple of new ones immediately caught the attention of the hardcore fans that routinely pay for the privilege of watching every game during the regular season.

A limitation in the past was the lack of nationally televised games available, which was an issue because a lot of the most highly-anticipated matchups appear on ABC, TNT, ESPN, or NBA TV.

While they’re still not available live through League Pass, they are now part of the archives, which means you can watch them after they’ve aired or even days later.

From the official release:

“NBA LEAGUE PASS will mark its 20th season by providing fans with new features including direct access to a national game archive featuring all televised games on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV throughout the regular season, and live feeds of both home and away team broadcasts for all games.

“The new enhancements will be available on NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, which is available complimentary to NBA LEAGUE PASS and as a standalone product.  Additional package options include NBA LEAGUE PASS Mobile and NBA LEAGUE PASS Choice, allowing fans to choose up to five teams to watch during the regular season.”

The second enhanced feature is the ability to choose which broadcast you want to see, which is great if you want your hometown feed instead of hearing your favorite team being disparaged by the opponent’s on-air crew (we’re looking at you, Sean Elliott).

The league confirmed its pricing for the various League Pass offerings a few weeks back, and it’s worth noting that you’ll get the best deal if you purchase the package through your cable or satellite provider. You’ll get the TV, broadband, and mobile versions all for an early bird price of $189 by doing it this way.

If you don’t have cable, you can still purchase the League Pass Broadband offering by itself for the same price for all 30 teams, or you can choose five teams to watch and pay just $129. The mobile version alone will set you back $49.99.

League Pass was already a must-have for NBA fans everywhere. The ability to now get all of the nationally televised games through the service via the archives is a fantastic upgrade, at no additional cost.

NBA announces League Pass pricing for 2013-14 season

nba league pass

There was a little bit of a rumbling (read: a mini-freakout) from a section of hardcore NBA fans on Tuesday, when a mass email was sent out from the league in error that announced a skyrocketing of the price to purchase League Pass for next season.

The service that allows access to watch all most regular season games either over the internet or through your local cable provider is essential to NBA junkies, and after the small amount of hysteria that went down in response to the emailed announcement, the league confirmed its pricing for the service for the 2013-14 season.

The Premium full season package that includes all teams will go for a $189 early bird price, and will be $199 after Nov. 5.

The 5-Team Choice Package (broadband only) is $129.99 early bird, and 139.99 after Nov.5 The mobile package to watch games live on your cell phone or tablet will be $49.99.

These prices are in line with what was charged last season, and it’s fair for the offering. There have been wide-ranging complaints about the quality of the service — games being “unavailable due to technical difficulties,” not every game being offered in HD 100 percent of the time, and shaky quality of broadcasts — but overall I found the service to be of more than serviceable quality the majority of the time.

My issues with League Pass are more about the games that you can’t watch via this service.

The limitations are extremely frustrating, and include the following:

Games televised on NBA TV are not included in League Pass broadband (i.e., NBA TV must be purchased through your cable operator in order to view these games): This doesn’t seem like a fair exclusion. If it’s NBA TV and I’m paying to watch NBA games, then those shown on this channel should be available through my League Pass broadband account.

Games televised on TNT, ESPN, or ABC are not included in the League Pass broadband package: This one doesn’t make sense, because if the games are offered technically for free over the air, I should be able to see them over the league’s broadband service as one of its paying customers.

League Pass broadband archives all games for later viewing, which is fantastic. However, the ones shown on the previously-mentioned networks aren’t included, and my local team’s games are both blacked out live and are not available via the archive service. As a journalist who attends my local team’s games in person (or is traveling to see games in other cities), if I forget to set the DVR for whatever channel the game where I live happens to be shown on, I’m unable to watch when I get home or the following day.

Of course, I understand why these restrictions are in place. The NBA is trying to get more people to watch its games on these networks that pay the league billions for broadcast rights, and isn’t trying to get fans to cut the cord with cable by offering its product by itself for a flat rate price.

(Full disclosure: I literally only turn on my television to watch live sports in real time. I would definitely drop my cable subscription if I could pay whatever to watch 100 percent of NBA games online.)

But if the NBA wanted to do right by its fans, it would find a way to distribute those dollars wherever they need to go behind the scenes, and provide the full compliment of its games to its customers for one flat rate, in one simple online solution.

NBA League Pass price remains similar despite fewer games

NBA And Players Representatives Meet To Discuss Possible Settlement

It’s all about the money.

The lockout was largely about money. Cramming 66 games into a condensed schedule was all about the money (revenue for owners, paychecks for players). Every move the NBA makes is about money.

And as another reminder of that — and a big middle finger to hardcore fans — the league is going to charge basically full price for League Pass, the package that lets you get every NBA game at home on your television (via Ball Don’t Lie). The initial price is $169 this year (it was $179 last year for the early bird special, $189 once games started). And that’s just in America, if you live overseas the price is actually going up.

The league will sell that now the mobile broadband — you can watch games on your smartphone — is included rather than extra. Don’t care.

The magic number we wanted was $145 — that was the pro-rated share of 66 games from last year’s price. You can charge us the same per game, but don’t charge us the same as last year when you are giving us less product. Not to mention a sloppier product thanks to a rushed preseason and condensed schedules.

It’s not really the $24 dollars, it’s the symbolic gesture. Kind of a “hey, my bad.”

At no point through the lockout or this preseason has there been evidence that the league really cares about its fans. Sure, there has been lip service. David Stern sent out a swell letter. But actual evidence — some financial or other tangible means of saying the owners and players are sorry for the five months of BS — never showed up.

Because the money matters. Not the fans that provide that money. That’s what the actions say.