skip to main content

NBA League Pass Review 2022

NBA League Pass features live games and replays from the world’s premier basketball league, and we’ve spent over 50 hours of hands-on testing and research to determine if it’s a slam dunk for NBA fans.

Every out-of-market NBA game

NBA League Pass

Price: $14.99–$19.99/mo.

Free trial: 7 days

Features: Up to 40 live NBA regular season games per week and replays

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Blackout restrictions apply.

NBA League Pass is the most convenient way for basketball fans to watch out-of-market NBA games during the regular season. The service gets you every live NBA matchup that doesn’t air on local and national television. Plus, every NBA League Pass subscription comes with live and on-demand access to NBA TV.

There are two ways to get NBA League Pass. You can purchase it as an add-on through your TV provider or subscribe to the standalone streaming version. Plans start at $14.99 a month—almost half the monthly price of last season. But some who subscribe through a TV provider with auto-renew turned on may see a bill with last season’s pricing. If that’s the case, you’ll most likely receive a credit on your next monthly bill.

Keep scrolling to learn more about NBA League Pass’s different plans and features.

CableTV.com Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

NBA League Pass pros and cons

Pros

  • Home and away team broadcast feeds
  • Access to every NBA game replay
  • Live in-stream stats (on some devices)

Cons

  • No live locally or nationally televised games
  • Delayed replay access for blacked-out games

What is NBA League Pass?

NBA League Pass is an out-of-market sports package available as an online streaming subscription and as an add-on through cable and satellite TV providers. With on-demand access to around 40 live games per week and full-game replays, the service is the prime destination for NBA coverage.

The service offers two primary subscription plans: NBA League Pass ($14.99 a month) and NBA League Pass Premium ($19.99 a month). If you buy either plan directly on NBA.com, you’ll also get NBA TV at no extra cost. That’s an additional savings of $6.99 a month for a channel that airs basketball coverage 24/7, including exclusive regular season NBA and WNBA games.

What separates the premium plan from the basic plan is the ability to watch games without commercials. For instance, the premium stream will remain in-arena while timeouts occur instead of jumping to a commercial break. The premium plan also allows you to watch on two devices at the same time.

What is NBA Team Pass?

The NBA also offers an abbreviated version of NBA League Pass called NBA Team Pass. With this subscription, you’ll choose one of the NBA’s 30 teams to which you want out-of-market access.

If you were to sign up for Team Pass and choose the reigning champion Golden State Warriors, you’d have access to only League Pass games featuring Stephen Curry and company. This also applies to the archived games that League Pass offers. But be aware that the same features and restrictions associated with League Pass also come with Team Pass. (So don’t subscribe to a team in your area unless you plan on using a VPN to mask your location.)

NBA Team Pass is $13.99 per month, a dollar less than the basic League Pass plan. If you plan on paying monthly, we recommend taking the extra dollar hit and getting complete access to all teams outside your market.

Is NBA League Pass worth it?

NBA League Pass is only worth it if you want to watch out-of-market games. Navigating broadcast blackouts can be annoying. But NBA League Pass is a fantastic complimentary service to anyone who already has access to their national and local NBA channels. Out-of-market access gives you around 40 live games each week that you’d otherwise miss out on.

Beyond that, the service also allows you to listen to every live NBA game regardless of blackouts, and it’s home to on-demand classic games if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic.

Above all, what makes NBA League Pass a dynamic service is the ability to select between home and away team feeds. This feature is especially beneficial if you prefer listening to certain play-by-play announcers.

You can also view live in-game stats and watch up to four games at once in a mosaic view available only in web browsers. Spanish-language and social influencer broadcasts are also available for select weekly games.

The NBA League Pass game view displays four games at once.
Mosaic View in NBA League Pass allows you to watch up to four games at once, as seen here on a computer browser.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to NBA League Pass too. Nationally blacked-out games aren’t available until three hours after the game ends, and locally blacked-out games aren’t available until three days after the broadcast.

It’s also important to note that League Pass doesn’t have the NBA Playoffs live since those air on national television. Live WNBA games and the NBA Summer League are also not included. But some matchups from those leagues air on NBA TV, which comes with NBA League Pass.

Flaws aside, if you’re a die-hard fan, then NBA League Pass is precisely the kind of service you can’t pass up.

Pro tip: The official NBA schedule will show you every game that will air live on NBA League Pass. It’ll also list the local networks televising each game. If one of the local networks is available in your area, the live game will be blacked out for you on NBA League Pass.

NBA League Pass deals and promotions

NBA League Pass currently offers a seven-day free trial. You can also get a seven-day free trial of NBA TV through certain third-party providers like Amazon Prime Video.

NBA League Pass plans and pricing

Plan Monthly price Season-long price NBA TV included Streams Details
NBA TV $6.99/mo. $59.99/yr. N/A 1 View plans
NBA Team Pass $13.99/mo. $89.99/yr. 1 View plans
NBA League Pass $14.99/mo. $99.99/yr. 1 View plans
NBA League Pass Premium $19.99/mo. $129.99/yr. 2 View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Blackout restrictions apply.

We recommend the regular NBA League Pass plan ($14.99 a month) to get the most value for your money. You’ll get commercials during timeouts and in between quarters, but you’ll still get the same amount of games as the premium plan. Plus, NBA TV is included at no additional cost.

NBA League Pass vs. NBA TV

NBA TV is an actual TV channel that airs up to 100 live NBA games per season that are blacked out on League Pass. On the other hand, NBA League Pass is a full-fledged audio and video subscription service. Like many other TV services, NBA League Pass offers NBA TV as an add-on to give you a more complete NBA experience. Basically, NBA TV is the Scottie Pippen to NBA League Pass’s Michael Jordan.

NBA TV is easier to understand if you think of it like TNT or any typical TV channel. It’ll provide you with a few matches each game week, though many of the marquee match-ups are saved for the likes of ESPN and TNT. When matches aren’t taking place on NBA TV, the channel usually airs classic matches, studio shows, and other original programming.

A screenshot of NBA TV’s studio coverage of the NBA trade deadline.
NBA TV is a live 24/7 channel that also offers on-demand content for NBA League Pass subscribers.

NBA League Pass, meanwhile, shouldn’t be thought of as a cable channel. Instead, it’s a subscription service that’s accessible on a variety of different platforms. You can sign up through TV providers like DIRECTV, Xfinity, and Sling TV, where NBA League Pass’s live games will appear on dedicated channels. But you can also sign up for League Pass online and stream its live games and on-demand content through web, mobile, and TV-connected devices.

In the big scheme of things, NBA League Pass and NBA TV are not competitors. In fact, if you buy NBA League Pass directly on the NBA’s website, you’ll get NBA TV included at no additional cost. That’s a great deal considering the amount of original content NBA TV produces—not to mention the extra 100 live games you’ll be able to watch each season.

How does NBA League Pass work?

First, of course, you’ve got to sign up for NBA League Pass, and fortunately, you have lots of options. You can sign up with the service directly online, through live TV streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and Sling TV, or through your traditional TV provider like DIRECTV and Xfinity.

The prices and plan options may vary slightly depending on what route you go. Unless you prefer a certain TV service or provider’s interface, we recommend purchasing directly through NBA.com for the most straightforward sign-up process.

After signing up, you’ll need to download the NBA app or log on to NBA.com to access your League Pass content.

How to stream NBA League Pass on the NBA app

  1. Search “NBA” in your device’s app store.
  2. Select and download the NBA app.
  3. Open the app and navigate to Settings.
  4. Sign in with either your NBA.com account or your TV provider’s credentials.
  5. Start streaming.

Within the NBA app, you can select the Games tab to find past, current, and upcoming matches. There’s also a dedicated NBA TV tab where you can watch the add-on channel live or choose to watch its on-demand programming.

A side-by-side view of the NBA League Pass and NBA TV tabs in the NBA mobile app.
NBA League Pass and NBA TV subscriptions are accessible in the NBA mobile app, as seen here on an iPhone 8.

NBA app compatible devices

Device NBA League Pass
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Facebook Portal
Echo Show
iPhone, iPad
LG TVs (select models)
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro TV
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream
Vizio TVs (select models)
Wii
Xbox One, Series X
Xfinity Flex, X1

Can I access NBA League Pass content with a VPN?

You can use a VPN (virtual private network) to access local blackout games on NBA League Pass. For instance, if you’re a Detroit Pistons fan living in Michigan, all you need to do is connect to a VPN server outside of the Greater Michigan area in order to watch Pistons games on League Pass.

Nationally blacked-out games are a little different. You must connect to a VPN server in another country to get around these. That can lead to internet speed issues, which is why you’ll want to connect to a foreign server that is located as close to you as possible. Canada and Mexico are good places to start.

Unfortunately, VPNs are not always foolproof. Internet connectivity and server issues can sometimes plague VPN usage. Yet, a reliable VPN and a solid understanding of blackout zones can be very beneficial to any NBA superfan looking to absorb as much b-ball content as possible.

Check out our Best VPN Services guide for a complete rundown of our favorite VPN platforms.

Final take

This season, NBA League Pass comes at a reduced price, making it more worthwhile than ever before. But it’s still important to note that not all NBA games are available to watch live through the service due to regional blackouts. You’ll still need an additional TV subscription to watch live local and national NBA coverage.

If you’re a basketball superfan who wants the most live and on-demand NBA action, then NBA League Pass was made for you. The service also benefits those who have a long-distance relationship with their favorite team. After all, there’s no other (legal) way to watch every out-of-market NBA game.

Get NBA League Pass

NBA League Pass FAQ

What does NBA League Pass get you?

NBA League Pass gives you access to live, out-of-market NBA games unaffected by local and national blackouts. All league games are available to watch on replay in the League Pass archives, including select classic games. The service also provides live access to NBA TV.

What is the difference between NBA TV and League Pass?

NBA TV is an individual TV channel like ABC or ESPN. It provides 24/7 live NBA coverage, including up to 100 exclusive games throughout the season. By comparison, NBA League Pass is a service that provides you with out-of-market games not already televised on channels like ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV.

Does NBA League Pass give you every game?

No, because of local and national blackout rules, NBA League Pass doesn’t give you live access to every NBA game. But you will get on-demand access to every game. Locally blacked-out games become available three days after their initial broadcast. Games that are nationally televised become available to watch three hours after their initial broadcast concludes.

Is NBA League Pass free with Amazon Prime?

No, NBA League Pass isn’t free on Amazon Prime Video. The streaming service sometimes offers free previews of NBA games. But getting complete access to NBA League Pass will cost you an additional monthly fee.

How do you get NBA League Pass for free?

Occasionally, the NBA offers a seven-day free trial for NBA League Pass, NBA Team Pass, and NBA TV during the regular season.

How much is NBA League Pass right now?

NBA League Pass currently costs $14.99 per month for a standard subscription and $19.99 per month for NBA League Pass Premium. You also have the option to sign up for either plan on an annual basis. Annual subscriptions are cheaper in the long run and automatically renew at the start of the next season.

Methodology

Our TV experts went hard in the paint for two weeks, watching and researching NBA League Pass so we can tell you whether or not it’s worth your money. While its full-season premium price costs more than Major League Baseball’s out-of-market equivalent (MLB.TV is $24.99 a month), it has several comparable features such as viewing in-game stats and the option to choose between home and away broadcasts.

For more information on how we work, check out our How We Rank page.

Don't miss an update

Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.