The NBA season is once again here, and for many die hard fans that means subscribing to the NBA League Pass package. If you are a DISH Network subscriber, or if you are considering signing up with DISH Network satellite, what can you expect with the NBA package?
First a few of the basics on the NBA League Pass programming option. If you are familiar with NFL Sunday Ticket, then it is the same idea applied to the NBA. Of course, each NBA team plays 82 games in each season compared the 16 game football schedule. This means if you subscribe to the League Pass package on DISH Network you will generally be able to see 40 or more games every week, compared to the 12 or so you would find with Sunday Ticket. The NBA regular season also runs about six months, so obviously this package contains a lot of NBA content for the money.
The NBA package on Dish TV will cover almost all of the games that are not on cable or broadcast networks like TNT, ESPN, and ABC. One target market for this package is the fan who is no longer living in his or her local market. If you are a Knicks fan living out in California, you will be able to keep up on all of the New York action with the NBA League Pass. Another group of fans interested is the ever growing group of fantasy basketball players out there. This DISH Network sports package allows them to watch all of the players they have drafted, plus scout out new up and coming talent.
The NBA League Pass on Dish comes with a few extras as well. Games in HD are so much better, and you will find most of the games broadcast in high definition. Not every single game is in HD, but this isn’t the fault of DISH Network, it is dependent on the regional sports network carrying the game. Of course you need the proper equipment, meaning an HDTV and DISH Network HD receiver or DVR to watch the action in high definition.
DISH Networkalso adds the NBA TV network to those who subscribe to League Pass. This 24 hour a day basketball channel carries a few live games, as well as plenty of NBA highlights and special features.
Finally, another great feature of the NBA League Pass is the added capability to watch live games on your computer. NBA League Pass Broadband is a free addition to the regular TV package. Lots of cool features can be found here including the ability to watch all of the TV broadcasts on your computer. This is nice if you travel a lot, or if you want to catch up on your team over the holidays and you are away from home but have access to a computer with a high speed connection.
Additional features include the ability to watch three games at once through your computer. The NBA has also added a Live Game DVR function so you have a little more flexibility in watching the games. There will also be an NBA full season archive, giving subscribers access to any game they want to watch after it has been played. Blackout restrictions can affect the games you watch, so if you are looking for the details on how they work, click here.
NBA League Pass broadband is available at no extra charge if you subscribe to the regular package, but there are also two stand alone packages available if you don’t have DISH Network, DIRECTV, or one of the major cable companies carrying the package. Full access is available for five monthly payments of $29.99 or one payment of $134.95. A stripped down version of the package gives you access to any seven NBA teams for $89.95 for the regular season.
For the full package on DISH Network the price for the 2009-2010 season is $167.96 if you subscribe before November 4th, giving you a $20 early bird discount. The NBA League Pass on DIRECTV is also available for four monthly payments of $41.99 just like on DISH Network. Other major cable companies carrying the NBA Package include Comcast, Cox cable, Time Warner cable, Brighthouse, RCN and Bresnan cable.
Among telco television companies, Verizon FiOSoffers the package, but AT&T U-verse has yet to pick up the NBA League Pass. Not sure you want to subscribe? Participating satellite and cable companies will be offering a free NBA preview from October 27th through November 3rd.