Last month saw the surprising news that the NBA 2K23 Championship Edition video game would include a year-long subscription to out-of-market streaming service NBA League Pass. While that’s a $150 game, and almost three times the price of the $60 standard edition, it would have been worth it alone for League Pass at last year’s prices. But it turns out that foreshadowed a massive cut from the NBA and Turner (which jointly manage the service) to the League Pass prices in general, as Jacob Feldman reported at Sportico Wednesday:
Exclusive: NBA League Pass is getting a lot cheaper this season.
The standard package for out-of-market games will be sold for $99, and will include NBA TV access.https://t.co/slQ7bYimaG
— ✏️Jacob Feldman (@JacobFeldman4) August 31, 2022
As per Feldman’s piece, the new prices will be $100 for standard League Pass for the season or $130 for premium. There’s also a $15 a month option for the standard service. The premium service allows for streaming multiple games at the same time, a hot-button topic recently. It also doesn’t include commercials.)
The 56 percent price cut refers to prices of $230 for standard League Pass or $280 for premium, with that including a $30 extra fee for NBA TV. NBA TV is now included in both packages for free. However, League Pass standard and premium were previously available for the last several years for $200 or $250 without that NBA TV add-on, so the percentage drop isn’t quite as much for people who didn’t have that add-on.
The NBA League Pass prices here are now closer to other North American leagues’ whole-season out-of-market streaming options. MLB.tv’s standard price this year for all teams was $140, or $25 a month (but they’ve offered numerous discounts for signing up at different points, including $25 for the rest of the year for a couple of days around Aug. 1). The former NHL.tv and MLS Live services are now part of ESPN+, which offers those and many other sports for $10 a month or $100 a year. (MLS will be moving to Apple beginning next season, but details on pricing there are not yet confirmed.)
By contrast, NFL Sunday Ticket is the most expensive out-of-market service, currently costing $299 a year, but there’s lot of uncertainty on what it will look like after this season. And the NFL+ streaming service, which is not an out-of-market streaming service but rather a combination of the previously-free mobile streaming for local and primetime games with the old NFL Game Pass replay/All-22 features, is $5 a month or $30 for a year.
As a standalone league service, NBA League Pass is closest to MLB.tv of those aforementioned offerings (although it’s jointly operated with Turner rather than being a league-run service). And it’s certainly notable to see its prices going from above MLB’s to below it. It’s also notable that this comes after the NHL threw its offering in with ESPN+, reducing the price of its service. And while this is out-of-market rather than in-market, it comes at a time when quite a few NBA teams will have games fully available on standalone in-market streaming offerings for the first time, thanks to the upcoming launch of Bally Sports+. So it’s a good time for those looking to stream NBA games.
[Sportico; photo of a League Pass banner at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans in 2021, from Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports]