Streaming NBA games using a cable subscription is so old school now. With the NBA’s streaming service, League Pass, cutting the cord and watching the 2019/20 NBA season on October 22nd, 2019 became a lot easier. But with ease come a couple of complications along the way. Streaming NBA via League Pass in the United States may cause you some trouble in the form of blackouts. I’m quite sure that most of you have witnessed this issue; otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. Well, you came to this guide for a solution, and one you shall get. Here’s how you can bypass NBA League Pass blackouts.
Blackout Restrictions – From A to Z
Before we head to the solution part, you must comprehend what the problem is. So, if you’re not familiar with what a blackout is, let me start explaining. A blackout restriction occurs when a sports event is scheduled to be televised via a major cable television channel. In other words:
“If a cable provider has the rights to show certain matches on its channels, streaming services will be subject to blackouts.”
In the NBA’s case, its League Pass service will no longer be active while the game is on TV. You’ll have to wait approximately 3 hours after the game concludes to watch it as a replay. Here’s what a blackout looks like:
“National Game Blackout. This game is currently unavailable due to national blackout restrictions.”
In the United States, you have the likes of ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and of course, TNT. So, you know that the options of not getting a blackout error are quite little. These restrictions don’t only occur in the US; streamers also suffer in Canada and Australia.
If you’ve already cut the cord, I’m glad to inform you that you’ll still be able to watch your matches live via League Pass. You just need to follow a couple of steps to do so. Keep scrolling and find out how to bypass NBA League Pass blackouts later on in the article.
NBA League Pass – What Options Do You Have
You have to versions of NBA League Pass, the local US one and the International one. However, those who live outside the United States benefit from their subscription as no blackouts apply. Both of the services offer live coverage of NBA matches, but you need to consider the pricing. The US version is cheaper, but the international version might come in handy in case you’re traveling outside the country.
In case you’re in the US, this is what the League Pass will cost you:
- Premium: $39.99/month
- League Pass: $28.99/month
- Team Pass: $17.99/month
As for the International version, it gets a bit cheaper considering you won’t suffer from blackouts. It’s available in a handful of countries, so your options vary.
- Premium: $39.99/month
- League Pass: $28.99/month
- Team Pass: $17.99/month
You can always subscribe to the international version if you want to avoid blackouts. But that doesn’t happen on its own; you need help. Well, you got one, check the next part.
Blackouts No More – Enter VPN
For a blackout restriction to occur, the streaming service has to examine your IP address to determine your location. If it identifies you as a current resident where a cable provider is showing the match on TV, the streaming service you’re using will be blacked out.
To avoid this issue, you need to spoof your location to a state or country where no official broadcasters are present. The easiest way to do so is by using a Virtual Private Network. This cybersecurity tool reroutes your traffic through a private tunnel, encrypting it in the process.
That way, you can connect to public Wi-Fis without looking over your shoulders all the time. Your data is protected with military-grade encryptions not even the most experienced hacker ca decrypt. As for your location, a VPN masks your online identity and teleports you virtually to wherever the server you connect to is located.
With that said, here’s what you need to do:
- Sign up with a VPN service provider. I highly recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN application on a compatible device. You’ll find clients for Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, as well as Fire Stick.
- Activate the VPN application, sign in, and connect to a server based on what you need to do:
- A server in a state where the game is not being broadcasted on TV. That way, you can use your US NBA League Pass.
- A server in the UK (For example) to sign up for the International League Pass.
- Check your IP address before you do anything. You can see if your IP changed using this Identifier.
- Finally, launch your NBA League Pass and stream the best basketball matches blackout-free.
A VPN that tops All VPNs?
You can check all the reviews you come across on the internet, I’m quite sure you won’t find anything that might affect ExpressVPN‘s quality of service. The provider has been around since 2009, providing the best services for its customers. We’re talking about privacy, security, speed, and so much more.
In case you don’t know, ExpressVPN made a name for itself for its ability to unblock American Netflix while other providers failed. Its servers are well-optimized for HD streaming despite the speed loss an encryption causes.
ExpressVPN has more than 3000 servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. So, wherever the International League Pass is available, you’re getting a subscription no doubt. As I mentioned, the speeds are incredible.
However, you can get better speeds by using their Smart DNS service, Media Streamer. Alright, you’ll be losing your anonymity and security in the process, but that’s a price you have to pay for a smooth streaming experience.
As for security, ExpressVPN works with AES-256 encryption along with the latest security protocols available. That includes OpenVPN. If you’re one of those that cherish online privacy, ExpressVPN doesn’t keep logs of users’ activities.
A while ago, Turkish authorities seized an ExpressVPN server in the country. However, it was shocking that they found nothing to harvest. That’s how strict their no-logging policy is. According to the authorities:
“ExpressVPN does not and has never possessed any customer connection logs that would enable us to know which customer was using the specific IPs cited by the investigators.”
If that doesn’t make you trust a provider, I don’t know what does. In case you have some doubts, you can always ask for a refund within 30-days of purchase. After that, check the table below for a suitable replacement to bypass NBA League Pass Blackouts.
NBA League Pass – Device Compatibility
So, both services are so much different, but they do have one thing in common, they support the same devices. Here’s where you can watch NBA League Pass:
- Apple TV
- Smart TVs
- Amazon Fire TV
The 2019/20 NBA Season
The 74th NBA season will kick off on October 22nd, 2019 and everybody is very excited to see what it has in stores for us. From top dunks, alley-oops, to the greatest swishes, this NBA season will be on fire.
Last year, the Toronto Raptors took the championship home with Kawhi Leonard as the MVP. The team won its first championship and will be aiming to make it a double this year as well. What do you think, can they pull it off? Who are you cheering for? Let’s first take a look at the 30 teams participating in the 2019/20 NBA season.
- Atlanta Hawks
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Denver Nuggets
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- Indiana Pacers
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Orleans Pelicans
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards
Work Around NBA League Pass Blackouts – Final Words
If you’re considering cutting the cord, now it’s safe to say, go ahead. Wherever you live, blackouts won’t bother your streaming habits while a VPN is available. You now know what you need to do. Don’t let blackouts stand in the way of your NBA streaming.
Connect to a server based on which NBA League Pass you wish to use, and you’re ready to go. In case you need any help, leave me a comment below, and I’ll be happy to help you out.