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How Does the NBA League Pass Blackout Policy Work?

Jeff Kotuby

NBA League Pass is the Association’s out-of-market streaming service that allows fans to watch teams from all over the country — except their local teams. Here’s a little more info about the NBA’s blackout policy and what you can do to avoid it.

What is the NBA’s Blackout Policy?

Per the NBA website, “Blackout restrictions include your local NBA team(s) and all nationally televised games. Blacked-out games will be available for viewing after the game has concluded.”

Blackouts are specific to your current location, so if your location changes, your blackout restrictions for live, locally televised games will also change. Your location is determined by the IP address or location services (if turned on). Within the U.S. and Canada, a zip code is used to determine what teams are covered by your local broadcaster.

If you could theoretically change your current location to another location, you could watch your local team using NBA League Pass without leaving your house. But be advised that doing so (without actually leaving your house, of course) is technically against League Pass’ terms of use and could result in your account being limited or deleted.

What Do I Do If My Team is Blacked-Out on League Pass?

If you prefer to play by the rules or not risk any sort of ramifications, your best option would be to sign up for a live TV streaming service that carries your local RSN or, in the case of national games, the broadcast station airing said game. Our extensive guide on streaming the 2021-22 NBA season breaks down the best streaming services for NBA fans and how to most easily view your local team.

In short, your best bet is to sign up for DIRECTV STREAM, as you’ll have access to ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV, most RSNs (excluding NBC Sports Philadelphia), and the ability to sign up for League Pass through DirecTV Stream. While fuboTV brands itself as a sports-themed streaming service, it currently lacks TNT as part of its channel lineup.

If you’re only interested in national games, Sling TV’s Blue plan offers the aforementioned national stations at a much lower price compared to DirecTV Stream but lacks all RSNs.

If a live TV streaming service isn’t the answer, you can always watch your team’s games 72 hours after they air through League Pass or just get the gist of things by watching 30-second clips on Twitter.

Speaking of short clips, if you’re a League Pass subscriber already, Buzzer's official launch will allow you to integrate your League Pass account with Buzzer for additional features.

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