The 2020-2021 NBA season is in full swing, with every single game available to live-stream via NBA League Pass. However, the problem is that this media streaming service is also affected by blackouts. Therefore, it’s natural to expect that many of you will be searching for a way to bypass NBA League Pass blackout restrictions – and we’re here to answer all your questions.
First and foremost, know that bypassing sports blackouts is possible. However, for this purpose, you will need to use a VPN application. And of course, not just about any VPN will help, as you need one with the power to evade detection mechanisms imposed by the NBA.
Know that TechNadu’s team has tested more than sixty VPNs so far. We know which ones work as advertised (as well as which you should avoid), and we know which ones will get you the best possible NBA League Pass streaming experience.
Furthermore, we’ll use this article not only to pinpoint specific VPNs. Instead, we’re going to walk you through the steps of bypassing NBA League Pass blackouts, one step at a time. So, let’s jump right in.
Follow These 4 Steps to Get Around NBA League Pass Blackouts in 2021!
Throughout this article, you’ll find plenty of useful tips and tricks. However, we’re going to start by explaining how to bypass NBA League Pass blackouts, which is done in four simple steps, as explained just below.
- Get a VPN Service: Don’t waste your time trying different kinds of VPNs. What you need to get is ExpressVPN (49% OFF). Not only does this VPN bring a fantastic price, but it can also bypass all kinds of blackout restrictions. So, make sure to click on the provided link, and subscribe to ExpressVPN.
- Set-Up a VPN on Your Device: Once you get your VPN subscription, you need to download and install the app on your device. Don’t worry; this is a straightforward procedure. You can learn more about setting up a VPN on Windows, Mac, Linux, Amazon’s Fire OS, smart TVs, and more (make sure to search our website for additional guides).
- Connect to a Specific VPN Server: Then, you use the VPN to connect to a server from a location where the game is available (where it’s not blacked out). If there’s a local blackout, you connect to a server located in another state. And if there’s a national blackout, you need to connect to a server in a different country (Mexico, for example).
- Finally, Live-Stream or Watch On-Demand NBA Games: Once you connect to a VPN server, feel free to log into your NBA League Pass account, using your Web browsing or via a mobile app. That’s it – you’ll now get to live-stream any game, as well as watch any type of on-demand content!
If you haven’t done that already, make sure to subscribe to NBA League Pass. For the entire 2020-2021 season, you’ll need to pay $149.99 for League Pass. If you want to watch games without commercials, you’ll need League Pass Premium (priced at $179.99).
Why Do Some NBA Games Get Blacked Out?
Blackouts are nothing new in the world of sports, most prominently being present in the United States. That’s because both national and local broadcasters are free to obtain exclusive rights to televise individual games. Once it sells broadcast rights, even the NBA isn’t allowed to offer those games via its official website or via League Pass.
When it comes to NBA blackouts, you should know that you can use NBA League Pass to live-stream every single game of the current season. However, games that are blacked out in your region will be available on-demand only after they have aired. Therefore, you can still watch them at a later time – but let’s admit it, nothing beats watching a game live.
When Does the NBA 2020-2021 Season Start and End?
The 2020-2021 NBA season is already underway, in a slightly different form than usual. It began on December 22 (2020) and it’s scheduled to run through May 16, 2021. This will be followed by play-in games (May 18-21) and NBA playoffs (May 22 to July 22).
Which Channels Will Broadcast the 2020-2021 NBA Season?
Not much has changed since the last year in terms of the TV channels with exclusive rights to NBA games. If you want to follow the NBA 2020-2021 season the traditional way, you can do so via ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV.
How Does NBA League Pass Determine Your Location?
When accessing NBA League Pass on your computer, this streaming service will determine your location by checking your IP address. Certain games will be blacked out based on your location, no matter if we’re talking about regional or national blackouts.
When accessing NBA League Pass on your Android or iOS devices, your GPS location will be checked. Considering that VPNs change your IP address primarily (and not your GPS data), bypassing NBA’s blackouts on mobile phones can be very hard to achieve.
It takes more than just changing your IP address to bypass NBA restrictions. This is precisely why we strongly recommend ExpressVPN, with a proven track record of unblocking websites with ease. Other VPNs might alter your IP, but that might not be enough to go over geo-restrictions imposed by the NBA.
How Do VPNs Bypass NBA League Pass Blackouts? What Technique Do They Use?
There are three equally important sides to unblocking and accessing media streaming services when it comes to VPNs. What we’re talking about here are IP addresses provided by your VPN, a leak-free VPN environment, and capable VPN protocols.
First of all, know we’re talking here about a highly sophisticated solution to re-routing your Internet traffic. However, VPNs have become incredibly simple to use. All it requires you to do is to connect to a server by clicking on its name. Your VPN will do the rest on its own.
Once you click on a VPN server, your VPN application will start routing your Web traffic via that selected server. It means that you’ll get a new IP address, pointing to a different location. Your data will also flow through a secure tunnel, which must be free of any leaks (not exposing your privacy and your location info). And finally, all of this happens based on a selected VPN protocol (there’s usually at least a couple to choose from).
This is precisely the reason why ExpressVPN is the best pick right now. By default, it’s powered by the OpenVPN protocol (bringing high-end encryption), meaning that ExpressVPN will change your IP, secure your Web traffic, and prevent any leaks. This is the reason why it’s capable of bypassing NBA League Pass blackouts.
Is There a Way to Bypass NBA Blackout Restrictions Without a VPN?
Blacked out NBA games are televised exclusively by either a regional sports network or a national TV network, such as ESPN, ABC, TNT, or NBA TV. This means you need to have a cable subscription or a sports media-streaming service that provides access to those specific channels.
Therefore, this solution is available to those who already have a cable or OTT subscription. On the plus side, many of these TV networks offer apps made for smartphones and media streaming devices. On occasion, NBA League Pass will try to redirect you to these apps.
Don’t Want to Watch NBA Games Live? Are Blackout Restrictions Still Something to Be Concerned About?
If you don’t care about watching NBA games live, you can rely on NBA League Pass. That’s because this media streaming service gets new games after they air.
When it comes to nationally telecast games, these are available on NBA League Pass three hours after they have aired. Locally telecast games appear on NBA League Pass three days after they have aired.
What About League Pass Audio? Is That a Good Way to Avoid Blackouts?
Yes, it’s true that ‘NBA League Pass Audio’ comes free of blackouts. This is perhaps the most affordable solution to stay on top of the latest NBA games, as it comes priced at $9.99 (this is a one-time purchase). And more importantly, ‘League Pass Audio’ lets you listen to both home and away radio streams for all games without blackouts.
As you can imagine, ‘NBA League Pass Audio’ isn’t for everyone. Since it allows you to listen to audio only, it comes as a solution to those who don’t want to watch NBA games live. However, due to its low cost (as well as due to its “no blackouts” policy), it comes as an interesting option.
Is a Free-of-Charge VPN a Good Solution to Bypass NBA Blackouts in 2021?
There’s no need to hide the fact that there are free-of-charge VPNs on the Internet. They advertise plenty of exciting features while promising that you won’t have to pay for anything. So, you can see that this looks too good to be true, right? Well, that’s precisely the case.
Free VPNs are useless when it comes to media streaming. That’s because they come with limited bandwidth. Besides, they can’t protect you against data leaks, and they’re an easy target for geo-restricted websites. Trust us on this one – don’t waste your time trying out free VPNs. Go only with proven solutions, such as ExpressVPN.
We highly recommend avoiding free VPNs, and not just if you want to stream NBA League Pass. In the past, these were proven to expose personal information, which means that using free VPNs can have grave consequences.
How to Get Around NBA League Pass Blackouts on Android and iPhone?
The NBA League Pass app works a bit differently than the desktop website. Instead of checking your IP address, the app checks for your GPS data – which can be provided by Android and iOS. Of course, there are some workarounds in this case as well.
You should know that certain apps allow you to spoof your GPS location on mobile phones. However, these require you to root or jailbreak your device, and they can be tedious to set up. Therefore, your best bet is to try using NBA League Pass on your phone (once you install and activate a VPN) via a Web browser (instead of using any app).
At the time of writing this article, ExpressVPN has presented itself as the best solution to watching NBA League Pass on Android and iOS phones. However, make sure to contact their customer support to get the latest information. You can also count on the VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee if you’d like to test it yourself.
What Devices Are Compatible With NBA League Pass?
NBA League Pass is compatible with a huge range of devices and platforms. And even better, you don’t have to have the latest device to access this media streaming service. Check out the full list below:
- iPhone (iOS 10.0 or later);
- iPad (iOS/iPadOS 10.0 or later);
- Android smartphones/tablets (5.0 or later);
- Kindle Fire;
- Roku (3 and above);
- Apple TV;
- Android TV;
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick;
- Xbox (Xbox One S/X & Xbox Series S/X);
- PlayStation (3, 4, and PS5);
- VR devices (Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, Oculus Go/Rift, and more).
Of course, NBA League Pass works basically on any Web-connected device, as you can access it by using an Internet browser. This applies to both live-streaming games and watching them on-demand.
If you plan on using a VPN to bypass NBA blackouts, your safest bet is to install your chosen VPN on your computer (Windows, macOS, or Linux) and then access NBA League Pass via its website. However, there are many other methods available, as today’s VPNs are compatible with plenty of devices and platforms.
What About Getting an International NBA League Pass Subscription?
There are two types of NBA League Pass subscriptions based on whether you’re located in the United States or elsewhere. However, no matter the location, you sign-up in the same way – by visiting the NBA’s League Pass website.
Once again, we’re talking about IP address detection here. The NBA website will detect your location and show you corresponding subscription plans. We’re talking about differently priced subscription plans, as those outside the US can get the international version of NBA League Pass. Check out the table below for more information.
|NBA League Pass (USA)||NBA League Pass (India)|
|Price (Monthly)||$28.99||₹99.00 (~ $1.30)|
|Price (Annually)||$149.99||₹999.00 (~ $13.60)|
As you can see, we have very different prices here. However, it’s essential to know that there’s no single international subscription pricing scheme. Each country has its pricing, expressed in local currencies. However, the most important thing to note here is that blackout restrictions apply to the US only.
Once you get a VPN, you’re free to use all kinds of VPN servers – placed in many countries around the world. Therefore, this is how you can check the prices of NBA League Pass outside the USA. Make sure to check if you get other benefits as well, such as NBA TV.
If you decide to subscribe to an International NBA League Pass, you’ll need to use a VPN each time you access the streaming service (connected to a server in the country you chose when subscribing). If you pick a country on the other side of the world, keep in mind that your Web traffic will need to travel more – which will slow down your Web connection.
Which VPN Can Bypass NBA League Pass Blackouts?
Based on our experience, ExpressVPN is the best VPN to bypass NBA League Pass blackouts. This is an incredibly capable and fast-performing VPN that can easily change your IP address and secure your Web connection, and it’s more than worth its price.
Which Free VPN Can Bypass NBA League Pass Blackouts?
Unfortunately, there are no free-of-charge VPNs that can access NBA League Pass without being identified and blocked. In other words, the only way to bypass NBA League Pass blackout restrictions is to use a premium-priced VPN application.
What Does the 2020-21 NBA Season Schedule Look Like?
The 2020-21 NBA season schedule will be released in stages. For now, the plan is for each team to play three games against opponents in the same conference (42 games in total), as well as two games against interconference opponents (30 games in total).
What Does the 2020-21 NBA Postseason Schedule Look Like?
The 2020-21 playoffs are scheduled to begin on May 22, with four rounds of best-of-seven series. The 2021 NBA Finals will begin no later than July 8, with a potential Game 7 not later than July 22.
What Are the Key Dates for the 2020-21 NBA Season?
The first half of the 2020-21 NBA season began on December 22 and will last until March 4. The second half will last from March 11 to May 16. And lastly, the 2021 NBA playoffs will happen between May 22 and July 22.
Is There a Way to Watch the NBA for Free?
Technically, you can watch NBA games for free via NBA League Pass – but only up to 7 days. That’s how much this streaming platform’s trial lasts. To continue watching, you have no other way than to pay for an NBA League Pass subscription.
This bring us to the end of our guide on bypassing NBA League Pass blackouts. We hope that we’ve answered all your questions. However, if you have something on your mind, don’t hesitate to use the comments section below. And lastly – thanks for reading!