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Being an Australian fan of American NBA isn't easy. Most TV networks limit their coverage to a brief round-up on the nightly news, maybe sparing a few seconds for a clip of LeBron James or Stephen Curry dominating the paint. For a long time, Aussies have had to resort to Foxtel for their basketball fix, shelling out for a full subscription even if they only want to watch the ESPN channels. To make matters worse, ESPN only televises a portion of all NBA games every season, and if you happen to miss a match, there's no way to go back and watch it again.
Thankfully, Aussies now have another option. Harnessing the power of online streaming, the NBA has brought its NBA League Pass to Australia, giving fans nationwide the ability to watch every single NBA game live or on-demand without forking out a small fortune. Whether you're at home on the couch or on the train into work, with an NBA League Pass you'll never have to miss a game again. That being said, if you’re a casual basketball fan, selected games might be enough to satisfy your NBA cravings. Here are all your options for watching the NBA online in Australia.
Option 1: Live streaming NBA in HD with Kayo
Kayo Sports offers selected NBA games, similar to the Foxtel model. You can watch both live games and replays, on a variety of devices. The platform works on PCs/Macs, smartphones and laptops, Chromecast, and Telstra TV.
Users have two subscription options. You can pay $25/month to stream on two screens at the same time, or $35/month for three simultaneous streams. Whichever way you go, you can test-drive the platform with a free 14-day trial available to new customers.
Option 2: Live streaming NBA in HD with ESPN
Foxtel offers a limited selection of basketball games, which are broadcast on ESPN. To get ESPN you will have to subscribe to the Sport Package. Once that’s done, you can stream NBA games on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop with the Foxtel GO app. The app is free with your Foxtel subscription. All you need to do is download it from Google Play or the App Store and enter your Foxtel ID. You’ll be online in no time. To watch with your laptop, go to the Foxtel website.
Alternatively, basketball fans can also follow the NBA with Foxtel Now. The platform enables you to watch Foxtel channels via the Internet, no contracts require. To get ESPN, you will need the Sport Pack, priced at $29/month. There’s a catch – this is a Premium Pack, so you need to subscribe to the Entry Pack as well to be able to get it. That costs $25/month and comes with a great selection of Pop and Lifestyle channels. In total, you will have to pay $54/month to watch NBA games with Foxtel Now.
The platform works with PCs/Macs, mobile devices, Chromecast/Airplay, PS4, Telstra TV, and the Foxtel Now Box. A two-week trial is available for new customers.
ESPN is also accessible via Fetch TV. The channel is included in the Vibe Pack, which costs only $6/month. However, the total price of your Fetch subscription will depend on whether you purchase a box via a broadband provider or buy it outright.
Option 3: Streaming NBA games with the NBA League Pass
NBA League Pass is a subscription streaming service dedicated to covering the world of American professional basketball. In addition to streaming every second of every match live across the Internet, NBA League Pass serves as a single destination for all the latest news, statistics, highlights and recaps from the current NBA season.
How do I sign up for NBA League Pass and what does it get me?
When it comes to getting your NBA game on, there are a couple of different options. Without signing up for anything, you can visit the NBA website or download the free NBA app on compatible devices to read up on all the latest news, scores, and statistics from across the league. You can also watch a selection of video highlights recapping the most recent round.
If you're looking for the full streaming package, however, you'll need to purchase an NBA League Pass subscription through the NBA website or via in-app purchase. With a League Pass subscription, you get access to live streams and on-demand replays of every single game in the pre-season, regular season and playoffs, as well as special events such as the NBA Global Games and the NBA All-Star Game.
Whether you're watching live or catching up on-demand, you can enjoy the action in full High Definition (HD), as long as your device and Internet connection support it. For around 90% of the regular season games, you also get access to home and away commentary feeds, letting you listen to your favourite team's announcers break down the match as it plays out. For even more insight, every NBA League Pass comes with NBA TV, a 24/7 stream of NBA programming including exclusive interviews, match-by-match analysis from expert personalities, and recaps of each day's highlights.
Can I watch full-match replays through NBA League Pass?
With an NBA League Pass subscription, you can go back and watch full-length replays of all current-season matches as well as matches from recent seasons, whenever you like. You'll also get access to full replays of some of the most important games from NBA history.
How much does NBA League Pass cost?
NBA League Pass subscriptions come in three variants. Users can purchase a Team Choice pass, which is $12.99/month or $98.99/year. This gives you access to all the games played by your favourite team – including from the Playoffs, as long as your team makes it that far. Then, there’s the League Pass, which gives you access to all games played by all teams. This subscription costs $18.99/month or $149.99/year.
Finally, you can get a Game Choice subscription, which enables you to watch eight games every month. You pick the fixtures you want to see. This one costs $7.99/month or $74.99/year. Purchasing a pass involves recurring payments, so make sure you cancel your subscription if you want to end your service at any point. You can also purchase a single-game pass, available to watch live or on demand, for $4.99.
What devices are compatible with NBA League Pass?
You can access NBA League Pass content from a wide variety of devices, both through dedicated apps and via the NBA website.
To stream matches through the NBA website, you need either a Windows PC running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later, or a Mac computer running OS X 10.9 or later. You also need to have the latest version of one of the following browsers installed: Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera or Safari.
As a bonus, if you're streaming through the NBA website, you can take advantage of the site's Pop-Out feature which lets you arrange and watch multiple video streams on a single screen at the same time. You'll need a fairly modern PC and a fast Internet connection to take advantage of this feature.
If you want to stream NBA games on-the-go, you need the official NBA app for Android and Apple devices. The Android version supports phones and tablets running Android 4.0.3 and higher, while the iOS version is compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS 8.0 or later. To improve the viewing experience on small screens, both versions of the app feature an optional Mobile View which zooms in on the action, making it easier to discern players and keep track of what's going on.
Sometimes the only way to watch the game is on the big screen, and NBA League Pass provides plenty of ways to do this. Dedicated versions of the NBA app are available for Apple TV, Xbox One, Telstra TV, PS3, PS4 and Chromecast, each supporting both live streaming and on-demand video.
How much data does NBA League Pass use?
To stream NBA League Pass content at the lowest quality, you need a minimum Internet connection of 800Kbps. Streaming in HD requires a minimum 3Mbps connection. Since a typical 48-minute NBA game spans around two hours due to timeouts, half-time breaks and other stoppages, this works out at roughly 700MB of data usage per game on the lowest video quality. At HD quality, this increases to around 2.7GB per game.
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