League Pass exclusive: Why the NBA has made viewing cheaper
Australia's love for the NBA is finally being rewarded.
Not only has the number of Australians in the NBA been growing, but so too has viewership.
There was a 32% increase in subscribers in 2022 and viewership was up by more than 85%.
We had a chat with Kelly Cooke, the head of content partnerships and direct to consumer (DTC) for NBA Asia, to discuss these figures and how Aussies are benefitting from cheaper access to NBA League Pass.
According to Cooke, Australia is the number 1 international market for League Pass.
The most-watched game last year was Lakers vs OKC, which saw LeBron James become the all-time lead scorer in the NBA.
Australians also spent last season fanning over games where the Lakers, Golden State and the Brooklyn Nets were playing.
Teams with Australian players also proved popular including OKC and the Dallas Mavericks.
Why the price of the NBA League Pass has improved
League Pass has bucked the trend of other streaming services that have been raising their prices in order to "give fans a better experience".
It's made the League Pass and League Pass Premium packages cheaper annually plus allowed for multiple streams on one account.
Here's a look at how annual pricing for the League Pass has changed since the 2014/15 season.
The 2015/16 edition of the NBA originally cost $399 to watch on League Pass. You couldn't share your account or even watch a game on another device.
Since then, the price has gone down for League Pass Premium to $210 for 3 simultaneous streams which means it's now cheaper to watch the NBA and you get more value for money.
You can even split the account with up to 2 other people and reduce the cost to $70 for 1 year.
The NBA has also made viewing cheaper for students by offering an additional 40% off NBA League Pass Monthly.
This brings the cost down to $13.19 from $21.99 a month.
Again this was done by the NBA to "serve fans who are younger and may not be able to afford the weight of a full-price plan."
What's next for League Pass?
Cooke confirmed that the multiview feature that allows you to watch up to 4 games at once will be getting rolled out to more devices.
It's still currently limited to desktops only. There's no firm timeline for the multiview to be rolled out, but the process will begin in January 2024.
This will be a much-needed addition as there can be up to 12 NBA games on at the same time.
It also isn't uncommon for 5 games to tip off simultaneously, which can mean their finishes coincide and you could miss the game-winner.
If you're familiar with League Pass, they'll have likely stumbled across new streams in the last 2 years.
For each game, there are different streams available for commentary/broadcast, special feeds like a companion mode and so on. According to Cooke, this is an area that will continue to evolve.
So we can expect more alternate streams from companion viewing with NBA legends and ex-players, as well as more technical broadcasts that focus on diving into the strategy and numbers.
Unfortunately, some features such as NBA Crunchtime, which has been trialled in the US and is similar to NFL RedZone, aren't on the cards for Australia just yet.
Want to learn more watching the NBA? See our breakdown of every way you can watch the NBA.