Finally got an Apple TV (pretty #$%@! amazing) and am thinking about breaking down and getting NBA League Pass. So I started doing my homework.
For starters, NBA.com doesn't seem to have heard of Apple TV, but I googled the correct NBA.com page (it's my first resort, having learned that nothing on the NBA.com page is well designed or meant to help you get to where you're going resulting in Google knowing their content better than their own search engine does).
I don't know exactly how deep into the season we are, but they're not discounting yet. The cheapest option would be four payments of $29.95 which, for me, works out to $5.71 for each game watched. Somewhat pricey in my opinion but here's the math on that:
21 remaining road games (I live in the Cities so I can't watch home games)
$130 for the limited League Pass
Now if I paid it all upfront, it would be $109, or $5.19 a game. Am I nuts, or is that still a ridiculous price for a poorly developed product (League Pass, not the Wolves!)? In one sense, I can see it as a bargain, but on the other hand I'm paying for the broadband and the TV and the Apple TV and the modem wifi router and the computer that's processing all of this stuff. Bottom line? I've got several thousand dollars tied up into being NBA League Pass ready and the only thing League Pass is giving me is access to half the games I want to watch which means that in order to "legally" watch all the games I'd still have to plunk down at least $60 a month for a Comcast sports package. Call it $50 since we probably don't have any TNT or ESPN games left and that's another $100 or over $10 freaking dollars a game for the privilege of watching at home.
Don't get me wrong: I WANT TO SPEND THIS MONEY. I want to watch the Wolves in Hi-Def instead of 8-bit stream. I want to see all the action and not a laggy approximation of a game. I just don't like feeling like a chump, and the NBA's attitude towards fans and League Pass leaves me feeling about as wanted as a used rubber.
Is it just me, or is the NBA.com run by greedy bastards with no sense of proportion? Screwing old guys iike me is one thing, but how many kids never see games anymore because of the pay-per-view attitude of the League?
I don't know why I never think to check Wikipedia on sports stuff but I've been trolling the NBA.com site and literally could not figure out their blackout policy. Then I checked out Wikipedia:
See also NBA blackout policy
If a local team is playing and the game is televised in the home market, the associated feed on League Pass is blacked out and unavailable for viewing.
Per the NBA.com website: “Games will also be blacked out when they are appearing on national television. This applies to games being televised on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV. You may view these games simply by switching to the designated channel.”
Although Charter Communications does not offer the NBA TV channel, NBA League Pass Broadband refuses to remove the blackout restrictions from these games. Creating a ticket requesting that the blackout issue be investigated using the league pass customer service website: (http://leaguepasssupport.nba.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=7801) does not allow the blackout to be removed. Using the chat function on the support site also does not remove the blackout restriction. In fact, NBA League Pass Broadband responds with a form email with the language above and claim that you actually do have the NBA TV channel available. As a result of this practice, paying for the full premium leage pass package will NOT get you the games you are promised. NBA League Pass broadband will not provide a discount to the services you are being provided even considering the fact that they are not providing the services they have agreed to provide.
So yeah, NBA League Pass is as useful for home team fans as tits are to a boar. Some day I hope to follow a sport where the people in charge make decisions based on what fans want, but until then I guess I'll just watch crappy 8-bit illegal feeds because I'd become a hockey fan before I'd give another dime to the rapacious, customer-hating bastards at Comcast.