It’s that time of the year again: end of October is approaching and the months of falling back on old footage or endless youtube sessions watching the all-time greats are soon over – the NBA season kicks off again. Finally checking Bleacher Report has a meaning beyond watching kiddy pics of Riley Curry and Lil Chris Paul or learning about LeBron’s fashion preferences. Don’t get me wrong, coverage of the lifestyle surrounding the NBA has its value and don’t we all enjoy the extra entertainment we get out of the off-court shenanigans of our favorite ballers? However, without the real thing, without new highlight footage, without cheering for your team all that is quickly exposed as vicarious satisfaction. The good news: the wait is over tonight as the NBA is back in full effect for 2015-16.
Enjoying the new season isn’t easy for NBA fans in Europe. Not only does the time difference make it almost impossible to follow live action while functioning in the day-to-day routine, tv-coverage is patchy at best, specially since the mid 90s Michael Jordan hype has worn down. Even Dirk’s success with the Mavericks in 2011 couldn’t substantially bolster NBA coverage in Germany. Too far ahead is the popularity of soccer and that isn’t changing anytime soon. Basketball has to settle for a niche-role and the inclined NBA fan has to find other means of coverage.
While the emerge of broader bandwidths has made consuming live sports from almost everywhere in the world technically possible, copyright and licensing terms still impose significant restrictions. Streaming from sites like atdhe.to might be the worst of possibilities. Sure, you get access to every live game, but at what cost? Quality is a huge issue and even more important: lack of reliability. There’s nothing worse than having a blackout with 10 seconds to go and the score tied. Not to mention the legal consequences copyright infringement can have.
The International NBA League Pass seems to solve all those problems: fairly good HD quality, access to all games and support for multiple platforms like Apple TV, Xbox 360 or PS4. With the archive option it’s even possible to view the games on your own schedule and bypass time zone issues. The price tag might be the only thing holding back and while 249.99 EUR for the whole season sounds like a fair deal for serious fans, it might deter the more casual follower. A nifty workaround is taking advantage of the NBA’s pricing strategy, which allows for different prices in different markets. Using a proxy can secure you the price of any market in the world and you only need to go through the process for sign up. Once payment went through, you can enjoy the action independent of your location. This year Canada at the equivalent of 115 EUR and India at 65 EUR are great offers. Just get a proxy at a place like proxynova.com and fill it in your browser’s proxy options. Then navigate to nba.com/leaguepass and go through the registration process. Once you paid, delete the proxy and enjoy the coverage on all platforms. Welcome back NBA, we missed you!