To get around NBA League Pass blackouts, you need a VPN that can do two things.
First, it needs to have servers fast enough to support media streaming.
And second, it needs to be compatible with NBA League Pass.
After 10+ years of tinkering with VPNs, I can tell you that very few bypass NBA League Pass blackouts. So, let’s cut to the chase and start talking about NordVPN, the best option you have today.
NordVPN unblocks the US version of NBA League Pass without a hitch.
Besides that, it has servers in 60+ countries, giving you access to various other NBA League Pass versions.
That means NordVPN won’t only help you bypass NBA League Pass blackouts in the US. It will also help you save money by getting another country’s NBA League Pass subscription.
Keep on reading to learn how to use NordVPN as an NBA League Pass blackout workaround. I’ll also share some insider knowledge on getting the most out of your VPN subscription.
How to Bypass NBA League Pass Blackouts – A Quick Guide
Using a VPN to bypass NBA League Pass blackouts is easy.
You need to get a VPN subscription, activate your chosen VPN, and access NBA League Pass on your computer.
So, here’s how to trick NBA’s League Pass into thinking you’re somewhere else:
- First, decide what VPN service you’ll use – but be thorough in your research, as only a limited number of VPNs work with NBA League Pass. My personal favorite is NordVPN. However, there are a few more VPNs that you can use.
- Subscribe to your chosen VPN. If you want to follow my advice, subscribe to NordVPN. Use the provided link to get to the VPN’s website, especially if you want to get the lowest price available.
- After you sign up, return to NordVPN’s website (you need to be on its homepage). Select ‘Log In’ using the website’s main menu. Enter your credentials, and you’ll see your Nord Account dashboard.
- Select ‘Downloads’ using the left-placed sidebar, and you’ll see a list of NordVPN apps. Your operating system should be highlighted at the top. However, you can always pick a platform manually and download NordVPN’s installation file by clicking ‘Download.’
- After you download and install NordVPN, launch it for the first time. Once you access your account (by clicking on ‘Log In’ in the top-right corner), NordVPN will greet you with its simple-looking home screen. You can now connect to any VPN server.
To bypass NBA League Pass blackouts in the US, you must connect to a VPN server outside of your region.
For example, if you’re in New York and trying to watch a Knicks game, connect to a VPN server in the Central or Western part of the US.
If you have an international NBA League Pass subscription, connect to a server that belongs to the “home country” of your subscription.
For example, if you used the NBA League Pass website for India to buy your subscription, connect to a VPN server in India.
- Select the United States using NordVPN’s interactive map. After a few moments, it should say ‘Protected’ at the top. That means your VPN session is now active. All that’s left is to access NBA League Pass using your favorite Web browser.
- To access your account, select ‘Sign In’ (in the top-right corner). If you already have an NBA League Pass account, pick ‘Sign In to NBA Account.’ If you don’t have a standalone subscription (if you use a TV provider to access NBA League Pass), navigate to Sign In > Select TV Provider and follow the instructions on your screen.
- That’s it! As long as your VPN session is active, you can watch any NBA content you want. You can also bypass NBA League Pass blackouts, as the streaming service will think you’re somewhere else. Once done streaming, disconnect from your VPN.
Which VPN Works Best for Getting Around NBA League Pass Blackouts?
Based on my experience, the best VPN for getting around NBA League Pass blackouts is NordVPN.
I also had plenty of luck with CyberGhost and Surfshark.
Let me give you more information about all three of those VPNs.
- NordVPN is my top recommendation because it works with NBA League Pass every time. It provides 5,000+ servers in 60+ countries. Using those, you can bypass NBA blackouts in the US or go with an international NBA League Pass subscription (which comes without blackouts). Aside from that, NordVPN works on any device and is straightforward to use.
- CyberGhost is always a good option for streaming. Unlike my other recommendations, this VPN offers servers specialized for streaming. However, even its standard servers unblock NBA League Pass with no issues. There are 7,500+ servers in 90+ countries, helping you reach international NBA League Pass subscriptions as well.
- Surfshark is a beginner-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on high-end features. I am a big fan of its simple- yet modern-looking interface that never resorts to complicated VPN terminology. It’s also more affordable than my other recommendations but brings 3,200+ servers in 65 countries. You get access to the US version of NBA League Pass as well international versions, covering countries where NBA League Pass is available on the cheap.
Why Does NBA League Pass Have Blackouts?
Even though it’s a standalone streaming service, NBA League Pass has blackouts due to exclusive broadcasting rights.
As per NBA’s support documentation, blackouts exist because “local and national content providers have certain exclusive rights to televise live games and content.”
Furthermore, blackouts apply to your local NBA team(s) and all nationally televised games.
Blackouts apply to live games only.
That means you’ll get to watch blacked-out games on-demand once they become part of the NBA League Pass Archives.
That happens with nationally broadcast games three hours after they end.
Locally broadcast games are available on-demand three days after they aired.
Since they’re location-specific restrictions, your only option is to watch your local team’s games live on a local broadcaster, using a cable or satellite subscription.
Alternatively, you can use a subscription to a TV streaming platform, such as fuboTV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, or Hulu + Live TV to watch locally telecast games.
When it comes to nationally televised games, you will need access to TNT, ESPN, or ABC.
Once again, you can access those channels through a cable, satellite, or streaming platform.
Everything I’ve said above applies to regular-season games, the core of NBA League Pass.
However, All-Star Weekend, as well as the Playoffs and NBA Finals are also affected by NBA’s blackout rules, as those events are broadcast on TV in local markets only.
NBA’s blackout system exists in the United States and Canada.
No other country uses sports blackouts, which means that subscribers to NBA League Pass outside the US and Canada have access to every live and on-demand NBA game.
You’re probably a little confused by all those blackout rules.
To make this situation simpler, NBA offers tools to check which teams are blacked out in your area.
Based on where you live, here are the links to check local blackout rules in the United States and Canada.
How Does NBA League Pass Know Your Location?
NBA League Pass determines your location using your Web connection and your device’s parameters.
That data reveals your physical location, which is how NBA League Pass imposes blackouts based on pre-determined rules.
On operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux, you access NBA League Pass via the NBA League Pass site.
Since you need a Web browser to access the streaming service, your IP address is used to determine your location.
An IP address is a string of numbers assigned to your device when you connect to the Web.
It’s publicly available, as it’s required to establish communication between your device and the rest of the Internet.
In general, it reveals your city, ZIP code, area code of your ISP, and your ISP’s name.
On mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS/iPadOS, you access NBA League Pass via NBA’s official app (Android, iOS/iPadOS).
However, NBA is taking a more proactive approach on mobile devices as, aside from collecting your IP address, it reads your device’s GPS data.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to change (spoof) your GPS coordinates on Apple-made devices.
The same applies to most Android phones and tablets – unless they’re “rooted.”
If you don’t know, rooting allows you to access Android’s system files and make deep system-level changes.
However, doing so can null your phone or tablet’s warranty.
Some VPNs now offer an option to alter your device’s GPS coordinates.
For example, Surfshark allows that on Android devices, which might work even on non-rooted units.
Still, that method isn’t always successful and can be complicated to set up.
If you wish to learn more, turn to these instructions on Surfshark’s website.
You probably know what I’m about to say next.
When it comes to getting around NBA League Pass blackouts, it’s best to stick to your Web browser.
Even if something goes wrong (in that case, check these troubleshooting steps), you’ll have a higher chance of finding a solution that lets you access NBA League Pass with no limitations.
Perhaps you’re a bit disappointed after reading the previous paragraph.
However, if you wish to watch NBA games on your large-screen TV, you can still use your Web browser to make that happen.
I am talking about screen-casting, so here’s how that is done using Chrome.
How Do VPNs Get Around NBA League Pass Blackouts?
Now that you know how NBA League Pass determines your location, I’ll tell you how Virtual Private Network apps bypass NBA’s rigorous checks.
Differently said, here’s how VPNs hide your IP address.
Let’s say you decided to use NordVPN (my #1 recommendation).
Once you install and open the VPN app on your computer, it will present a massive list of countries on the left.
You can click on any country’s name to connect to a server located in that country.
However, when it comes to the United States, you can click on the ‘three dots’ button and connect to a specific city.
Once you connect, NordVPN will say ‘Protected’ at the top.
From that moment on, your incoming and outgoing Internet data will flow through NordVPN’s server.
Anything that happens between your device and the server remains hidden.
That means your IP address will remain hidden as well, alongside your location and other critical data.
So, you might wonder, what do websites see? Well, they see what NordVPN shows them.
In other words, they know the IP address of your chosen server, belonging to your chosen region (country or city).
That’s how NBA League Pass will think you’re somewhere else.
All of that is possible thanks to NordVPN’s capable protocols and encryption.
The VPN simply doesn’t allow NBA League Pass to get to your location-based information.
Not every VPN can do that, which is why only a handful of VPNs can still trick NBA’s League Pass into thinking you’re somewhere else.
Extra Tip – Use a VPN to Buy NBA League Pass International!
Did you know that NBA League Pass is available across the world?
More importantly, did you know that NBA League Pass isn’t priced the same worldwide?
In fact, I’m sure you’ll be shocked by the streaming platform’s price in certain countries.
Right now, NBA League Pass is priced at $99.99 in the United States (that’s the price of a no-ads plan).
At the time of writing, we’re in the middle of an NBA season.
That means the regular price is $199.99.
Not exactly affordable, right?
And then, we have a version of NBA League Pass available only in India.
That version brings you every NBA game – both live and on-demand, without any blackouts.
The price of that subscription for an entire NBA season is ₹1499.00 (which equals around $20.00).
The trick here is to subscribe while connected to a VPN server in India.
And then, you’ll need to make sure your VPN session is active every time you want to access NBA League Pass.
Here’s how to use a VPN to buy an international League Pass subscription:
- If you don’t have a VPN subscription, pick a powerful VPN such as NordVPN. Then, download and install the VPN on your computer (as a reminder, NordVPN works on Windows, macOS, and Linux). Open the app and access your account using the ‘Log In’ button (top-right corner).
- Use NordVPN’s left-placed sidebar to connect to a server in India. You can do the same using NordVPN’s interactive map. Once done, it should say ‘Protected’ in green at the top.
- Use your Web browser to access the NBA League Pass sign-up page. It might refresh on its own a few times before showing you the available subscription plans in Indian rupees. If you don’t see that, I advise using your Web browser’s incognito or private mode.
- Select the plan you want, and then click ‘Try Free.’ A new page will open, asking you to create an account. If you’ve used NBA League Pass before, make sure to create a new account, as using your old account will trigger detection mechanisms. Provide the required information, make sure to pick ‘India,’ and click on ‘Create Account and Continue.’
- It might take up to 60 seconds for the final step (page) to load, so be patient. You should now see fields asking for your payment information. Enter your card number, its expiration date, security code, and click on ‘Submit.’ Once your data is processed, you’ll end up with an active NBA League Pass subscription.
- To take advantage of your new subscription, ensure that you’re connected to a VPN server in India. Then, visit the NBA League Pass website. If asked to log in at the top, make sure to do so. And then – you’ll get to your NBA content without any limitations whatsoever.
Having Problems Bypassing NBA League Pass Blackouts? – Troubleshooting Steps!
NBA League Pass is one of the most aggressive streaming platforms in trying to detect your location.
That’s probably a result of implementing blackouts, which the NBA is obligated to respect in the legal sense.
That means technical problems may arise when using a VPN.
I’ll remind you that finding a 100%-reliable NBA League Pass blackout workaround on mobile devices is close to impossible.
So, if you’re trying to do that, switch to your computer and fire up your Web browser.
If you encounter problems there as well, go through the following three steps.
Step #1: Optimize Your VPN App
There are two things you can do to optimize your VPN app for NBA League Pass.
First, you can switch to another VPN protocol by visiting your VPN app’s settings.
Here’s how that’s done in NordVPN:
- Launch NordVPN and click on the Settings icon in the bottom-left corner.
- Pick the ‘General’ tab using the left-placed sidebar.
- Use the dropdown button next to ‘VPN Protocol.’
- By default, it will be set to ‘Use Recommended Protocol.’
- Try using OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) or NordLynx.
- When you pick a new protocol, close the ‘Preferences’ window.
- Re-connect to NordVPN and try reaccessing NBA League Pass.
Another thing you can do is try a different server.
It’s true that NordVPN has more than 5,000 servers, but some get overcrowded at times.
To pick another server manually, do the following:
- Launch NordVPN and take a look at its left-hand sidebar.
- Find a country you want to connect to, based on the version of NBA League Pass you use.
- Don’t click on the country’s name. Instead, click on the ‘three dots’ icon on the right side of your chosen country’s name. A menu should appear, listing individual servers.
- Pick a server by clicking on its name. Even if you click once, NordVPN will connect you.
Step #2: Switch to Incognito/Private Mode
The reason you can’t trick NBA League Pass into thinking you’re elsewhere might be due to your Web browser’s stored data.
A solution to that is to force your browser not to use its cache, prompting NBA League Pass to read your connection’s “raw” data.
Every Web browser allows you to surf the Internet in private. That’s done by entering a special mode that prevents your browser from using its existing data.
On Chrome, that mode is called ‘Incognito,’ but other browsers may refer to it as ‘Private’ or similar.
With that said, here’s how to reach your browser’s private mode in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.
If you use some other browser, do a quick Google search based on your browser’s name and version.
Step #3: Clear Your Browser’s Cache & Cookies
In the previous step, I recommended using a private mode in your Web browser.
Going that route doesn’t force you to delete your Web history.
However, it can be tedious to re-enter your NBA League Pass credentials whenever you wish to watch a game.
So, if you want to use your Web browser’s regular tabs, you will need to clear its cache and cookies.
Remember that doing so might delete your Web search history, saved credentials, website-related preferences, and similar types of data.
Use the following links to learn how to clear your Web history and cache in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.
On What Devices Can You Watch NBA League Pass?
NBA League Pass is available on any Web-connected device (such as computers), Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, and select smart TV models.
When it comes to computers, you can access NBA League Pass via NBA’s official website.
And when it comes to game consoles, streaming devices, mobile devices, and smart TVs, you’ll need to download the official NBA app from your device’s app store.
Keep in mind that there’s no official NBA League Pass app.
Instead, NBA’s subscription service exists as part of the NBA’s official app and website.
Can You Get Around NBA League Pass Blackouts Without a VPN?
Yes, but only if you have a cable subscription with channels that air NBA games live.
That’s because NBA blackouts are imposed online to force you to turn to NBA’s media partners – select TV channels that pay for exclusive broadcasting rights.
Another option is to subscribe to a cord-cutting service (live TV streaming service).
However, you’ll need one with sports TV channels that air NBA games.
This year, those TV channels are ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.
Some of the most popular live TV streaming services for that purpose are fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling TV.
However, know that cord-cutting services can be pricey.
They typically cost from $30 to $60 per month.
Keep in mind that you’ll need a sports streaming service that brings both national TV networks and regional sports networks.
That means you’ll probably end up with a pricey sports package or add-on.
On the other hand, VPN services are much more affordable.
For example, NordVPN will cost you only a couple of dollars per month if you pick a long-term plan.
What’s the Best VPN for Bypassing NBA League Pass Blackouts?
Based on my hands-on experience, the best VPN for NBA League Pass is NordVPN.
Even though there are other reliable options (like CyberGhost and Surfshark), I recommend NordVPN due to its ease of use.
In terms of getting around NBA League Pass, NordVPN works out of the box.
You don’t have to customize its settings or make any changes.
Just install the VPN on your computer, connect to any server in the United States (outside of your state/region), and you’re good to go.
I also recommend NordVPN for other reasons.
It’s perfectly capable of protecting your privacy, giving you access to websites not available in your country, and even offers servers for P2P traffic.
So, aside from watching any NBA game live, there’s plenty more you can do with this VPN.
Can You Use a VPN To Get Around NBA League Pass Blackouts on Roku?
Sadly, no – because Roku doesn’t support VPN software.
And contrary to what you might read online, no workaround can let you install a VPN directly on Roku.
However, all hope is not lost! I’ve previously advised you to use a computer to bypass NBA League Pass blackouts, as that’s the most effective way to use your VPN.
So, based on the model of your laptop or desktop computer, you might be able to screen mirror or cast NBA games from your computer to Roku (or directly to your smart TV).
I recommend turning to Roku’s website for additional information.
Here’s how to screen mirror to Roku from compatible devices.
And here’s how to use AirPlay to cast NBA games from Apple-made devices to your Roku.
Can You Watch NBA Games on a Smartphone With a VPN?
I’ll have to disappoint you, but there’s no way to watch NBA games on your phone while using a VPN.
That’s because the NBA app (which you use to access NBA League Pass) uses your phone’s GPS data to determine your location.
VPNs change location-based data tied to your Web connection.
They can’t change your device’s GPS data, which is why they don’t work with NBA League Pass on smartphones.
Do Blackouts Apply to NBA League Pass Audio?
No, blackouts don’t apply to NBA League Pass Audio.
With that said, if you don’t want to watch NBA games but instead listen to radio broadcasts, the Audio plan is a viable option.
At the moment, the NBA League Pass Audio plan is priced at $9.99 and comes as a one-time payment.
Is It Legal to Use a VPN for NBA League Pass Blackouts?
Using a VPN to bypass NBA League Pass blackouts comes with certain risks.
That’s because that action is against NBA League Pass’ Terms of Service.
If you scroll to the ‘Blackout Restrictions’ on that page, you’ll see the following information: “If you circumvent or attempt to circumvent any blackout restriction or other use restriction, your subscription will be subject to immediate termination and a charge of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for early termination, and you may be subject to legal action.”
I am sure that sentence sounds very frightening, and that’s the goal of that legal threat.
Still, using a VPN is legal.
It’s your right to protect your digital privacy any way you see fit.
That’s the reason why there isn’t a single report of an NBA League Pass subscriber being punished (in any way) for using a VPN.
And – It’s a Wrap!
Getting around NBA League Pass blackouts has become increasingly hard during the last couple of years. However, a VPN is still your best option.
You just need to know which VPN will do the job.
Right now, that VPN would be NordVPN. I’ve been using it for years to bypass NBA’s blackouts without any issue at any point.
Its US-based servers work great for bypassing sports blackouts, and that applies to other sports leagues as well. On top of that, NordVPN can help you save hundreds of dollars on your NBA League Pass subscription.
I am talking about using the VPN to get an international version of the NBA’s subscription service, often priced as low as $20.
In conclusion, I assure you that NordVPN will meet all your needs, which is why it’s my #1 recommendation for NBA League Pass – letting you watch all the NBA action live!