A host of Americans, Australians, and Southeast European basketball fans have taken to utilising VPNs through India to sign up for the NBA League Pass, due to the rates being monumentally cheaper than the prices in their respective countries.
The subscription model is divided into three parts.
- NBA League Pass: This includes 720p 30FPS streaming for all 30 teams throughout the season, as well as the playoff games. It includes curated highlights for the season as well. However, this stream contains commercial breaks at the end of each quarter, as well as between timeouts. It also includes NBA TV, which has pre and post-match analysis, as well as podcasts discussing the game. Additionally, it also includes NBA’s video archives, which include classic games, documentaries, and specials such as mini-movies.
- NBA League Pass Premium: This option has no commercials, with a live stream of the game playing even during the breaks. The viewer can watch the huddles, as well as the halftime performance at the arena.
- NBA Team Choice: This allows the subscriber to only view the 82 regular-season games of one of the 30 teams, as per the subscriber’s choice.
Additionally, the NBA started a virtual reality package, which will set you back by $49.99. It is compatible with Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Windows Mixed Reality devices. According to the NBA, the fans will be able to watch games “as if they are actually at the game”.
As outlined by the table, the cost of the Premium subscription in India costs almost fifteen times less than its American counterpart. Thus, scores of people from the USA, Australia, Germany, and some Southeast European countries like Serbia and Georgia utilise a VPN and buy the Indian subscription. In order to access it, the subscriber will have to use the VPN every time while logging in, and keep it open throughout the time they are watching the game.
“I use a VPN from Nord which has a high response time and doesn’t throttle the live stream. It’s fast, convenient, and much cheaper than the options available here”, said Mason, a subscriber from Philadelphia, USA. The overall subscription costs him a trifle under $60.
Earlier, the first choice used to be a VPN through Nigeria or Angola, either of which used to be around $100 per month, according to Mason, who has been using a VPN for the past three years. India was the same cost. Canada was priced at $110 for the whole year.
However, with the drastic drop in prices, the Indian subscription has become the premiere choice for basketball fans.
A user from Germany, speaking anonymously due to apprehensions over getting caught, recently bought the Indian subscription. “I’m always frustrated about the high prices in my country for the pass. Streaming is not an option because of the timezones. I need on-demand stuff!”, he said. A student by profession, he wanted a cheaper alternative, and ultimately found the Indian subscription through Reddit.
Currently, the NBA is doing its best to increase the game’s popularity in the country, the most likely reason for reducing the price drastically. In India itself, it has a multi-year broadcast partnership with Multi Screen Media (MSM) in India, which owns Sony Six. For the 2017-18 season, there will be a total of 72 games broadcast. Only one game a day will be broadcast on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.