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NBA TV

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The world is still reeling from the recent sudden death of one of its legends, Kobe Bryant. Nobody saw this coming and it has hit everyone harder than a celebrity death has hit the world in a long time. The situation, of course, is tragic. And it has reached deep into the soul of the NBA, which is to be expected … but it has also cut the rest of the world equally. Everyone – from musicians to athletes to comedians to influencers – has taken this week to soberly reflect and look to one another for healing since the loss of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

However, in his honor, the show must go on. And the NBA is not taking too much of a pause. Instead, players and coaches are coming together to continue honoring Kobe in a way that he would be sure to appreciate, by playing their hearts out on the court. Everyone is working their mourning out through their shared love of the game. And that is truly a beautiful thing.

The NBA has even been petitioned to change its logo to honor Kobe. And my guess is that they will do so, at least temporarily. Either way, the legend of Kobe Bryant will never be forgotten – he will live on in every swished three-point shot from the outside, as well as every crumpled-up paper shot into the wastebasket from the office chair.

The fact of the matter is that the NBA season is really just getting heated up. There are still plenty of exciting and cutthroat games left to be played. The NBA is one of those sports, too, where game changers occur on a daily basis.

Momentum is an all-too underestimated factor in the game of basketball. All it can take is a single win from an underdog team to carry them all the way to the championship. A single injury can dethrone a league favorite. No matter what, the NBA is one of those leagues that you don’t want to miss a single moment of. And thankfully, living in the digital age as we do, we have the means to never have to miss an NBA moment again.

That’s right, I’m talking about the premium NBA streaming service, NBA TV. It is a must-have for any serious basketball fan, essentially courtside season tickets to every NBA game right on your smartphone, computer, and smart TV. Never miss a single shot; never miss the moment when basketball’s legends of tomorrow are born today.

History

The online network launched in March of 1999, originally billed as NBA.com TV. The name, however, was shortened to simply NBA TV on February 11 of 2003 (a smart move if you ask me). It originally was operated from NBA studio facilities located at the NBA Entertainment offices in Secaucus, New Jersey. However, it has since expanded greatly.

NBA TV signed a multi-year contract in 2003, for instance, with 3 out of 5 of America’s largest cable service providers: Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and Cablevision. This expanded NBA TV’s reach exponentially, growing to become a part of over 45 million paid subscriber’s household cable plans in the US alone; additionally, NBA TV was made available in 30 other countries around the globe. When Time Warner took the sports network CNN/SI off the air in 2002, many cable providers replaced that channel with NBA TV.

Since the days of traditional cable have all but come to a final curtain call, NBA TV has understandably begun shifting their focus primarily to their online streaming service … which is, arguably, a better deal anyway. At the very least, you cannot argue with the fact that you get much more out of it, as NBA TV online offers access to every scheduled game, even those that are not otherwise aired on television. It is a 100% exclusive all-access pass to the NBA. The perfect self-gift for an NBA fanatic.

Design

NBA Live has opted for a pretty basic overall design, which I enjoy. Simply search games with a video search interface not entirely unlike that of YouTube’s. Find the game you want to watch, click it, and, voila, that is all there is to it. The game expands to fit your screen and you can track scores from other games thanks to a non-distracting crawler above the video stream.

The only thing that might be missing, design-wise, from NBA TV, is a classic picture in picture feature. Perhaps game viewing and exchanging could be made slightly more streamlined. It would be great, for example, if you could click on a game’s score on the crawler and open the game as a PIP window, which you could also click on to switch to that game.

So, there are possibly a few missed opportunities when it comes to usability. But that does not mean that it is poorly designed by any means … it just means that, as is the case with any service, NBA TV has a little bit of room for improvement (even if it isn’t much!).

Content

Well, as I said before, NBA TV offers access to every single game in the league. This means that you, as an NBA TV user, get tons of exclusive content that most people will have to miss out on. You will also be able to enjoy full-game and customizable game replays; the ability to watch tons of classic archived games; exclusive NBA television shows; and access to NBA TV on any device.

Plus, one thing that really sets this service apart from any other sports services like it that I have seen, NBA TV offers virtual reality capabilities. For a one-time fee of $49.99, VR can be used as an add-on service. This means that you really can feel like you are courtside with your favorite team and players.

As far as the number of services and features that NBA TV offers, it might just be the best deal of all the major league sports packages out there. Even if you are not a huge NBA fan, NBA TV will convert you if you give it a shot.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

NBA TV works just about the same on any device that you pull it upon. My favorite way to watch, however, is on my smart TV. But, still, if you like to keep up with the game on your phone or tablet while on the go, you won’t run into any problems. Enjoy crystal clear HD streaming of all NBA games no matter where you are.

Pricing and Plans

NBA TV offers a pretty fair breadth of options for payment plans. From an all-access premium account to a single team pass, to just a streamlined way to access all of the normally aired NBA games, below you will find all your options and what they will run you:

-NBA TV Premium, No Commercials: every NBA game, all teams, no commercials … $124.99/year

-NBA League Pass: every NBA game, all teams, but with commercials … $99.99/year

-NBA Team Pass: Pick one team, all of that team’s games (market or out of the market) … $59.99/year

-NBA Live TV: Consolidated and streamlined access to all regularly aired NBA games with commercials … $29.99/year

NBA TV also offers some interesting one-time purchase options. As I already mentioned, you can get the NBA TV add-on for any of the aforementioned plans that let you watch games in virtual reality for $49.99. They also offer an audio stream of in-market games for a one-time price of $9.99. Or buy per game, get access to a single matchup to stream to any device, at a pay per view price of $5.99. I love the fact that NBA TV offers so many different ways to enjoy the games.

Suggestions that I have for NBA TV

My only suggestion concerns what I mentioned earlier about making it a little easier to toggle and switch between games. I think that if the design were made a little more streamlined, NBA TV would be the perfect sports streaming service.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there really isn’t much to hate on when it comes to NBA TV. Considering all of the features and options it offers, there is a version of NBA TV for everyone. And if you are a hardcore basketball fan, there is no excuse not to use at least one of the many versions of it at some point or another.

Likes & Hates:
Plenty of plans and purchasing options
Premium gets every scheduled game, no commercials
Exclusive content
VR capabilities
Interface design could be a little more streamlined and intuitive