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NBA League Pass price remains similar despite fewer games

Dec 14, 2011, 11:08 AM EDT

NBA And Players Representatives Meet To Discuss Possible Settlement Getty Images

It’s all about the money.

The lockout was largely about money. Cramming 66 games into a condensed schedule was all about the money (revenue for owners, paychecks for players). Every move the NBA makes is about money.

And as another reminder of that — and a big middle finger to hardcore fans — the league is going to charge basically full price for League Pass, the package that lets you get every NBA game at home on your television (via Ball Don’t Lie). The initial price is $169 this year (it was $179 last year for the early bird special, $189 once games started). And that’s just in America, if you live overseas the price is actually going up.

The league will sell that now the mobile broadband — you can watch games on your smartphone — is included rather than extra. Don’t care.

The magic number we wanted was $145 — that was the pro-rated share of 66 games from last year’s price. You can charge us the same per game, but don’t charge us the same as last year when you are giving us less product. Not to mention a sloppier product thanks to a rushed preseason and condensed schedules.

It’s not really the $24 dollars, it’s the symbolic gesture. Kind of a “hey, my bad.”

At no point through the lockout or this preseason has there been evidence that the league really cares about its fans. Sure, there has been lip service. David Stern sent out a swell letter. But actual evidence — some financial or other tangible means of saying the owners and players are sorry for the five months of BS — never showed up.

Because the money matters. Not the fans that provide that money. That’s what the actions say.

  1. bparmalee - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    I cant say I’m shocked. I will pay for it… like a moron. I wish I could say they wont get my money but I enjoy watching the west coast games when there isnt anything else on. I would say its cheaper than going to games but I live in Charlotte. There is no real temptation to shell out money to see the Bobcats.

  2. tampajoey - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    I got the NBA League Pass the last 4 years, but I won’t be getting it this season. Not because of the price or lack of a price break. But because I’m a fan of a “small market team” in another state and I’m annoyed and frustrated in the continued direction the NBA is headed.

  3. cancionisimas - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    The NFL Game Pass, for spaniards like me, did cut his price to the half (260 euros to 130 this year, playoffs included) because lockout, and only lost the Hall of Fame Game. The NBA increase the League Pass price when we lost almost two months (and we have stupid blackouts)

    Nice work to make yourself evil Mr.Stern, nice work

  4. acdc363 - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    looks like i’ll be watching games online (for free) all season again (except thursdays of course).

  5. zidanevalor - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    The worst part is because the season is condensed, the monthly payments are actually going up, at least for DirecTV subscribers (maybe TWC and Comcast too, didn’t check). Last year I made six payments of $30 each. This year I will be making four payments of $42.50. I know I’m saving $10 in the overall picture, but I was still bummed a little when I saw that.

  6. cakemixa - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Full price for LESS games that’ll be sloppy as hell? Calling DTV right now!

  7. sweetnlow44 - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    I got rid of The League Pass when Stern, Bennett, and Schultz screwed Seattle out of their beloved team. I’ll watch when it’s free because I love basketball, but that brazenly corrupt league will not get another dime of my money until that evil snake, Stern is out.

  8. somekat - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Who would get league pass anyway? I can barely stand to watch 1 NBA game a week, who would want to watch them all? Watch a real sport, like College Basketball (You know, where the rules still matter)

  9. tampajoey - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    I got the NBA League Pass the last 4 years, but I won’t be getting it this season. Not because of the price or lack of a price break. But because I’m a fan of a “small market team” in another state and I’m annoyed and frustrated in the continued direction the NBA is headed.

  10. rgonzales1287 - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    I hope they do a deal with playstation just like every other major sport has…NBA is not on task like the other sports.

  11. charlutes - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    I’ll buy NBA league pass when hell freezes over. Joke league run by greedy clowns.

  12. jsun1216 - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Also, for League Pass Broadband Choice, they reduced the number of teams in the package from 7 to 5.

  13. glink123 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    easy problem to solve, for me at least. I’ve given the NBA my last dime. I made that decision on Nov 1st. this only validates my decision. I’ll watch, but I won’t give a dime.

  14. cubalakeshow - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    They really need to change up their marketing and PR people seriously this is atrocious you would think ANYTHING would be done for the fans at this point. I find it difficult to perceive that the NBA does not know where it stands as a league and how it is being viewed currently. 10$ is a slap in the face with all that has gone on.

  15. glink123 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    as a fan, I demand contraction. the league is so watered down, it’s pathetic. Kwame Brown gets $8 million? Really? We’re talking about Kwame effing Brown?

  16. cameron poe - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    You know NHL was presented with a problem similar to what the NBA is going through right now. But the difference is that the NHL came back stronger than ever. They realized who really pays their bills. They became much more fan friendly and are now thriving probably more than ever.

    The NBA and David Stern have been on this path for many years now. Ticket prices are outrageous (even for small market teams) and the fans are continuing to pay for poor business decisions over and over again. As a lifetime NBA fan I’ve had enough. I agree whole heartedly with glink123 giving Kwame Brown $8 mill is exactly the poor kind of business decision we as fans will pay for.

    So now I propose that the fans lock out the NBA. Show them that their product is nothing but guys in a gym playing pick up basketball without OUR FUNDS! Enough is enough. The NBA has become the laughing stock of professional sports and they do not care. So why should we as fans care?

  17. bobdanger - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Um, the broadband league pass cost actually went up from $100 to $110. That’s patently ridiculous. Not only am I not going to be purchasing a single Celtics ticket this year, but now I’m just not going to buy the package out of principle. I’ll stick to the free games on TNT and ESPN. The NBA really knows how to show their fans that they matter. Keep up the great work Stern & Co. (<—-sarcasm).

  18. thetooloftools - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    What about the NBA isn’t about $$$$$?
    Wake me up when the playoffs start and the guys finally start to play like they even remotely care.

  19. ramblingalb - Dec 14, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    I wish we had one writer that understood the NBA is a business. These guys all seem to think it’s some sort of strange charitable basketball group.

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