NBA Launches Live Game Video for iPhone and Android

54 Comments

The NBA has dramatically updated its mobile offerings for the 2009-10 season, including a new application for the iPhone and Android that provides live video streams of games.

nbawifiNBA League Pass Mobile costs $39.99 for the season, and gives users access to more than 40 live games each week. It identifies a user’s location via GPS in order to block access to the nearest local team, but other than that, the MobiTV-powered app is all-you-can-eat.

I tried out League Pass Mobile last night and it looked great, especially on Wi-Fi. The app includes live DVR capabilities, adaptive bitrate streaming, on-demand access to games for 48 hours, live stats, push alerts, and the ability to turn off all that information while you’re watching a game and just want to experience it in real time.

The app is not yet available publicly, but it should be out ASAP, definitely before the end of the week. Update: iPhone version is here. And paying users of NBA League Pass Broadband will have to open up their wallets again; the two products aren’t bundled.

In my testing on an iPhone (see gallery of screenshots below), the 3G stream, which AT&T ratchets down to start at 240 Kbps, crapped out on me a bit, which sucks if you’ve paid 40 bucks for it. NBA Digital general manager Bryan Perez said to expect streaming quality to improve over the course of the season. “Convenience can be just as important as the content itself,” Perez said. “Just because it’s not in HD doesn’t mean it’s not adding tremendous value to your quality of life.”

Along with the big-money video app, NBA Digital is upgrading last year’s Game Time app to a paid version ($9.99) and still giving out a free “Lite” version. The paid version, available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, includes live audio feeds for every game — including those in your local market — as well as stats, video highlights and push alerts. The free app has scores, standings and schedules. So if you care most about not having your local team’s games blacked out, this app’s for you.

Perez told us he thinks the NBA stacks up well in digital vs. other major sports leagues because it has the youngest demographic, though he admitted that Major League Baseball has been pioneering the business models for sports delivered digitally. He contended the NBA has the immense advantage of having all its assets under one roof between television, Internet and mobile, along with a vested interest on the part of Turner to promote digital projects. Next up, Perez said NBA Digital is looking to partner with regional sports providers to try to offer in-market access to games, which would have to be a major boost to usage.

54 Comments

brentwistrom

Is there a way to connect iPhone to a home PC to watch League Pass via iPhone on the larger computer screen?

r4 ds

I am very excited about this that this game is launched for i-phone I am always loved to play NBA.I am waiting for this on my i-Phone.

nintendo ds r4 carta

Hi.
I think, there are some nice features have attached here in the NBA Launches Live Game Video for iPhone and Android…
It gives users access to more than 40 live games each week. It identifies a user’s location via GPS in order to block access to the nearest local team, but other than that, the MobiTV-powered app is all-you-can-eat
Thanks for providing this information here…

Moe

Hey guys, is the League Pass app released for Android yet?
If so, will i be able to watch the games on my phone as a european?

Thanks for any info

T2150

question: so, I can buy this and I do not need to have the NBA league pass as well correct? The $40 will let me watch all the games I want on my iPhone without having to pay for NBALP as well, correct?

derek

I would’ve paid $129.99 for the local games alone. Some cities don’t have their games on local channels (about 30-40 for one particular NBA city).. Now I can pay $40 for something I need WiFi to use well (as in just go the computer its set up with and watch online better) and so I still can’t see my own local games????? Plus, Iphones’ got a lot of above average and wealthy users who would simply love to have the 40$ app to show off the local games and be a luxury product.

jon

@derek: if your local team doesn’t have a broadcast they will show the game, local blackout only pertains to your local channel’s broadcast

MK

So I just paid Comcast 169.00 for NBA League Pass and now NBA wants another $40 to view the games on my iphone? That’s a bit ridiculous. If you pay for the League Pass, the app should be included in the package, as I don’t see much difference between the broadband access and the mobile access.

John, ATT Uverse Coupons

Really is ridiculous, maybe NBA would put up an offer that covers both for people always on the go but still would like to watch on their big screen. Right now it’s still new, hopefully they’ll create a better offer than that.

cj

ive been complaining about this for a while…

NBA league pass’s biggest complaint has to be local black-outs… along with horrible CSR, poor controls, quality, displaying all scores for existing games (spoiling to outcome), etc.

MLB.tv is the easy winner.. no local black-outs, HD quality, multi camera angles, cheap iphone app. etc.

plex support for the mac would also be great.

c

Dave

Umm… MLB.tv does have local blackouts. In fact I live over 400 miles from St. Louis and am still blacked out from seeing Cardinals games live… so yea…

Pete

@Dave

Maybe you missed this paragraph that @Ryan was referring to:

“NBA League Pass Mobile costs $39.99 for the season, and gives users access to more than 40 live games each week. It identifies a user’s location via GPS in order to block access to the nearest local team, but other than that, the MobiTV-powered app is all-you-can-eat.”

Dave

@Ryan…

You’re reading too quickly again. Aren’t you? Try it one more time:

Along with the big-money video app, NBA Digital is upgrading last year’s Game Time app to a paid version ($9.99) and still giving out a free “Lite” version. The paid version, available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, includes live audio feeds for every game — including those in your local market — as well as stats, video highlights and push alerts. The free app has scores, standings and schedules. So if you care most about not having your local team’s games blacked out, this app’s for you.

Liz Gannes

@Jerry: Got a reply for you “At the moment it is just US and Canada but rollout of international access should happen in a few weeks.”

Ryan

Local black-outs? If I am paying for the content, shouldn’t the blackout restrictions be lifted?!

Liz Gannes

@Ryan and Dave you are both right. The $10 audio app has no blackouts, while the $40 video app does have blackouts.

Comments are closed.