The gravy train of sharing streaming subscription passwords is going to come off the rails the next few years, in and out of sports. As first noted by Jacob Feldman of Sportico, the NBA has lowered the number of devices that can concurrently stream NBA League Pass games from five to two.
This is an aggravating development if you are someone like me who streams games on several different televisions. While you can still log into League Pass on up to 10 different devices, only two can be streaming games at a time now. You can still watch multiple games on one screen if you use your computer, but the days of being able to stream several games on several devices at the same time are over.
To be fair, DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket allows only one device to stream the package at a time, but the NBA had been friendlier with those terms for years. That is no longer the case, and it makes you wonder when cable networks like ESPN and FOX Sports are going to follow in this direction on their apps for streaming live sports. Streaming audiences still pale in comparison to TV audiences, but you do have to wonder if ESPN would lose fewer subscribers on the margins if it were harder for people in their 20s and 30s to use others’ cable and satellite log-ins.
Separate from password sharing, I want to take this moment to complain about the NBA stacking all their games at night tonight when it would’ve been really nice to have some day games to watch and bet on — especially during Christmas week. Many of us live in cities where lockdowns effectively prevent any recreational activity, so the more daytime sports the better.
I understand that the regional sports networks got bludgeoned this past year in lost NBA and MLB inventory and that they are likely to get more viewers at night, but wouldn’t it have been great to have, Idk, LaMelo Ball and the Hornets playing this afternoon? Right now, we have 13 games scrunched into the night windows tonight, and it’s going to be impossible to keep up with all the action.
The NBA is going to have to deal with frustrating COVID-19 protocols regarding travel for the foreseeable future, and this limits the number of day games they can do, but a look at the schedule over the next couple weeks shows that there are some day games on Saturdays and Sundays. It would be nice if there were a few during the week as well, whether they were aired nationally or just regionally and on League Pass.
Anyways, I’m not really sure how many people this affects, but I’m interested in seeing how many people get annoyed over the next couple weeks when they discover the new limits on simultaneous NBA League Pass streams.