The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Viasat Inc., a global communications company and leading in-flight connectivity provider to many of the world’s most recognizable airlines, today announced a groundbreaking multi year partnership to make NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service, available to millions of airline passengers while in flight.
The partnership will provide a streaming experience in the sky, enabling airline passengers to access live and on demand NBA games and content on their personal electronic devices at no extra cost when they register for NBA League Pass in-flight. JetBlue will be one of the first airlines to offer NBA League Pass on Viasat-equipped aircraft, with additional airlines expected to be announced.
Available during the 2021 NBA Playoffs, which will tip off Saturday, May 22, Viasat will enable access to the premium version of NBA League Pass – featuring every NBA game live and on-demand – to passengers onboard aircraft with Viasat In-flight connectivity. NBA League Pass will be available on any route, except for flights within the U.S., Canada and China; international flights to and from these three countries will also have access to the service.
“We are thrilled to provide fans around the world with the unique opportunity to experience the excitement of the NBA on their personal devices while in-flight at 35,000 feet,” said NBA Senior Vice President, Global Media Distribution and Business Operations, Matt Brabants. “By leveraging Viasat’s world-class satellite technology and global reach, we believe this partnership will transform the future of content consumption for airline passengers and allow us to engage millions of new and existing NBA fans in a whole new way.”
“We’re focused on evolving the way passengers enjoy in-flight internet by offering differentiated, premium over-the top content and streaming experiences,” said Viasat Managing Director, Media & Mobile Applications, Dave Elliot. “We continue to explore and announce new partnerships, like the NBA. The trend to market content – and in this case, league assets – directly to customers is powerful, and offers more opportunity to drive customer acquisition through new business models that haven’t been previously offered through packaged, linear TV viewing.”
NBA League Pass provides the most comprehensive live and on-demand access to an entire season of NBA games in high-definition with live stats, alternative audio and multiple viewing options. Passengers on NBA League Pass enabled flights will be able to use the speed and efficiency of Viasat’s global satellite network to access NBA platforms, create or sign into an existing NBA account, and immediately access League Pass’s Next-Generation game viewing enhancements, including new camera angles, multiple in-language streams, celebrity influencer commentary, in-depth analytics and statistical graphics and condensed games for on-demand viewing.
Viasat serves the world’s leading airlines, elevating the passenger journey with a network that is built to support the rising data requirements of the latest internet, streaming and over-the-top trends, even at 35,000 feet. The Company currently has an international satellite network consisting of owned and partner high-capacity Ka-band satellites to deliver high-quality, fast connectivity – even in the hardest-to-reach places.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com, go to Viasat’s Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.
About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League. The NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming available in 215 countries and territories in more than 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2020-21 season featured 107 international players from 41 countries. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 1.9 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include statements that refer to the overall agreement between Viasat and NBA and the offerings and benefits of the partnership, including the features, free access and availability of the service. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations, and increased competition and other factors affecting the aviation sector generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
Featured image credited to istock.com/JakeOlimb