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NFL, NBA offer free subscriptions as coronavirus cancels live sports

Sports have shut down indefinitely, courtesy of the coronavirus, and the absence of one of America’s most revered pastimes has been profound. On Wednesday, March 18, the NFL and the NBA both announced ways to help fill the void.

The NFL will offer complimentary access to NFL Game Pass, a digital streaming product of the league, which will allow fans to rewatch football games and moments from the past. The platform will be offered free of charge until May 31 for fans residing in the U.S. and will be free starting Thursday through July 31 for fans outside the U.S. and Canada.

The NBA followed suit shortly after, announcing in a letter to fans that it would be providing a free preview of NBA League Pass, the basketball league’s own subscription-based digital product, until April 22.

To sign up for complimentary access, fans will need to create an account at, or on the NFL app. If you’re after NBA League Pass, you can redeem the league’s free offer by signing into your NBA account through or the NBA App.

The NBA is sending this letter to fans to announce free League Pass later today:

— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) March 18, 2020

The NFL will also offer full game encores each day across its digital platforms, including, the NFL app, and NFL’s official YouTube channel. The games will “feature signature wins from all 32 teams” according to a press release and will be available to view by noon ET each day.

NFL Game Pass traditionally offers access to past regular and postseason games, previous seasons of football series like Hard Knocks and A Football Life, and “exclusive NFL Game Pass Film Sessions with some of the league’s star players and coaches.”

With complimentary access, you’ll be able to take advantage of several features. With game replays, you’ll be able to watch full broadcasts from 2009-2019, commercial-free and in HD. This will include the preseason, playoffs and Super Bowls from the past 11 seasons. Condensed, 45-minute replays will also be available.

Other content offered on NFL Game Pass include NFL Game Pass Film Sessions — where players and coaches break down plays and technique — NFL RedZone, Hard Knocks, and live broadcasts of NFL Network, where you can find 24/7 coverage of NFL’s ongoing free agency.

As for the NBA, the league said its complimentary offering will provide access to full and condensed games from the 2019-2020 season, as well as access to classic games and content.

There’s no telling when sports will return, with the NBA, NHL, and MLB all put on hold as the coronavirus continues to spread across the country. With this complimentary access, we’ll at least be able to watch sports again. They won’t be live, but they’ll surely serve as an escape from the ongoing chaos.

Plus, with a decade of football and plenty of archived basketball at the ready, there’s memorable action to relive for everyone, regardless of who you follow. So as you continue to social distance, at least you’ll have sports to watch.

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Nick Woodard
Former Digital Trends Contributor
  As an A/V Staff Writer at Digital Trends, Nick Woodard covers topics that include 4K HDR TVs, headphones…
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