Fans of the New Orleans Pelicans are getting ripped off

New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Hype around the New Orleans Pelicans is at an all-time high and fans can’t wait to get the regular-season started.

The Pelicans will tip things off against the Brooklyn Nets, a game that should have plenty of national attention and could start a new rivalry.

With the Pelicans hoping to make the playoffs and contend this season, just about every game will matter and there are a ton of good ones to circle on your calendar.

But if you live in New Orleans or the surrounding area you might be wondering how you are even going to watch the games.

How to watch New Orleans Pelicans’ games

The NBA has one of the worst television arrangements in all of sports and fans are paying the price, quite literally.

NBA League Pass costs $18.99 per month, which isn’t a bad price to pay if you are a diehard who watches a lot of games. It is perfect for someone like me, who lives outside of the US and can literally watch every game.

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But there is one caveat, as many fans learn the hard way: The local games are blacked out for local fans and those in the surrounding areas. League pass is great, but not if you actually want to watch your local team.

For that, you have to turn to the much-hated Bally Sports+, which is more expensive than the league pass, except you only get the New Orleans Pelicans:

This is how the NBA hopes to build fanbases in small markets? There are going to be a lot of casual fans looking to jump on the Pelicans’ bandwagon next season, but they are going to have to pay a heavy price if they want to do it legally.

And the thing is, a lot of them won’t.

They will either decide to watch one of the million other options they have for streaming, or they will pirate the game on one of the many, many sites that provides free links.

The NBA has been complaining about losing viewers over the last few years, and this is one of the main reasons why. Fans are still watching the games, but they are just stealing them instead of getting robbed by these high fees.

There is a cost-of-living crisis and the price point for this package seems to be out of touch with what average basketball fans are willing to pay to watch their local teams, which will send the casuals to other entertainment and will send the diehard to the pirated links.

TV deals are how the league makes its money, but they are clearly leaving some on the table and losing fans by making it difficult or financially prohibitive to watch their local teams.

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