The sports world was one of the earliest industries impacted, and subsequently closed, due to the quickly spreading coronavirus pandemic. Now, to ease the boredom caused by a lack of events, three major leagues are offering access to their paid streaming services, free of charge.
Football and basketball fans can gain a free subscription to the NFL’s Game Pass and the NBA’s League Pass immediately, and beginning on Friday, hockey fans will have access to a mountain of rink-side entertainment with the NHL’s “Pause Binge” program.
National Hockey League
Announced today, the NHL is planning on giving hockey fans the binge-worthy content they need to stay sane during the coronavirus quarantine and isolation period.
From Friday, March 20 until April 30, fans will be able to watch full-game replays of the entire 2019-20 season so far. These can be accessed directly on the scores and schedule pages at NHL.com, and at NHLLive.com (in Canada).
In addition, the NHL is going to make a veritable mountain of content from their in-house development team available to the public on both their website and YouTube channel. This “Pause Binge” includes original programming like the NHL’s ‘Road to the Winter Classic’ and ‘Behind the Glass.’ The league will also be showing classic NHL games dating as far back as 1950.
Fortunately, you won’t have to already have an account, or use any codes to gain access to this content.
National Basketball Association
In an announcement made yesterday by the National Basketball Association, the streaming service NBA League Pass will be completely free for all fans until April 22.
This means you can watch the Toronto Raptors win the NBA championship over and over again for the next 30 days. The League Pass grants access to all regular season games aired in the currently suspended season, and the prior one. At the time of writing, it looks like all anything played before the ’18-’19 season is unavailable on the free service.
You can also get access to a selection of “classic games” dating back to 1963.
It’s pretty easy to sign-up for, as well. All you have to do is make an account, or log-in to one if you’ve already created a NBA.com account. Then, head over to the subscription page, and enter the code ‘WATCH30’ and that will allow you to complete your order, even without entering credit card information.
National Football League
Following shortly behind the NBA’s announcement, the NFL stated that they will join-in on the cure for quarantine boredom.
Available now, football fans can access a number of features including full-game replays dating all the way back to 2009, daily encore performances of notable games, condensed game replays, live coverage on NFL networks (free agency is happening right now), and access to original content such as Hard Knocks, and A Football Life.
Free access to NFL Game Pass will run until May 31 within the US, and July 31 in Canada.
With coronavirus on the rise, the Center for Disease Control is reminding individuals who attend events and gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.