With the NBA season just tipping off last week, it is about time to start thinking about how you plan to keep tabs on your favorite teams. Last year's NBA counterpart on the iOS was the NBA League Pass app, which has long since been discontinued in the App Store. If one were to make as guess as to why this was the case, it would be easy to point at the lack of user authentication as a reason for its removal. The lack of a unified login made the app an easy target for piracy, as some speculate.
Sitting in its place, NBA Game Time 2010-2011 looks to act in a similar manner to League Pass, while still having free features for the less invested fan. Right out of the box the free base application will be able to receive live stat tracking of every game, box scores and player stats that will be updated in real-time. While some fans may find this to be more than enough of a dose of daily hoops, the hardcore will be able to delve deeper, but that is where the luster of "free-ness" begins wears off.
If you are a fan that enjoys listening to the dulcet tones of your favorite team's radio announcer of choice, for $9.99 you can purchase the ability to listen to the radio feed, all from the comfort of your iOS device. Further sweetening the pot is the ability to view video highlights, an end-game breakdown reel, and even push notifications for updates during games of your choice.
For those that are still grieving the loss of their precious NBA League Pass, fear not, because for $44.95 you can add the original application's live game video streaming functionality into Game Time. While it is never stated directly, one could also assume that this would also roll-up the features of the $9.99 upgrade as well, making it the ultimate package for any NBA fan on the go.
Seeing how the pricing tiers are structured and the fact that the premium features are now only available through the more strictly monitored in-app purchases, further adds validity to this being a move to combat piracy. As a proud paid subscriber of last year app, I am glad that Apple has provided a way to stick it to the thieves that want to take advantage of the system.
Now if you don't mind I am going to go grab all of my Detroit Pistons memorabilia out of storage. Like every other fan in the world, I know that this year is going to be our year!