Blackout restrictions apply to all NBA games that are offered on NBA LEAGUE PASS. Such blackout restrictions are designed to protect the television rightsholders in the competing teams' respective home markets. Blackouts are not based on arena sellouts.
If a local over-the-air network has the rights to broadcast an NBA game in its local area, customers in that area will be unable to receive that game via their satellite service. However, they may be able to see the game via their local channels.
Example of How Blackouts Work
The Lakers are playing the Rockets and both teams are broadcasting the game locally — KCAL-9 in the Los Angeles area and FSN SOUTHWEST in the Houston area. NBA LEAGUE PASS subscribers living in the Los Angeles area will be blacked out within the Lakers' over-the-air territory. To see the game, they must be able to receive KCAL. Subscribers living outside of the KCAL coverage area will receive the game via NBA LEAGUE PASS unless they live in the Houston area. Subscribers in the Houston area will be blacked out of the game in NBA LEAGUE PASS, but subscribers can view the game on their over-the-air television station or their local regional sports network (RSN) — included with CHOICE programming and Local Channels.