Football is really just a pregame for basketball season. But it's game time and you don't have a cable subscription. How will you be able to watch which team wants it more but needs to make adjustments to make it to the playoffs, which refs need to just let them play and which players come in the clutch to sink buzzer-beaters?!

How to watch NBA without cable

If you have an over-the-air antenna, you’ll be able to access a limited number of nationally broadcast NBA games during the regular season. In the 2019-20 season, ABC affiliates carry 18 games. That’s barely a taste for die-hard basketball fans.

Most NBA games air on NBA TV, as well as ESPN, ESPN2, TNT and ABC, so if you already have access to these channels...you’re good. If you don’t, you can find those networks on fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV — none of which require a cable TV subscription. You might also find games on your local FOX and NBC sports networks.

FuboTV ($54.99/month)

  • 2 networks for live games: TNT, ABC
    NBA TV
  • 100+ channels for real-time viewing
  • *does not offer ESPN

Hulu with Live TV ($44.99/month)

Sling TV ($35/month)

  • Certain plans carry ESPN, NBA TV and TNT.
  • If you upgrade to the Orange or Blue plan, Sling will send you a free OTA antenna to access local channels with in-market games.

YouTube TV ($49.99/month)

  • Local ABC, TNT and ESPN, and several other sports channels.
  • 70+ channels and unlimited DVR storage, which is an advantage over other streaming services that have limited storage.
  • Bonus: YouTubeTV will also allow you to watch The Finals.

What is NBA League Pass and how do you get it?

NBA League Pass is a collection of channels available on 19 platforms. Games through League Pass are subject to local and national blackouts. So, if you live in Chicago, for example, and need your Bulls, you won’t be able to live-stream their games through this app.

But NBA League Pass is great if you live outside your team’s market. So, Boston fans who’ve headed for warmer temperatures in Arizona? You’re good with all the options listed below. NBA League Pass comes standard with YouTube TV and it is available as an add-on for fubo TV and Sling TV subscribers.

NBA League Pass ($28.99/month)

  • Ideal for out-of-market viewers
  • Available through YouTubeTV, fubo TV, and Sling TV

NBA League Pass Premium ($38.99/month)

  • Includes all of the above, plus in-arena stream (cameras run during commercials and breaks)

NBA Team Pass ($17.99/month)

  • Exactly what it sounds like: pick a team to stream all their games. If you don’t care to watch other teams’ games, this is the pass for you.

NBA Single Game ($1.99-$5.99/game)

  • If you’re not ready to commit to all the games, you can purchase viewing for one at a time.
  • Prices vary from $1.99 to $5.99, depending on when you tune in ($1.99 for fourth quarter; $5.99 for pre-game and first quarter)

You can also watch games after the fact, so you can see condensed games, highlights, and games you missed. You can also access NBA TV, a television network that is owned and operated by (surprise) the National Basketball Association, with fubo TV, YouTube TV, and some Sling packages (see comparison chart). To find out how to access it in your area, visit nba.com/nbatv and select “Choose Your Provider” in the upper right.


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