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How to watch NBA in Australia
We’ve shown you how to watch cricket online. And rugby fans of both persuasions can check out our guides for how to watch NRL and how to watch rugby union. Now it’s time for another ball-based sport that seemingly has never-ending matches during its regular season (new weeks start every Monday during the regular season). With as many as 11 matches per day and thousands of matches in a season, there’s a lot of b’ball to watch for National Basketball Association (NBA) fans.
All pricing and deal information is accurate at the date of publish (27 April 2021).
How to watch NBA in Australia
You’ve got three main choices when it comes to watching NBA in Australia: two are premium and only one is free. For the free version, SBS has NBA matches but only select ones, which is a similar story for Foxtel (including Foxtel Now) and Kayo Sports (our review here), albeit there are way more matches and costs start at $25 a month. The only way to watch every NBA regular season match live or on demand in Australia is with the NBA League Pass.
NBA on SBS
While there are dozens of NBA matches during the regular season, you can watch two of these every week on SBS Viceland or love stream NBA matches via SBS On Demand. It’s a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to knowing which days and which matches are featured on SBS On Demand, but there’s a week-by-week round-up on the official NBA website (just change the month in the calendar drop-down menu). Alternatively, keep an eye on this SBS NBA page or the Sport tab of SBS On Demand for upcoming NBA matches and replays.
NBA on Kayo Sports
Kayo Sports and Foxtel Now are a similar story in terms of limited games, except it shows ESPN Australia-broadcasted matches, which are different NBA matches to what’s available on SBS. The ESPN Australia focus is on the biggest NBA matches of the week, with 190 matches in total for the entire regular season. Tune in to Kayo’s Basketball category to see scheduling for NBA matches.
NBA League Pass Australia
Buying an NBA League Pass in Australia is the only guaranteed way to watch every regular season NBA match live or on demand. But good luck getting through all of that; there are, after all, thousands of matches in a season! Alternatively, the NBA League Pass also lets you focus on just the team you want to follow, and is also the only way to guarantee you can see every one of your team’s matches live or on demand.
While prices are mercifully offered in Australian dollars, buying an NBA League Pass isn’t cheap, even if you do manage to get in towards the end of the season when there’s a 50% discount. At the time of writing, that discounted price was $82.99 for a Team Pass (single team), $53.99 for 8-Game Choice (you pick eight games per month), and $114.99 for the all-teams League Pass. You can also buy a 10-minute Pass for $0.99. Typically, there are also monthly options for a League Pass (US$28.99) and Team Pass (US$17.99). The NBA League Pass has a seven-day trial if you want to try before you buy.
Where to watch the NBA playoffs and NBA finals in Australia
Despite the cost and comprehensive regular season coverage of the NBA League Pass, it is not where you can watch NBA playoffs or NBA finals. You’ll have to use a Foxtel service – Foxtel, Foxtel Now or Kayo Sports – to watch NBA playoffs and NBA finals. Playoffs and finals start on 22 May 2021 and end on 22 July 2021.
NBA Australia (NBL)
If you’ve come to this page looking for National Basketball League (NBL) information – Australia’s equivalent of America’s NBA – the good news is the answer is the same as a couple of the options above. You can watch all NBL live matches on SBS On Demand (select matches are broadcast on SBS Viceland), with replays online about 12 hours after the match ends. SBS On Demand also has NBL highlights. Kayo Sports also has all NBL matches live alongside full match replays.
If you’re completely lost in terms of the sports you want to stream, you can start with Optus Sport for international soccer, Stan Sport for rugby union or check out a round-up of the best sport streaming services in Australia.
NBN plans for streaming NBA
Whether you’re streaming on Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, SBS On Demand or the NBA League Pass, watching NBA matches live doesn’t use a whole lot of bandwidth as far as NBN connections are concerned. SBS On Demand has the lowest bandwidth usage at around 2.6Mbps, NBA Live Pass uses 3Mbps, Foxtel Now uses just over 3Mbps and Kayo Sports uses the most (7Mbps). Theoretically, this means you could use an NBN 12 or NBN 25 plan to stream NBA in your home, but an NBN 50 plan gives you the versatility to stream multiple matches and do a whole lot more online at the same time.
Below is a daily updating list of the top 10 popular NBN 50 plans with unlimited data.
Mobile plans for streaming NBA
While NBN has the benefit of unlimited-data plans, mobile plans are less fortunate. Still, those streaming megabytes can add up if you’re streaming even a few matches every month. In practical terms, expect to use up to 1.2GB per hour of live streaming on SBS On Demand, around 1.35GB for Foxtel Now and NBA Live Pass, with 3.15GB for Kayo Sports.
If you don’t want to worry about tracking data, go with the Felix $35 Subscription, which includes endless monthly data and its capped 20Mbps download speeds are fast enough for any of the NBA streaming services.
Alternatively, consider a Vodafone SIM Only plan from the $55 SIM Only Super Plan upwards. Even if you go over your data cap, speeds are slowed to 10Mbps (for two plans) and 25Mbps, respectively, which is fast enough to stream NBA via any of the services above. You can see these three Vodafone SIM Only plans below or find our pick of the month’s best SIM Only plans here.
Otherwise, you can see popular Prepaid and SIM Only plans via the daily updating list below, which come with at least 100GB of monthly data.