Need to find a way to watch your Jazz, Hawks, Nets, or Clippers? We got you covered.
How to Get the NBA on TV
If you don’t know where or how to watch LeBron James, Joel Embiid, or Steph Curry, we’ll tell you what you need to get so you never miss a basketball game. We've also got the details on how to watch the upcoming 2023 NBA draft.
Depending on where you live, you may need NBA LEAGUE PASS and a live TV streaming service, cable TV provider, or satellite TV provider to watch all of the games.
Either way, you're going to want ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and the TNT channel.
But if you're looking for a longterm TV solution so you can be prepared for next season, as well, we'll help you decide which option is best for you all year long. Let’s start the clock.
What’s the difference between NBA LEAGUE PASS and NBA TV?
Data effective 1/19/2023.
NBA LEAGUE PASS is a standalone subscription and a subscription available from some TV providers that let you watch all out-of-market NBA games. But that means you can only watch certain games in specific locations.
For example, when we go to the NBA LEAGUE PASS website, it tells us we won’t get access to Utah Jazz games while residing in Salt Lake City. If you are a Jazz fan but live in New York, you’ll be able to watch every Mike Conley game.
This is what we mean by blackouts. So you’ll have to get your Utah Jazz games through your local cable TV channels, but you’ll get access to all of the other live NBA games with NBA LEAGUE PASS.
But if you want to wait three days, NBA LEAGUE PASS will have an archive of the event by then. And if a game broadcasts on ESPN, ABC, TNT, or NBA TV, you’ll be able to watch the archive of the game three hours after it has aired.
NBA TV is the official channel of the NBA. It has live games (exhibition, regular, and playoff), live and post-game coverage, and exclusive NBA programming, such as NBA Gametime Live. NBA TV is available in many TV services, but it’s only included in select packages.
For this reason, we’ve found the cheapest TV packages that include NBA TV from every major TV service (see the next main section).
What does each NBA LEAGUE PASS plan include?
NBA LEAGUE PASS gives you three options for your wallet and your NBA fan level. It’s a one-time ticket to a full season of basketball right in your living room (minus the gourmet arena food)!
So, which plan should you get?
NBA TEAM PASS lets you watch all out-of-market games for one team of your choosing. You’ll have to sit through the commercials instead of watch the in-arena stream during timeouts, and you’ll be able to stream on only one device at a time.
With NBA LEAGUE PASS, you can stream all out-of-market games that aren’t blacked out and relive classic games (and Michael Jordan’s clutch shots). About 15 minutes after the game, you’ll get access to full-length and condensed game replays.
And the PREMIUM upgrade will let you watch all games commercial-free during timeouts, and you’ll stay in the arena to watch the action. You can also stream on two devices at once.
With all plans, you get to choose which broadcasters you want to hear from. Choose from home, away, or Spanish-speaking broadcasters.
Which TV providers are best for the NBA season?
Live TV streaming services YouTube TV, fuboTV, and Sling TV all offer NBA TV and NBA LEAGUE PASS. YouTube TV also has three channels any NBA fan needs to watch Donovan Mitchell ball out: ESPN, ABC, and TNT.
fuboTV has more than 50 sports channels, but you'll need to spend $15 more than YouTube TV to get access to NBA TV. And Sling TV doesn't have ABC, but it's the cheapest option. (We know you're trying to save a little cash for that new Jokic jersey.)
If you're looking for a cable or satellite TV company with all four essential channels for the NBA season (ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT) and NBA LEAGUE PASS, then Xfinity TV, DISH TV, Spectrum TV, and DIRECTV are the best choices.
And if you're looking forward to the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, you're going to want the TNT channel. We'll let you know right now, Sling TV is our number one pick because you can get this service for only $40/month.
We mention Spectrum TV and DIRECTV at the bottom here for a few reasons:
Xfinity TV is the best cable TV pick for NBA fans
TV channel count
|Choice TV||$20/mo.°||10+||View Plans|
|Popular TV||$50/mo.**||125+||View Plans|
|Ultimate TV||$68.5/mo.**||185+||View Plans|
Xfinity’s Popular TV package has ABC, ESPN, and TNT, but you’ll have to get NBA TV as an individual subscription.
But for $20 more, you can get the Ultimate TV package which has the NBA TV channel in its lineup, along with ABC, ESPN, and TNT for the blacked-out games (your local team’s games that NBA TV doesn’t show).
Or you can also get NBA LEAGUE PASS with Xfinity, so you won’t have to miss out on another Ja Morant slam.
Xfinity will be the best cable TV subscription option because of its wide availability, solid DVR for recording the games, and no-contract options.
DISH gives you NBA TV and loads of more channels
TV channel count
|America's Top 120||$79.99/mo.††||190||View Plan|
|America's Top 200||$99.99/mo.††||240+||View Plan|
|America's Top 250||$109.99/mo.††||290+||View Plan|
The nice thing about a satellite TV service, like DISH, is it's available everywhere. So if you’re not ready to move away from traditional TV to live TV streaming or don’t have a decent cable TV company nearby, DISH is an excellent choice.
You can order NBA LEAGUE PASS with DISH, and you can expect NBA TV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with the America’s Top 200 package. Get this whole package if you're an avid Fantasy player (we see you).
America’s Top 120 and 120+ won’t include NBA TV, and you can choose to upgrade to America’s Top 250 if you’d like more movie and premium channels to watch after the games.
DISH won’t disappoint any NBA fan.
YouTube TV has everything you need for a reasonable price
YouTube TV’s price tag for this perfect service for NBA fans is number one out of all of the live TV streaming services in the industry. Watch your favorite team in the comfort of your couch without breaking the bank.
We know you gotta see if the Boston Celtics take home the NBA Championship this year as predicted.
Take a look at our full review to find out more about the unlimited DVR storage, channel lineup, and user intereface.
fuboTV has NBA TV and lots of other sports channels
fuboTV is known to be one of the best live TV streaming services for sports, and there’s no question about that because you get more than 50 sports channels with the Elite and Premier plans.
That’s more sports channels than any other TV service in the industry offers (seriously)!
You can order NBA LEAGUE PASS on fuboTV, and you have three options for your NBA entertainment:
- The fuboTV Elite and Premier plans give you ABC, NBA TV, and ESPN. But fuboTV doesn't have the TNT channel—an essential channel for NBA fans.
- fuboTV’s Pro plan ($75 per month) has the ABC and ESPN channels, and you can get the Sports Plus add-on ($11/month), which will give you 23 extra sports channels, including NBA TV, NFL RedZone Channel, and regional PAC-12 Networks.
Check out our review below to see the full channel lineups, cloud DVR storage, and other add-ons.
Sling TV is for the budget-minded NBA fans
Sling TV will be your cheapest option for live streaming, but it won’t be your most complete basketball package.
The Orange plan will have your ESPN, and both the Orange and Blue packages have TNT, and none of the plans have ABC. Although Orange has ESPN and TNT, you could always upgrade to the Orange + Blue package for 16 more channels.
And you can order NBA LEAGUE PASS on Sling TV!
If you'd like NBA TV on your package (of course you do, what are we talking about?), you’ll have to get the Sports Extras add-on for $11 per month. This add-on includes more than 12 sports channels, including the NFL RedZone Channel, MLB Network, Big 10 Network, and PAC-12 Network.
If you want to know more about which channels you’ll get with each of the three packages, take a peek at our Sling TV review.
How to Watch the 2023 NBA Draft
The NBA Draft will air on ESPN and ABC at 6:00 p.m. (MT). Keep in mind that ABC will only air the first round of the NBA draft, so you'll need to flip over to ESPN to catch the second round of the draft. Never forget that two-time MVP and NBA champion Nikola Jokić was drafted during the second of the draft during a Taco Bell commercial.
Recap: How can I watch the NBA on TV?
We sorted through more than a dozen services to help you discover how to watch NBA games live wherever you may be. Get your front-row couch tickets to every single game. Overall, we can say this about each:
- Xfinity TV: Xfinity is the best cable TV option for NBA fanatics because you can get ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT along with 185 others for $70 per month with the Ultimate TV plan.
- DISH: DISH is an excellent option for NBA fans who don’t want a live TV streaming service or don’t have a decent cable option in the area. You’ll get all four essential channels plus 240 others for $100 per month with America's Top 200.
- YouTube TV: We like YouTube TV the most because it offers everything an NBA fan needs to watch the NBA season from home for $73 per month. You can also record every game because YouTube TV comes with an unlimited DVR storage.
- fuboTV: If you’re an overall die-hard sports fan, fuboTV is the perfect service for you with more than 50 sports channels. You can get these sports channels, including NBA TV, ESPN, and ABC with the Elite or Premier plans ($85 and $100 per month), or you can get the Pro plan ($75/month) with the Sports Plus add-on ($11/month) to get NBA TV. Just remember, this live TV streaming service is missing the TNT channel.
- Sling TV: If you’re looking to save as much money as possible, Sling TV is your choice. You can get ESPN and TNT with the Orange package ($40/month) and get your NBA TV with the Sports Extra add-on ($11/month).
And if you want to know more about other TV providers that could give you your NBA fix, we have a list of the best.
The best way to watch NBA games without cable is to subscribe to a live TV streaming service.
YouTube TV will have the complete NBA package with the ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV channels and the option to add NBA LEAGUE PASS to your service.
Sling TV will be your most inexpensive option ($40/month) with two of the four channels you’ll need (ESPN and TNT), and fuboTV will have three of the four channels (no TNT). Both of these services also offer NBA LEAGUE PASS as an add-on.