How to Get the NBA on TV

Need to find a way to watch your Jazz, Hawks, Nets, or Clippers? We got you covered.
YouTube TV

Monthly price:
$64.99
Available channels:
85
Xfinity TV

Monthly price:
$49.99$59.99
Available channels:
220
fuboTV

Monthly price:
$33$79.99
Available channels:
150
DISH

Monthly price:
$64.99$99.99
Available channels:
290
Sling TV

Monthly price:
$35$50
Available channels:
50

The Conference Semifinals are here and the Finals for the 2020–21 NBA season are approaching, and we know you need to find out how to watch all of these postseason games.

If you don’t know where or how to watch Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell, or Kawhi Leonard, we’ll tell you what you need to get so you never miss a basketball game.

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.

We’ll help you decide which one is best for you. Let’s start the clock.

The best TV providers for NBA TV and NBA LEAGUE PASS
Monthly priceAvailable channelsLearn more
$64.99*85View Plan
$49.99$59.99220View Plans
$33$79.99*150View Plans
$64.99$99.99290View Plans
$35$5050View Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data as of 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.
For 24 months with a 2-year agreement and eAutoPay.

What’s the difference between NBA LEAGUE PASS and NBA TV?

How much does NBA LEAGUE PASS cost?
PlanMonthly priceDetails
NBA TV$19.99/yr.Free Trial
NBA LEAGUE PASS$28.99/yr.Free Trial
NBA LEAGUE PASS PREMIUM$39.99/yr.Free Trial
TEAM PASS (One Team)$17.99/yr.Free Trial

Data effective 5/10/2021.

NBA LEAGUE PASS is a standalone subscription and a subscription available from some TV providers that let you watch “select” NBA games. But “select” 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 Donovan Mitchell 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 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 four 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 TV will give you live games in HD, NBA TV shows, documentaries, and you can relive all the NBA Finals series from the 2000s and watch Michael Jordan’s greatness. You can also watch all of this on most smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, streaming devices, and game consoles.

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 have NBA TV and NBA LEAGUE PASS.

If you’re looking for a cable or satellite TV company with NBA TV and NBA LEAGUE PASS, then Xfinity, DISH, Spectrum, and AT&T are the best choices.

Which TV providers are best for the NBA season?
Monthly priceAvailable channelsLearn more
$64.99*85View Plan
$49.99$59.99220View Plans
$33$79.99*150View Plans
$64.99$99.99290View Plans
$35$5050View Plans
$44.99$94.99^200View Plans
$64.99$134.99°330View Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data as of 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.
For 24 months with a 2-year agreement and eAutoPay.
^ For the first 12 months.
° For 12 months with a 2-year contract, paperless bill, & autopay. Price increases for months 13-24.

We mention Spectrum TV and DIRECTV at the bottom here for a few reasons:

  • We want to give you more choices.
  • Both offer NBA LEAGUE PASS.
  • Spectrum TV is our second choice for cable TV.
  • DIRECTV has second-year price hikes, making your monthly bill quite pricey during year two. But check out our review to see if this satellite TV option is better for you.

YouTube TV has everything you need for a reasonable price

How much is YouTube TV?
Monthly priceAvailable channelsLearn more
$64.99*85View Plan
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

YouTube TV has NBA TV, ESPN, ABC, TNT, and it offers NBA LEAGUE PASS (the whole sha-bang).

And YouTube TV’s price tag for this perfect service for NBA fans is number one out of all of the TV services in the industry.

Enough said. But if you want a cable TV option or a cheaper service without this complete package, keep scrolling down.

View Plan | Read Full YouTube TV Review

Xfinity TV is the best pick if you’re looking for a cable TV option

How much is Xfinity TV?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
Extra$49.99**140+View Plans
Preferred Plus$59.99**220+View Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
** For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Xfinity’s Extra and Digital Starter packages have ABC, ESPN, and TNT, but you’ll have to get NBA TV as an individual subscription. (The Extra plan requires a 1-year contract).

The Preferred packages only have the NBA TV channel, but b-ball fans are going to want ABC, ESPN, and TNT for the blacked-out games (your local team’s games NBA TV doesn’t show).

Or you can also get NBA LEAGUE PASS with Xfinity, so you won’t have to miss out on this new 2021 Play-In Tournament … thing.

Xfinity will be the best cable TV option because of its wide availability, solid DVR for recording the games, and no price hikes.

View Plans | Read Full Xfinity TV Review

fuboTV’s Elite plan has NBA TV and lots of other sports channels

How much is fuboTV?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
Starter$64.99††105+View Plans
Elite$79.99††150+View Plans
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
†† Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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 package.

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 two options for your NBA entertainment:

  • The fuboTV Elite plan ($80/month) will give you NBA TV, ESPN, and ABC, but not TNT. This plan gives you more than 50 sports channels.
  • fuboTV’s Starter plan ($65/month) has the ABC and ESPN channels, and you can get the Sports Plus add-on ($11/month), which will give you 26 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.

View Plans | Read Full fuboTV Review

DISH gives you NBA TV and loads of more channels

How much is DISH TV?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
America's Top 120$64.99/mo.‡‡190View Plan
America's Top 120+$79.99/mo.^^190+View Plan
America's Top 200$89.99/mo.°°240+View Plan
America's Top 250$99.99/mo.***290+View Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
‡‡ for 24. months. Everyday Price $94.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
^^ for 24. months. Everyday Price $99.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
°° for 24. months. Everyday Price $109.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
*** for 24. months. Everyday Price $119.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.

The nice thing about DISH, the satellite TV service, 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.

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.

View Plans | Read Full DISH Review

Sling TV is for the budget-minded NBA fans

How much is Sling TV?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
Sling Orange$35††30+View Plan
Sling Blue$35††45+View Plan
Sling Orange + Sling Blue Services$50††50+View Plan
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
†† Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Sling TV will be your cheapest option for live streaming, but it won’t be your most complete basketball package.

Sling TV has three plans: Orange, Blue, and Orange + Blue.

The Orange package will have your ESPN, both the Orange and Blue plans have TNT, and none of the plans have ABC. And the Orange + Blue package is essentially both Orange and Blue combined, so you get more than 50 channels.

But you can order NBA LEAGUE PASS on Sling TV!

And if you want NBA TV on your package, you’ll have to get the Sports Extras add-on ($15/month). This add-on includes more than 20 sports channels, including the NFL RedZone Channel, MLB Network, SEC Network, and Longhorn Network.

If you want to know more about which channels you’ll get with each of the three packages, check out our Sling TV review.

View Plans | Read Full Sling TV Review

Megaphone icon
Which are the best internet providers?
If you need a new, faster internet provider, check out our top internet providers for seamless streaming by our internet expert, Catherine McNally. No one wants the basketball game to freeze during the last minute of the game.

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 wherever you may be. Overall, we can say this about each:

  • YouTube TV: We like YouTube TV the most because it offers everything an NBA fan needs to watch the NBA season from home for $65 per month. You can also record every game because YouTube TV comes with an unlimited DVR storage.
  • Xfinity TV: Xfinity is the best cable TV option for NBA fanatics because you can get ABC, ESPN, and TNT for as low as $50 per month. If you’d like NBA TV, you’ll have to order it as an individual subscription.
  • 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 plan ($80/month), or you can get the Starter plan ($65/month) with the Sports Plus add-on ($11/month) to get NBA TV.
  • 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 along with 240 others, but keep in mind that this is the priciest option at $90 per month.
  • Sling TV: If you’re looking to save as much money as possible, Sling TV is your choice. You could get ESPN and TNT with the Orange package ($35/month) and get your NBA TV with the Sports Extra add-on ($15/month).

And if you want to know more about NBA LEAGUE PASS, check out our full review.

FAQs

Where can I watch free NBA basketball games?

There isn’t a legal way of streaming NBA games for free, but our advice is to take advantage of the free trials some live TV streaming services offer.

The three we suggest you try out are Sling TV, YouTube TV, and fuboTV offers.

How can I watch NBA games without cable?

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 all of the channels you need and the option to add NBA LEAGUE PASS to your service.

Sling TV will be your most inexpensive option ($50/month) with two of the four channels you’ll need, and fuboTV will have three of the four channels. Both of these services also offer NBA LEAGUE PASS as an add-on.

Where can I watch the NBA Finals?

The 2021 NBA Conference Semifinals will air on ABC, ESPN, and TNT.

The 2021 NBA Conference Finals will air on ESPN and TNT.

And the 2021 NBA Finals will air only on ABC.

Some of the TV services with all three of these channels are YouTube TV, Xfinity TV, DISH, Spectrum TV, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV, and Cox TV.

Does YouTube TV have NBA TV?

YouTube TV does have the NBA TV channel. Take it a step further and order NBA LEAGUE PASS so you can watch every single NBA game with YouTube TV.

What do you think?

Which service do you think is the best for NBA games? Tell us what you think in the comments.

  • Jeff Martin

    Can I record or watch a game later ?