How to Stream NBA Games Live
Listen, we get it, you live for basketball. Your favorite weekend plans involve your couch, your TV, and a game. But if you want to stream every NBA game in your market (and maybe some others) then you need to get your game plan straight.
We recommend putting multiple streaming players in your lineup: a live TV streaming service, a VPN, an antenna, and NBA LEAGUE PASS. If you want more channels and are willing to spend a little more, you could also opt for a traditional cable or satellite TV provider.
We’ll go over all of these details to help you stream tonight’s game in no time. Start the clock.
Which live TV streaming service is best for NBA games?
It feels like a new live TV streaming service comes out every day, and they’re catching up with traditional cable TV providers pretty fast. Plus, most of the major streaming providers offer just what you need to watch NBA games: ABC, ESPN, and TNT. This is particularly great for you b-ball fans who want to catch the double-headers on these three channels.
We recommend YouTube TV for its great channel selection and reasonable pricing. You’ll have the channels you need for basketball (including NBA TV) and all the other live TV streaming services this channel offers in its lineup–for $65 per month.
YouTube also offers NBA LEAGUE PASS as an add-on, so this service is basically the NBA fan’s dream. YouTube TV also has a lot of popular channels for the fam, like Disney Channel and Food Network.
Check out our full review of YouTube TV to find more information on the channel lineup, DVR, and interface.
|Monthly price||Available channels||Learn more|
Should I get an over-the-air TV antenna to watch NBA games?
The downside to streaming services is they don’t always stream your local in-market games. If your streaming service doesn’t have local channels in your area, then you might be out of luck.
Enter the OTA antenna. Antennas don’t cost that much (you can find one for around $30), and with that one-time cost, you get 20–60 free channels straight to your TV. You’ll get instant access to every local station in your area, like ABC.
An antenna may not work for every market, but it will for some. For example, in Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz is broadcast on a regional sports channel, so the HD antenna won’t solve that problem.
If you want more antenna suggestions, check our top HD antennas list.
NBA League Pass (with a VPN)
NBA LEAGUE PASS works best for individual teams that don’t get that much attention around the country. If you love the Milwaukee Bucks but live in California, or you live in Seattle and don’t totally resent the Oklahoma City Thunder, then NBA LEAGUE PASS is a great way to watch their games.
|Package||Price||Live game in HD||Learn more|
|NBA LEAGUE PASS PREMIUM||$179.99/yr.||Yes||Free Trial|
|NBA LEAGUE PASS||$149.99/yr.||Yes||Free Trial|
|TEAM PASS (One Team)||$89.99/yr.||Yes||Free Trial|
|NBA TV||$39.99/yr.||Yes||Free Trial|
|NBA League Pass Audio||$9.99||No||Free Trial|
Data effective 1/20/2021. Offers subject to change.
Keep in mind, with NBA LEAGUE PASS, you’ll face in-market and nationally televised blackouts. You won’t be able to watch games that your local broadcast stations or national networks, like TNT, have the rights to. That’s why we also recommend getting an HD antenna if you want to catch local games.
Want to avoid blackouts? Get a VPN.
If you want to skip the pesky in-market blackouts entirely, just get a personal VPN service. VPNs let you connect to the internet through proxy servers. That basically means the internet can’t tell where you really live or where you’re coming from.
For NBA LEAGUE PASS, that means the service won’t blackout games in your market because it thinks you’re in a totally different market than you really are. Most VPNs even let you choose a location to connect from, so you can choose one that will make NBA LEAGUE PASS let you watch the game you want. Sneaky.
Which cable or satellite TV provider is best for NBA?
If you’re not a total cord-cutter and you’re okay spending a little more on TV every month, then a traditional cable or satellite TV provider can definitely get you your Anthony Davis or James Harden fix.
Every cable and satellite TV provider will have a package that offers ABC, ESPN, and TNT. Plus, you get access to your local channels even without buying an HD antenna.
For tricky ones, like our Utah Jazz example, you may need to ask for a regional sports add-on depending on your package.
Even with cable or satellite, you won’t be able to see a lot of out-of-market teams play, so that’s when NBA LEAGUE PASS is really your best option.
Check out our How to Get the NBA on TV piece for our top suggestions for NBA fans.
|Monthly price||Available channels||Learn more|
Recap: What’s the best way to watch all NBA games?
If you’re a diehard NBA fan, then we absolutely recommend you get a live TV streaming service, an antenna, and NBA LEAGUE PASS. And you want to skip blackouts, you can also add in a VPN. That entire combo is the best way to watch all of the NBA games.
You won’t ever miss a Golden State Warriors game, LaMelo Ball ball out, or Joel Embiid be Joel Embiid.