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How to Stream NBA Games Live
This one's for you diehard NBA fans
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 live stream every NBA regular season and postseason game, 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.
And by now, you're going to want the ABC channel for the NBA Championship games that start on June 2, 2022.
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?
There are so many great live TV streaming services now, 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 live NBA games: ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT.
This is particularly great for basketball fans who want to catch the double-headers on these four 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 at no extra cost) and an unlimited DVR storage for $65 per month. That means you can record all of your Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, or Phoenix Suns games while you're working late.
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.
Like we said above, all of these live TV streaming services have NBA TV and NBA LEAGUE PASS, but only fuboTV's $80 plan includes NBA TV. Otherwise, you'll have to add on NBA TV and a subscription to LEAGUE PASS to your service.
Here's a quick rundown of each of the other streaming services channels just in case one of these are better for you than YouTube TV:
- fuboTV: You'll get access to 50 sports channels with fuboTV, which is the most you can find with any TV provider on the market. We like fuboTV so much that we named it the best live TV streaming service. But it's not the best for NBA fans–fuboTV doesn't have the TNT channel.
- Sling TV: Sling TV is one of the most inexpensive live TV streaming services, but it only provides the ESPN and TNT channels when you get the Sling Orange plan ($35/month). But if you're looking forward to the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, it's worth mentioning that we named Sling TV our favorite service for the upcoming NBA-star matchup.
- DIRECTV STREAM: DIRECTV STREAM has all of the channels you need for the NBA season in its lineup if you get the CHOICE package ($85/month) and above.
Should I get an over-the-air TV antenna to watch NBA games?
The downside to streaming services is they don’t always live 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 $40), 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.
Data effective 2/9/2022.
Keep in mind, with NBA LEAGUE PASS, you’ll face in-market and nationally televised blackouts. You won’t be able to watch live 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 or a service that has ABC and TNT 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.
Recap: What’s the best way to watch all NBA games?
If you're a diehard NBA fan and you need to keep your Fantasy team in check, then we absolutely recommend you get a live TV streaming service, an antenna, and NBA LEAGUE PASS. And you'll likely want to skip blackouts, so you'll want to 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, how Ben Simmons does with the 76ers despite the controversy, or Joel Embiid be Joel Embiid.