Watching your favorite NBA (R) teams and basketball games without a cable TV subscription is super easy. There are many different choices available for almost every type of cord-cutter. We cover how to watch both in-market and out-of-market games. In this article, we will review the best available streaming options for the 2020-2021 NBA season such as DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, and NBA League Pass.
- 1 How To Watch NBA Games Live Without Cable
- 2 Which Channels Stream NBA Games?
- 3 How To Watch NBA Teams on Streaming Services
- 4 NBA Regional Sports Networks
- 5 NBA League Pass
- 6 Stream Live NBA Games With DIRECTV STREAM
- 7 Watch Live NBA Games With Hulu Live TV
- 8 Live Stream NBA Games With fuboTV
- 9 How To Watch NBA Games Out-of-Market
- 10 2021-2022 NBA Team Guide For Watching Games Online
How To Watch NBA Games Live Without Cable
You can watch live NBA games without a cable TV subscription by using a live TV streaming service or by signing up for NBA League Pass. You can watch basketball games on several devices including smartphones, computers, streaming devices, smart TV, and more. This includes popular devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android and iOS, Apple TV, and more. In the 2021-2022 season the NBA will return to a full 82 game schedule.
Cord-cutters can stream all 30 NBA teams locally throughout the NBA regular season. The most popular live streaming services are DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, and NBA League Pass. The best streaming service to watch NBA games depends upon which NBA teams and games you wish to view. In the next section, we will cover which regional sports network airs games for each team and which streaming services carry those channels.
You can also sign-up for NBA League Pass. It is possible to sign-up directly through NBA League Pass or you can add League Pass to several of the other streaming service options which we will cover later in this guide on how to watch NBA basketball.
Which Channels Stream NBA Games?
|Regional Sports Networks|
How To Watch NBA Teams on Streaming Services
The streaming service you need to watch live NBA games will mainly be determined by the network your team has an agreement with. Below is a chart cross-referencing which service your NBA team’s games are played on.
Bally Sports Southeast
NBC Sports Boston
Bally Sports Southeast
NBC Sports Chicago
Bally Sports Ohio
Bally Sports Southwest
Bally Sports Detroit
|Golden State Warriors|
NBC Sports Bay Area
AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Bally Sports Indiana
Bally Sports Prime Ticket
|Los Angeles Lakers|
Bally Sports Southeast
Bally Sports Sun
Bally Sports Wisconsin
Bally Sports North
|New Orleans Pelicans|
Bally Sports New Orleans
|New York Knicks|
|Oklahoma City Thunder|
Bally Sports Oklahoma
Bally Sports Florida
Bally Sports Philadelphia
Bally Sports Arizona
|Portland Trail Blazers|
NBC Sports Northwest
NBC Sports California
|San Antonio Spurs|
Bally Sports Southwest
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
NBC Sports Washington
NBA Regional Sports Networks
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) are available on DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. This includes networks such as Bally Sports and NBC Sports, YES Network, and MSG Network.
Unfortunately for many NBA fans and sports fans in general, Bally Regional Sports Networks (formerly Fox Sports RSNs) have been removed from many popular streaming services such as fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and Youtube TV due to disputes with network providers. One service now carries the Ballys RSNs and that is DIRECTV STREAM. DIRECTV STREAM is also the only service that offer Yes Network (Nets), Spectrum SportsNet (Lakers), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah Jazz), and Altitude (Denver Nuggets).
fuboTV is the least expensive way to watch MSG (Knicks) and AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Rockets). NBC Sports RSNs are carried on all of the streaming services featured in this article.
NBA League Pass
NBA League Pass is the official streaming service of the NBA. You can purchase this service as a standalone or as an add-on with a live TV streaming service. With this service, you can watch out-of-market NBA games. If you wish to watch in-market games you will have to wait 72 hours for an archived version or you will need to use a VPN to connect to a server outside of the market. However, live audio of in-market games is available to NBA League Pass subscribers.
NBA League pass currently offers several different plan tiers:
- NBA League Pass Premium– This plan costs $249.99/annual.
- NBA League Pass– This plan costs $199.99/annual.
- NBA Team Pass– This plan costs $119.99/annual.
Nationally broadcast games are also not included live. These games can be watched 3 hours after they air. If you wish to watch live games either in-market or nationally televised you will need to also sign up for NBA TV.
This service is available on many different streaming devices including smartphones, tablets, Roku, Amazon devices, gaming consoles, and more. This means you can watch at home or on-the-go. You are also able to watch condensed full game replays of the home or away broadcast. With 24/7 coverage this service is a fantastic choice for NBA fans.
For this season NBA League Pass has added a new feature that allows you to download games for offline viewing. Also, NBA League Pass Premium now allows subscribers to watch on two devices simultaneously.
Many subscribers have reported that using a VPN works very well with NBA League Pass. We recommend using ExpressVPN. VPNs allow you to change your location settings by connecting to servers in different markets or even countries. Simply set the VPN location to outside of your current market and you will be able to bypass blackout restrictions.
Stream Live NBA Games With DIRECTV STREAM
DIRECTV STREAM is currently the best option available to watch NBA games. In 2021, AT&T TV rebranded as DIRECTV STREAM and the service was spun off into a separate company from AT&T. The change eliminates annual contracts and brings the service in line with the rest of industry which primarily offers monthly subscriptions without the commitment of a long term contract.
This service carries all of the top NBA channels such as ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. NBA TV is available on the Choice Plan and above. DIRECTV STREAM also has the most regional sports networks out of any streaming service which include Bally Sports Networks and NBC Sports Networks. The service carries RSNs for every single team with the exception of the Philadelphia 76ers or Portland Trail Blazers.
The Choice Package costs $84.99/month and includes regional sports networks. This package also includes 90+ channels with over 45,000 on-demand titles. 20 hours of Cloud DVR is included but you can upgrade to unlimited Cloud DVR for an additional fee. At the time this article was published DIRECTV STREAM is also offering 3-months free of HBO Max for new subscribers. To get this deal please visit DIRECTV STREAM’s website.
To learn more about this service please check out our DIRECTV STREAM review.
Watch Live NBA Games With Hulu Live TV
Due to the loss of RSNs Hulu Live TV is no longer the top choice for watching NBA games. However, Hulu with Live TV does offer live viewing availability for 7 NBA teams. These teams are the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and the Washington Wizards.
If you are looking to watch games from the aforementioned NBA teams then we absolutely recommend Hulu With Live TV. In addition to local in-market viewing for these teams, this service also offers ABC, ESPN, and TNT so you can catch nationally televised games. Hulu + Live TV has one of the best values out of any of the available streaming services.
Hulu only offers one live streaming TV package which is priced at $64.99/month. In addition to sports, Hulu Live TV contains over 65 channels. Other popular channels offered by this service include Animal Planet, FX, National Geographic, History, USA, local channels, and more.
Live Stream NBA Games With fuboTV
Currently, 9 different team’s games can be found on fuboTV. These teams are the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Wizards.
fuboTV is a fantastic live TV streaming service that offers a healthy dose of sports channels. This service is also great for cord-cutters who want sports and other types of channels such as entertainment, news, and lifestyle channels. This service one of the most flexible for different ways to watch your favorite NBA teams and games.
fuboTV no longer carries Bally Sports RSNs but you can find NBC Sports RSNs, YES Network, and MSG Sports. It also includes NBA TV. Recently departing this service has been TNT. However, it is important to note that ESPN/ESPN2 and ABC are now being offered by fuboTV. fuboTV also offers NBA League Pass and NBA TV. This is a great option to watch out-of-market teams.
How To Watch NBA Games Out-of-Market
One of the greatest annoyances to NBA cord-cutters is the blackout restrictions. Cord cutters can bypass these restrictions easily by using a Virtual Private Network or VPN. A VPN is a simple software program that allows you to encrypt your traffic and mask your IP address by connecting to a server in a different location. Many NBA fans use VPNs and find it a very useful addition to their streaming toolkit.
Services such as NBA League Pass are notorious for blackout restrictions. In order to bypass this, you need to connect to a server in a region that does not have a blackout. Many people actually prefer to purchase International NBA League Pass and connect to a server that does not offer this service such as Mexico. VPNs can also be used with services such as Sling TV or fuboTV to unlock different Regional Sports Networks (RSNs). This may sound complicated but with most VPNs, you can do this in just a few clicks and they can be installed on smart phones, smart TVs, tablets, and other devices.
Is a VPN not for you? Then check out StreamLocator. StreamLocator is a streaming device that has built-in VPN software that does all the work for you. Visit StreamLocator’s website for more information.
Not sure which VPN to use? Our top-rated VPN is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is a fast, reliable, and inexpensive option to pair with your favorite streaming service. You can try ExpressVPN free for 30-days and also get the first 3-months free by visiting ExpressVPN’s website.
2021-2022 NBA Team Guide For Watching Games Online
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs