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How To Watch NBA Games Without Cable

by David Miklos Hazi
How To Watch NBA Games

Watching your favorite NBA 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 guide, we will review the best available streaming options for the 2019-2020 NBA season such as Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, NBA League Pass, and more.

Hulu Plus Live TV

At the time of this article, the NBA is scheduled to resume the end of the regular season and begin the NBA playoffs throughout late summer/early fall of 2020. The remaining NBA schedule will take place on your team’s normal regional sports networks. Later in this article, we will cover what these channels are and which services offer these channels.

A total of 22 teams will travel to Orlando, Fla. to resume the 2020 season. The 16 teams currently in playoff position and six teams within six games of the No. 8 seed in either conference (Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Trail Blazers, Wizards) will battle it out. The NBA playoffs are scheduled to start August 14th and will follow a best of 7 game series format throughout the playoffs.

To watch the NBA playoffs you will need access to the following channels: ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT.

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.

You can stream 29 of 30 NBA teams locally. The only team that is impossible to watch via a streaming service is the Denver Nuggets who play games on Altitude. The most popular live streaming services are Hulu, fuboTV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, NBA League Pass, and AT&T TV Now. Our top recommended NBA live streaming service is Hulu with Live TV and AT&T TV Now. These two services are the only ones that currently offer Fox Regional Sports Networks.

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. If a streaming service is just not for you then we recommend DISH Network as a traditional pay-TV option.

Hulu Plus Live TV

Which Channels Stream NBA Games?

NBA games are televised on the following channels: ABC, ESPN/ESPN2 (R), TNT (R), NBA TV, and Regional Sports Networks (RSNs).

Channels
AT&T TV NOW
Fubo TV
Hulu
Sling TV
ABC
ESPN/ESPN2
TNT
NBA TV
NBA League Pass
NBA Team Pass
RSNs

Watch NBA on fuboTV

NBA Teams Streaming Service Comparison

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.

Teams
AT&T TV NOW
Fubo TV
Hulu
Sling TV
Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets
Detroit Pistons
Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets
Indiana Pacers
LA Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks
Minnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder
Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers
Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers
Sacramento Kings
San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz
Washington Wizards
* Please note that availability is based on your local viewing market.


Sling TV Amazon Device

Regional Sports Networks

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) are available on AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu, and YouTube TV. This includes networks such as Fox Sports and NBC Sports regional broadcasts, YES Network, MSG Network.

Unfortunately for many NBA fans and sports fans in general, Fox Regional Sports Networks have been removed from many popular streaming services such as Sling TV in 2020 due to disputes with providers. Two services now carry the FOX RSNs and those are AT&T TV Now and Hulu With Live TV. Hulu With Live TV also carries YES Network (Nets). AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Jazz) and Spectrum SportsNet (Lakers) is only available on AT&T TV NOW. MSG Network and AT&T SportsNet Southwest are only available on fuboTV.

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NBA League Pass

Stream 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. This service is available on many different streaming devices including smartphones, tablets, Roku, Amazon devices, gaming consoles, and more.

NBA League pass currently offers several different plan tiers. Pay attention as many of the packages have changed since the start of the season.

  • NBA League Pass Premium– This plan costs $39.99/annual. With this plan, you can watch live games in HD for ALL teams. You also get home/away & Spanish, preferred mobile view, condensed and full game replays, home/away radio for all NBA games, access to NBA classic games, watch 4 games with mosaic view, commercial-free, and in-arena stream.
  • NBA League Pass– This plan costs $19.99/annual. With this plan, you can watch live games in HD for ALL teams. You also get home/away & Spanish, preferred mobile view, condensed and full game replays, home/away radio for all NBA games, access to NBA classic games, watch 4 games with mosaic view, commercial-free, and in-arena stream.
  • NBA Team Pass– This plan costs $28.99/annual. With this plan, you can watch live games in HD for one team. You also get home/away & Spanish, preferred mobile view, condensed and full game replays, home/away radio for all NBA games, and watch 4 games with the mosaic view.
  • NBA Single Game Pass– This plan costs $5.99/game. With this plan, you can watch live games in HD for one game. You also get home/away & Spanish, preferred mobile view, condensed and full game replays, home/away radio for all NBA games, and live games produced for VR.
  • NBA League Pass Audio– This plan costs $9.99. You will gain access to home/away radio for all teams.

Based on your current location, certain game blackouts exist. This applies to both the standalone service and cord-cutting services that offer NBA League Pass. If a game is aired in your home market on a national network such as TNT or ESPN, you will not be able to watch the game live on NBA League Pass. These restrictions include your local NBA team(s) and all nationally telecast games but you can catch game replays with NBA League Pass.

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.


Sling TV Amazon Device

Watch Live NBA Games With Hulu + Live TV

Hulu Streaming Service

Hulu + Live TV is our top pick for most NBA teams. This service is the least expensive available that carries Fox Regional Sports Networks. In fact, Hulu offers RSNs that broadcast games for 25 different teams.

Currently, this service is our top-rated option for NBA games because it carries local channels such as ABC, has all of the regional sports networks required for most teams, and also has ESPN and TNT.

Hulu only offers one live streaming TV package which costs $54.99/month. In addition to sports, Hulu + Live TV contains over 65 channels. Other popular channels offered by this service are HGTV, Disney Jr, FS1 and FS2, A&E, FX, Food Network, USA, and more.

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Watch NBA Games With fuboTV

fuboTV

This streaming service is fantastic if they carry your team’s games. Currently, 9 different team’s games can be found on this service. fuboTV is a live streaming service that was specifically designed for sports fans. 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 FOX 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. This is a great option to watch out-of-market teams.

fuboTV offers several different packages Family ($59.99/month), Ultra ($79.99/month), and fubo Latino ($29.99/month). The fubo Family package contains 94 channels; 3 screens at once, and 500 hours of cloud DVR; Ultra has 163 channels, 3 screens at once, 500 hours of cloud DVR, fubo Extra, SHOWTIME channels, and Sports Plus.

Cord-cutters interested in this service can sign-up by going through our link. Please read our comprehensive fuboTV review for more details about this service.

Watch NBA on fuboTV Now

Watch NBA Games With Sling TV

Sling TV

Sling TV was also one of our favorite services but due to the loss of regional sports networks, Sling TV has taken a dive in our rankings. With that said this service does carry ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV and has options for NBA League Pass or NBA Team Pass. Currently, there are 3 NBA teams (Kings, Wizards, Warriors) that can be streamed with Sling TV.

The Sling Orange bundle costs $30/month and includes ESPN/ESPN2 and TNT. This gives subscribers access to ESPN’s Wednesday and Friday broadcasts and TNT’s double-header Thursdays, most of the playoffs and conference finals.

ABC can be added on in most markets for an additional $5/month as part of the “Broadcast Extra” bundle. Of course, you can always supplement with a digital antenna, which Sling TV will give you for free if you pre-pay for 2 months.

NBA TV can be added as part of the “Sports Extra” package. NBA TV offers more than 95-regular season games.

Subscribers can choose to add-on NBA League Pass or NBA Team Pass for an additional charge as well.

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Stream Live NBA Games With AT&T TV NOW

Watch NBA on AT&T TV NOW

AT&T TV NOW is another option available for streaming NBA games. It was formerly known as DIRECTV NOW. This service offers ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBC Sports Boston but does not have NBA TV.

These channels are available on the Max package which is available for $80/month. The Max package has 60+ channels including BET, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Fox Sports, TBS, TNT, and many more. Like the other streaming options, there are no installation costs or hidden fees.

Check to see if there are any special offerings to AT&T Unlimited customers. Also included is 500 hours of cloud-based DVR storage and 3 simultaneous streams.

AT&T TV NOW 7-Day Free Trial

Cord-Cutting Alternatives For National Basketball Association

So you just don’t like the cord-cutting options available to watch NBA games in 2020? There are still a few traditional ways for you to tune in to your favorite teams. Our recommendation for traditional pay-TV methods is AT&T TV and DISH Network.

Watch NBA Games With AT&T TV

Not to be confused with AT&T TV NOW, AT&T TV is a different live TV service hybrid that combines streaming and traditional TV. You do not need traditional coaxial installation like cable TV because it is delivered over the internet and streams via hardware that is supplied by AT&T. Subscribers are required to sign-up for a 2-year contract similar to DISH Network and DIRECTV.

AT&T TV’s channel offering is similar to the of AT&T TV Now. They carry ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV, and regional sports networks.

This is a fantastic option if you already have or need AT&T’s wireless or home broadband internet service. AT&T offers a $10 per month discount if you bundle AT&T wireless service. You can get a $20 discount if you bundle with the U-Verse gigabit home broadband where available. There are no equipment rental fees but if you want additional boxes you will be charged. You can still use other streaming devices such as Roku or Amazon Fire to access to AT&T TV app.

There is currently a special promotion where you can also get a $200 AT&T Visa Reward Card by signing up through our link below. To learn more read our AT&T TV review.

Get AT&T TV $200 VISA Card Now

Watch NBA Games With DISH Network

If you don’t have access to high-quality internet then streaming might not be an available option. The DISH Network base plan, America’s Top 120, carries ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV; however, it no longer carries Fox regional sports networks due to the same dispute being suffered by streaming platforms. This package costs $59.99/month and has 190 channels. You will be required to install a satellite dish but the base plan does come with a primary Hopper receiver and one secondary Joey receiver.

Get DISH Network Today

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.

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. Plans begin as low as $8.32/month. You can try ExpressVPN free for 30-days.

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Illegal Streams of NBA Games

It is our policy to never recommend any illegal streams of NBA games or anything else. Most illegal “free” streams put you at considerable risk to acquire viruses and dangerous malware. These streams are untrustworthy, blurry, low-quality, and quite frankly just flat out garbage. It is not worth the risk by any means just to save a few bucks.


Sling TV Total TV Deal

2019-2020 NBA Team Guide For Watching Games Online

Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks
Philadephia 76ers
Toronto Raptors
Central Division
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks
Southeast Division
Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Hornets
Miami Heat
Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards
Northwest Division
Denver Nuggets
Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
Utah Jazz
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors
LA Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns
Sacramento Kings
Southwest Division
Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs

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