If you’re an NBA fan, you may feel chained to your expensive cable subscription in order to catch your team’s games; however, in today’s world of rapidly evolving technology, this is simply not the case. There are a multitude of online streaming options for the dedicated basketball fan to keep up with their team without an expensive cable sports package! We’ll outline several below. With the wide variety of options available, there’s at least one option for every NBA super fan out there — and the best news is that all of them are cheaper than a cable subscription.
Use Sling TV to watch NBA Games without cable (Free Trial)
Sling TV is a service offered by Dish Network, available to everyone (even those who are not current Dish Network customers). It’s the best value on this list given the features and price point. Here’s what you need to know:
- Packages start at $20 a month
- Includes live streaming of popular networks airing NBA games like ABC, TNT, FOX Sports Regional channels, and NBA TV (plus more than 20 other channels)
- No contract and no commitment
- Available for streaming from smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, computers, streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick, and smart TVs
- Free one week trial so you can try it on for size before paying for a subscription
- Live coverage of all local games on your FOX Sports Regional network
- Live streaming of all games on ABC (through ESPN3)
- Live coverage of games and post-game coverage on TNT
- Live coverage of the games aired on ESPN*Live coverage of games on NBA TV with the Sports Extra package
- Multitude of non-sports channels for the rest of the family to enjoy
- Free Roku when you pay for 3 months of your subscription in advance
- Discount on an Apple TV when you pay for 3 months of your subscription in advance
- 30% off cost of subscription for T-Mobile customers
While not the most comprehensive option on this list, Sling TV is the best option given the value per dollar and just how much content you get for the price.
Use DIRECTV NOW to watch NBA Games Tonight without cable (Free Trial)
DIRECTV NOW is another online streaming service, this one slightly more expensive with plans starting from $35 per month. Depending on the subscription package, it offers 60-100+ channels for live streaming. It has similar options to Sling TV for the devices you can stream from. Here’s an overview of the features:
- Free one week trial
- No contract, no commitment
- Live coverage of the local games aired on your Comcast Sportsnet Regional network
- Live coverage of the local games aired on your FOX Sports Regional network
- Coverage of all games aired on ABC (through ESPN3)
- Coverage of all games on NBA TV
- Coverage of all games on TNT as well as post game coverage
- Coverage of every game on ESPN
- Limited time promotion of 100+ channels for only $35
- Limited time free streaming device offered for a 3 month signup
While more expensive than Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW is still a great option for those wanting to cut cable and a pretty good value for the price. It also has local coverage of more teams than Sling TV, so certain parts of the country might find this to be a better option.
Stream NBA Games Tonight without cable using PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue is another live streaming service in the same vein as the previous two covered. While it offers similar coverage to Sling TV, it does have a few major drawbacks. First of all, the packages start between $29.99 and $39.99 depending on your local market. It’s only available to stream via PS3, PS4, Fire TV, and Chromecast. It’s also KIND OF available on mobile iOS devices, but you can’t access most channels away from your home network. Overall, while it is an option, it’s not really that great of a value.
Teams covered by Sling TV, DirecTV Now & Playstation Vue:
Los Angeles Clippers
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs
New Orleans Pelicans
Use NBA League Pass And Hulu to watch NBA without cable
While this is the option with the most comprehensive coverage by far, it’s also the most expensive. Weighing in at a hefty $199.99 per season, it’s still cheaper than cable but not by a lot. It also comes with the major drawback of local blackouts; if you’re local to a team, you an’t stream the game live and must wait until after the fact to stream it on demand. That said, here are the features:
- Available for streaming from smartphones, computers, gaming consoles, Apple TV, and streaming devices like Roku
- Stream up to four games at once
- On demand streaming of classic and iconic games fom NBA history
- On demand replays of every regular season NBA game
Hulu is another cheaply alternative to cable that you can utilize to legally stream live NBA games online without the need of a cable subscription. Hulu’s live TV service is in its infancy phase, but it has a channel list that is very sports fan friendly.
Hulu broadcast channels like ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, TNT, ABC, CBS, FOX and more. Hulu is similar to that of Sling TV in that they offer a 7 day free trial option.
Live streaming of up to 40 NBA games each week
Other services offered by the NBA are NBA Team Pass, which offers coverage of a single team for $119.99 per season, and NBA Single Game Pass for $6.99, which offers streaming of a single game. Local blackouts apply to these packages as well however. There is also NBA League Pass International, which is for non-US residents and offers the same features with no blackouts.
Use an antenna to watch NBA without cable for free
This is an often overlooked option. Public broadcast networks can be accessed for free by investing in an over the air antenna to connect to your TV. There are several high definition options available on the market. Over the air programming can offer you access to coverage of your local team through NBA on ABC.
ABC usually airs one or two featured games each weekend. If this option doesn’t seem viable to you because you won’t always be home during the live broadcast, you may want to look into an over the air digital video recorder (OTA DVR).
There is a wide range of these on the market right now, with basic ones weighing in at fairly inexpensive prices and more high tech models available at higher cost. While public broadcast television is by no means a comprehensive option for keeping up with your favorite NBA team, it’s an option to look into if you live locally to your team.
With so many options available for keeping up with your favorite team (live or otherwise), it’s increasingly clear that a cable sports package is by no means a necessity for the devoted NBA fan like it once was. Why not look into the options above and find the best fit to help you ut the cord?