For Oklahoma City Thunder fans, it might feel like you’re obligated to keep up with a cable sports package so you can catch all the games. The problem with that is how expensive these cable packages are becoming! Prices are rising nearly every year, and you might feel stuck with the exorbitant bill. If that describes how you’re feeling right now, there’s great news!
With the rise of online streaming options brought about by the rapidly evolving entertainment industry, you can leverage some pretty cool technology and options to keep up with the Thunder on a budget. Below, a league of options are listed for streaming the game, live or not. Sort through them, choose one or more that fits your needs, and soon you can cut and run on your cable company like Kevin Durant did on us (yes, we’re still bitter).
Catch the game live (for free!) using an over the air antenna
While public broadcast television used to be the standard option for catching NBA games, it’s not an option you hear about a lot anymore. This is most likely because cable subscriptions are so prevalent, and these options are bundled in with whatever cable package you subscribe to. Meanwhile, several great channels have continued doing what they do, broadcasting over the air for free!
You will need to invest in an antenna (and there are a lot of great HD antenna options on the market nowadays), but this is a relatively low up front cost for opening up a world of free entertainment — some of the included channels are FOX, NBC, CBS, and the CW. But you’re not interested in just any entertainment — you’re here because you want to know how you can keep up with the Oklahoma City Thunder, right? Well, public broadcast television includes ABC, which airs a bunch of featured games throughout the season (live) via ‘NBA on ABC.’
If you are prepared to discount this option out of hand because you’re not always home when the game will be airing, don’t! There are over the air digital video recorders (OTA DVRs) out there that can record the game for you to play back at your leisure. There are a multitude of options available for these devices, and the price point is pretty reasonable for the basic ones.
*Watch the Thunder game free online with TNT Overtime
TNT Overtime is a free streaming service from TNT that offers certain NBA games live online every week. It’s not a comprehensive option by any means, but it can be a good tool to have in your strategy for keeping up with Thunder games on the cheap. One cool feature is that you can watch the game from up to four camera angles at once, an option that’s going to be hard to find elsewhere. You won’t be able to catch every game this way, but you can catch a few throughout the season (and if there’s not a Thunder game available that week, why not keep an eye on the competition?).
*Subscribe to NBA Live Stream for live streaming options and replays on demand
While this is by far the most comprehensive option available for Oklahoma City Thunder fans, it has two major drawbacks. First and foremost is the price tag. At $199.99 per regular season subscription, it’s much steeper than any option aside from cable. The second is the local blackouts for this service; you can only stream the game live if you’re not local to the Thunder. Still, there are some pretty cool features in this subscription you won’t find anywhere else, and it may be a good option for those who follow multiple teams and/or don’t live local to the Thunder broadcast area.
The features of this service are as follows: live streaming of all regular season games, excluding local teams; replays on demand for all of the regular season games for every team in the NBA; replays on demand for all playoff games for every team in the league; and a library of classic and iconic games in NBA history to stream on demand.
Other streaming options from the NBA are available too. There’s League Pass International, which has all of the above features (minus the blackouts) for non-US residents in certain countries. There’s Team Pass, which offers content specific to the Thunder for $119.99 per season (this service does include the live broadcast blackout still if you’re local). There’s also Single Game Pass, which gives you access to stream one game for $6.99 (the local blackout is enforced here as well).
*Subscribe to Sling TV for live streams and a lot more
Sling TV (Sling TV vs Hulu) is a subscription service offered by Dish Network (you don’t have to be a Dish customer to use it). It bundles more than 40 channels and starts at $25 per month. The part of this subscription Thunder fans will care about the most is that all US Midwest residents get access to FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports Oklahoma. This means you can catch every single Thunder game on the service all season long.
There are a lot of great channels and perks to a Sling TV subscription — enough that it really deserves its own article! The highlights: no contract and no commitment; free 7 day trial of the service to ‘try before you buy’; A discount on an Apple TV when you prepay for three months of Sling TV; a free Roku streaming device when you prepay for three months of streaming; popular channels like TNT, Disney Channel, A&E, AMC, CNN, and a lot more; and it’s available for streaming from many platforms including smart TVs, streaming devices like Roku, smartphones, tablets, and computers. Overall, it’s a really great value and something that will appeal to a lot of Oklahoma City Thunder fans.
*Catch the Thunder live stream with PlayStation Vue
PS Vue (Sling TV vs Playstation Vue) is a streaming service offered by Sony for use on the PlayStation. It starts at $29.99 a month, and there’s a variety of options available with more than 50 different channels. While it does offer about the same streaming options for Thunder games as Sling TV, it’s more expensive and is a lot more limited. The biggest limitation is the inability to stream outside of your home from any non PlayStation device. While it is technically an option (which is why it’s included here), it’s honestly not the best value compared to the other options available.
Given the list of options above, it becomes apparent that a cable sports package is by no means a necessity for keeping up with the Thunder. Why not choose the best option for you and cut the cord once and for all?