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How To Watch NBA Games Live: Best options in 2024

Don’t miss a tip-off this season.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This post was written in partnership with Sling TV.

The days when you could keep up with all your favorite teams on local TV channels are long gone, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to lengthy cable subscriptions to watch sports. Today’s live TV streaming services offer plenty of ways to stay on top of the action.

After the Denver Nuggets captured their first NBA title in 2023, basketball fans will be eager to see if they can repeat. If the pundits have their say, the Nuggets will do just that, but there’s only one way to find out. Here’s a look at which streaming services will have NBA games in 2023.

Where can you stream NBA games?

As the NBA heads into the 2023-24 season, it marks the eighth year of a nine-season agreement between the NBA, Disney, and Turner Sports. Under the current contract, nationally televised games will air on ABC, ESPN, and TNT throughout the season. The league will also show more than 100 games on NBA TV, its flagship network. The rest of the NBA action will air across regional sports networks (RSNs) for each team, such as Bally Sports Midwest for the Indiana Pacers or NBA Sports Bay Area for the Golden State Warriors.

Here’s where you can find these channels across the top live TV streaming services.

Sling TVDIRECTV STREAMFuboHulu + Live TVYouTube TV
ABC✔*
ESPN
TNT
NBA TV
Regional sports networks
*local channels available only in select locations

How to watch NBA games with Sling TV (Our preferred streaming service)

Sling TV offers a way for budget-conscious cord-cutters to get the best cable TV at a significantly lower cost. Base plans range from $40 to $55 a month and feature between 32 and 46 channels. You can start with a pared-down channel set and customize your plan with add-ons to build the package you want. All plans come with 50 hours of cloud DVR.

PlanCost per MonthChannelsSimultaneous
Streams
Free Trial
Sling Orange$40321No
Sling Blue$40403No
Sling Orange & Blue$55461–3No

What sports offerings does Sling TV provide? 

With its pared-down approach, Sling doesn’t offer the same range of sports coverage that its competitors do in their base plans. Depending on which package you choose, you’ll only have live sports on some combination of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, NFL Network, FS1, MotorTrend, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. In some markets, you may also have ABC, Fox, and NBC, but Sling doesn’t offer RSNs in any of its plans.

That’s not to say Sling has a paltry sports lineup, though. The base plan still offers a fair amount of NBA coverage, and you can add NBA TV and other networks like ACCN, SEC Network, ESPNU, MLB Network, and NHL Network with the Sports Extra add-on. Overall, Sling is designed to appeal to viewers who want to customize a plan to fit their needs and save money.


How to watch NBA games with DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV has long been in the satellite TV business, and the company only entered the streaming wars in the last few years. Its plans range from $79.99–$164.99 a month and offer some of the most well-rounded channel lineups in streaming. All packages included unlimited cloud DVR storage and simultaneous streams at home. It’s also the only streaming service that includes every channel featuring NBA games in 2023.

PlanCost per MonthChannelsSimultaneous
Streams
Free Trial
Entertainment$79.9975+Unlimited at homeYes
Choice$108.99105+Unlimited at homeYes
Ultimate$119.99140+Unlimited at homeYes
Premier$164.99150+Unlimited at homeYes

What sports offerings does DIRECTV STREAM provide? 

Although the service offers a balanced channel lineup, DIRECTV STREAM is an especially great option for sports fans. If you’re willing to upgrade to the Choice plan or higher, you’ll get more than 15 national sports networks, plus plenty of local action on your RSNs. 

The Choice plan gives you all national NBA coverage on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV, and you can follow your local teams on networks like Bally Sports or MSG. If you want to keep up with more than basketball, there’s plenty to follow on channels like ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 (FS1), MLB Network, NFL Network, ACCN, ESPNU, and SEC Network. The platform can be a little pricey compared to competitors, but it’s one of the few streaming services that offers the complete package of international, national, and regional sports.


How to watch NBA games with Fubo

Fubo offers the broadest channel lineup of any streaming service. The Pro plan starts at $74.99 and includes 170 channels, and you can get more than 250 channels in the Premier plan. With up to 10 simultaneous streams at home and 1,000 of cloud DVR space, there’s plenty for everyone in the family to enjoy.

PlanCost per MonthChannelsSimultaneous
Streams
Free Trial
Pro$74.99170+10 at homeYes
Elite$84.99235+10 at homeYes
Premier$94.99245+10 at homeYes

What sports offerings does Fubo provide? 

Fubo originally launched as a sports-first streaming service, and it has maintained that focus even while expanding its offerings. Even in the Pro plan, you’ll get around 30 sports networks, including many that are only available in top-tier plans on other providers. There are some noticeable holes, and NBA fans will be disappointed that TNT isn’t included.

In the basic plan, you can follow most national coverage of the NBA, plus plenty of action in other leagues, on networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, FS1, NFL Network, beIN Sports, CBS Sports Network, and Big Ten Network. It also includes RSNs, but be aware that there is a regional sports fee of up to $13.99 a month, depending on your market. The only downside for basketball fans is that you’ll have to upgrade to add NBA TV, and that will cost an extra $7.99 to $10.99 a month, depending on which option you choose.


How to watch NBA games with Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV has set out to be the best all-in-one streaming service, and so far, it’s doing a pretty good job of it. Not only do you get over 90 live channels here, but you also get access to Hulu’s library of 70,000 episodes and movies, along with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. You won’t find all national NBA coverage here, but there’s a lot to stream and enjoy.

PlanCost per MonthChannelsSimultaneous StreamsFree Trial
Hulu + Live TV, Disney Plus
and ESPN Plus1
$76.9990+2No
Hulu + Live TV, Disney Plus
and ESPN Plus2
$81.9990+2No
Hulu + Live TV, Disney Plus
and ESPN Plus3
$89.9990+2No
Live TV Only$75.9990+2No
1All with ads
2Hulu + Live TV and ESPN Plus – With ads, Disney Plus – No ads
3Hulu + Live TV and Disney Plus – No ads, ESPN Plus – With ads

What sports offerings does Hulu + Live TV provide? 

Hulu + Live TV doesn’t feature RSNs, and basketball fans will be disappointed by the absence of NBA TV. However, apart from those shortcomings, this platform has a lot to offer sports fans. 

There are more than a dozen sports-focused networks in all plans, including ESPN, ESPNU, NFL Network, and FS1. You’ll also get all major local networks and key sporting events on channels like TBS, TNT, and USA. And that’s not to mention ESPN Plus, which offers tons of pro and college sports, from MLB baseball and NHL hockey to college football and European soccer. If you’re willing to sacrifice regional coverage and some NBA games for a broader sports lineup and deep on-demand library, Hulu + Live TV is worth a closer look.


How to watch NBA games with YouTube TV

Among all the live TV streaming platforms, YouTube TV offers the most comprehensive national coverage of NBA games in its base plan. You’ll find all four major NBA networks here, plus a wide range of other entertainment, news, and sports across more than 110 channels. With unlimited DVR, you can record your favorite shows and teams, so you never have to miss a minute.

PlanCost per MonthChannels Simultaneous
Streams
Free Trial
YouTube TV$72.99110+3Yes

What sports offerings does YouTube TV provide? 

At the price point of its base plan, YouTube TV offers more of the top networks than any of its competitors. It may not have quite as much sports action as Fubo, but there’s a lot to keep fans busy here. YouTube TV features all the major local networks, plus top channels like ESPN, ESPNU, FS1, NFL Network, ACCN, SEC Network, TNT, TBS, and USA. That gives you complete NBA coverage at the national level, plus the ability to follow plenty of other pro and college sports.

YouTube TV also offers numerous add-ons, several of which are geared toward sports lovers. You can choose from full-league upgrades like NFL Sunday Ticket or NBA League Pass or add 17 extra channels with the Sports Plus package. Note, however, that there’s no option to add RSNs on YouTube TV. It may not meet the needs of fans who want to follow their local teams, but this platform has a lot to appeal to NBA followers who want a nice mix of other cable TV offerings.


NBA schedule 2023

The 2023-24 NBA regular season tips off on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, and wraps up on Sunday, April 14, 2024. During that span (and in the playoffs), there’s plenty of thrilling action on the docket. Especially exciting for this season is the launch of the new in-season tournament. 

Here are a few key dates for the NBA season:

  • Oct. 24 — Regular season begins
  • Nov. 3–Dec. 9 — Inaugural NBA in-season tournament
  • Nov. 9 — Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic in Mexico City (NBA Global Game)
  • Jan. 11 — Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers in Paris (NBA Global Game)
  • Jan. 23–27 — NBA Rivals Week
  • Feb. 16–18 — NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis
  • April 14 — Regular season ends
  • April 16–19 — Play-in tournament for playoff seeding
  • April 20 — Playoffs begin
  • June 6 NBA Finals begin

FAQ

Can I watch NBA games without cable?

Many NBA games air on ABC throughout the regular season and playoffs, and you can watch these for free with an over-the-air antenna. To catch more NBA action without cable, you can subscribe to a live TV streaming service such as DIRECTV STREAM or Fubo.

What is the cheapest way to watch the NBA?

You can watch some NBA games for free on ABC. Other inexpensive options include a subscription to NBA TV through Amazon Prime ($6.99 a month) or a Sling TV subscription, which you can customize to include as much or as little NBA action as you want to pay for.

Can I watch NBA games for free?

You can watch select NBA games for free on ABC. Additionally, several streaming services offer free trials of anywhere from a day to two weeks, so you can watch part of the season for free.

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