A Guide for the NBA Loving Cord Cutter
It has never been easier for the cord cutting sports fan looking for Cable TV Alternatives. We may be years away from having a one-stop shop for live streaming sports, but luckily the advent of live television streaming services has given us a multitude of ways to watch sports without cable; including the NBA.
How to Watch Basketball Without Cable
Unlike the NFL, which airs the majority of its games on broadcast television, the bulk of the NBA’s 1200+ regular season games can be found on the cable networks TNT and ESPN. A handful of games air on ABC, including the NBA Finals, but the coverage is not what you would call comprehensive.
Fortunately, there are a lot ways to get access to all of these channels and more, and none of them involve signing up for cable. Here are your options:
Watching NBA on Sling TV
If you are looking for a way to watch Basketball without Cable, Sling TV is a great place to start. For a small monthly fee, Sling TV gives you live streaming access to dozens of cable channels without any sort of long-term commitment; you pay month-to-month.
Sling TV has three plans to choose: Orange, Blue, and Combined. The one that you’re you’re going to be most interested in is the Orange plan, which costs $20 month. With the Orange plan, you will get access to TNT and ESPN.
With ESPN, in addition to regular season games, you get access to one of the two conference finals; NBA playoff games that take place on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; the NBA Draft; and the NBA Draft Lottery.
For the most part, TNT is the favored carrier of NBA basketball; and you’ll be able to watch most of the “important” games on TNT. In addition to their regular season play, you’ll get the other half of the NBA conference finals; any NBA playoff game occurring on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday; and the NBA All-Star Game.
For an extra $5 a month, you can get the Sports Extra add-on and also get NBA TV. In addition to daily content devoted to basketball, NBA TV airs roughly 90 regular season games a year; which translates to about four games a week.
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Because ABC is not included with Sling TV, you’re not going to be able to get the NBA Finals, which is something you’re not going to want to miss, but if you keep reading we’ll show you how to get both.
NBA on FuboTV
FuboTV is an online streaming service geared mostly towards international sports fans, particularly soccer fans. However, included in FuboTV’s base plan (which is $20 a month) is NBA TV. FuboTV may not be the perfect cord cutting solution but if you’re looking to get both your NBA and soccer fix, it’s a great way to go.
If you want to watch the NBA finals, you’re going to have to get access to ABC. And if you want access to ABC, the best way to get it is through an over-the-air antenna. OTA antennas are cheap, one-time investment that will save you hundreds of dollars and last you for years to come.
Even if you didn’t like basketball (I’ve heard those people exist), there would still be the entire world of network television for your perusal. Trust me when I say that an OTA antennas are a great investment, regardless of why you cut the cord. Click here to check out some of the more popular brands and models.
Do you hate spending money on… well, anything? Do you want to watch the NBA for the least amount of money possible? Then check out TNT Overtime. Conceived as an “extra” for NBA fans, TNT Overtime allows you to watch NBA games that air TNT for free.
Worth noting – you do not get the exact same game feed as what airs on TNT, instead, you get an alternate broadcast with no commentary and four camera angles. It’s stripped down, minimalist, and unfortunately still subject to blackout requirements; but it’s hard to beat free.
If you’re looking to get ABC, ESPN, and TNT in one complete package, PlayStation Vue is worth looking at. Like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue is a live television streaming app. It’s a lot pricier, but it’s still month-to-month.
There are four subscription plans: Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra. At $40 a month, Access is going to be the cheapest plan. With it, you get ESPN and TNT. Depending on where you live, you may also get live OTA streaming access to ABC and possibly, even more, broadcast networks.
For an extra $5 a month, you can upgrade to the Core plan and also get NBA TV.
If you’re able to get ABC live with your PlayStation Vue subscription, then it’s definitely worth a try. However, if you can’t, then Sling TV might still be the better option.
DIRECTV Now is a service that’s very similar to both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. There are four main subscription plans with DIRECTTV Now and they run from moderately priced to expensive. Those plans are: Live a Little ($35 monthly), Just Right ($50 monthly), Go Big ($60 monthly), and Gotta Have It ($70 monthly)
The plan that you’re going to be looking for it the Gotta Have It Plan, which includes ESPN, TNT, and live ABC in certain areas; which makes it cheaper than PlayStation Vue. If you go for the Just Right Plan, you can also have NBA TV but there are cheaper ways to get all four channels if you really want them.
NBA League Pass
This is by far the easiest and safest way to watch the NBA without cable. For either a monthly or annual fee, NBA League Pass gives you live streaming access to out-of-market NBA games. Now which game you get will largely depend on what plan you pick. There are three plans to choose from.
For either $17.99 a month or $119.19 for the year, you can follow every single game of the team of your choice (sadly blackout restrictions still apply). You also get access to full game replays and audio broadcasts for all live games.
If you want to follow every team in the NBA (minus the teams caught up in the blackout rules), then this is the plan for you. It costs either $28.99 a month or $199.99 for the entire year, and with it, you also get classic NBA games and certain games in VR (how cool is that?!)
All Team + In-Arena Stream
For an extra $50 a year ($249.99 a year or $39.99 a month) you can everything included in the previous plan plus the in-arena stream of the game with no commercials at all.
In addition to the three main plans, you can also purchase smaller plans for those of you that don’t want to spend too much money.
NBA Single Game
Are you only wanting to watch a certain game? Then you’re in luck because you can purchase streaming access to the game for just $7.99. VR Games are available on select games.
NBA League Pass Audio
Just want to listen to the games? For $9.99 you can listen to every to the live audio of every single NBA this season, which isn’t too bad, even for radio.
NBA League Pass VR
NBA League Pass VR gives you access to every single VR NBA game for a one time purchase of $49.99.
Now Cut the Cord and Watch NBA Online!
Despite the best efforts of Big Cable, you do have options when it comes to basketball. You have a handful of streaming services to choose from, an OTA antenna to give you what you need, and even some free basketball thanks to TNT Overtime. It once may have been difficult to cut the cord and watch Basketball but, as we’ve seen today, that’s no longer the case.
- Need to know how to Watch the NBA Playoffs or Finals? Read “HOW TO WATCH THE NBA PLAYOFFS AND FINALS WITHOUT CABLE“
- Looking to watch March Madness online? click here
More than just an NBA Fan? Click here to see all our articles on How to Watch Sports without Cable.
So what are you waiting for? Stop giving all your money to the vultures at the cable company. Take the step, cut the cord, and kill your cable bill today!
As always, comments are welcome and encouraged. Cheers!
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