How to Watch the NBA Games Without Paying for Cable TV (Updated September 2018)




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3 men watching sports on tv

This week the 2018–2019 NBA season officially gets underway. To make the news even better, cord cutters have more options than ever to watch the NBA without paying for cable TV.

Here is our guide to watching the NBA without the high cost and long-term contracts of cable TV.


For the big national networks there are three live TV streaming services that carry all of them: Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW. (There are others that have some of the channels, but these three have all of them.)

With these services not only do you get all the cable networks streamed but you also get access to WatchESPN to watch games on ABC if you do not get ABC free over the air or on your streaming service.

Sling TV starts at $25 a month and also offers a 7-day free trial. (You can now also buy NBA League Pass through Sling TV to easily access all the NBA games you want.)

Hulu With Live TV costs just $39.99 ($32 if you already have Hulu on-demand) with a free trial for new customers. (One catch Hulu does not offer NBA TV but does have the most live locals.)

YouTube TV is just $39.99 and includes most locals, NBA TV, ESPN, and TNT.

DIRECTV NOW starts at $40 a month. You can also get a 7-day free trial to test out the service before you pay.

PlayStation Vue starts at $45 a month and offers a 5-day free trial.

My suggestion is to give them all a try and see which one is right for you.

Regional Sports Networks

Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TVPlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW all offer regional sports networks including NBC Sports and FOX Sports. The question is do they have the right regional sports network you want in your market. If you want MSG Sports fuboTV is currently your only option.

My suggestion is to test out each service’s free trial and see what they have in your market.

Out-of-Market Games

If you live outside of the market for your favorite team, you should check out NBA League Pass. Starting as low as $17.99 a month you can watch all out-of-market games.

If a game is aired in your home market on a national network such as TNT, you will not be able to watch the game live on NBA League Pass and will need to use one of the options listed above. You can find out if your local team will be blacked out HERE.

There you go… NBA basketball has never been so easy to watch.

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