How to Watch the NBA Finals 2018 without cable
If you’ve already cut the cord from your cable company, you can still watch the NBA Finals live without much of a fuss. Over the next few days, there will be plenty of excitement and unexpected turnarounds when the Golden State Warriors face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
My top choice for watching the NBA Finals is Hulu with Live TV. The live TV streaming service carries about 110 ABC stations across the U.S.
Streaming the NBA Finals live is a lot easier in 2018 than in years past. This quick guide will show you how to watch every moment of the 0n-court battle between LeBron James and Steph Curry. You’ll be able to tap into an NBA live stream using a Roku, Apple TV, Fire Stick, Fire TV, PC or smartphone.
If you sign up for a 7-day trial with one of the streaming services below, you’ll be able to stream the NBA Finals free all week. Just be sure to keep track of when you start the free trial, and make a decision about whether you want to keep it before it ends.
The best budget option is with Sling TV — no matter where you live in the U.S. The Sling Orange bundle gets you ESPN3, which carries all NBA Finals games. Sling Orange has ABC in select markets as part of a 30 channel package that includes A&E, HGTV and Comedy Central.
Watch 2018 NBA Finals with a TV antenna
If you have an antenna around your house, now is the time to plug it in and scan for channels. With ABC carrying all of the NBA Finals, you’ll get a lot of value out of your antenna. Best of all, the picture will be in uncompressed HD quality – something your cable company can’t deliver.
I have a ClearStream FLEX for an indoor antenna. Based on my testing, an Antop 400-BV is a better choice if you need one mounted to your attic or roof. To get an idea on where broadcast towers are in your area, check out the free online tools to find broadcast towers in your area provided by AntennaWeb.org or nocable.org. You can also read The Best Indoor TV Antennas of 2018 to learn about the top antennas that I tested over the course of a year.
I realize you might be pressed for time, since you went about searching for a solution at the last minute. So let’s go over some other choices.
When do the 2018 NBA Finals start?
- Game 1: Cleveland @ Golden State THURSDAY, MAY 31 9e|6p
- Game 2: Cleveland @ Golden State SUNDAY, JUNE 3 8e|5p
- Game 3: Golden State @ Cleveland WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6 9e|6p
- Game 4: Golden State @ Cleveland FRIDAY, JUNE 8 9e|6p
- Game 5: Cleveland @ Golden State MONDAY, JUNE 11 9e|6p
- Game 6: Golden State @ Cleveland THURSDAY, JUNE 14 9e|6p
- Game 7: Cleveland @ Golden State SUNDAY, JUNE 17 8e|5p
*Source: Schedule is posted from abc.go.com.
Sling TV: How to watch NBA Finals 2018 live stream
Sling TV should be the first option because it cost the least. You can get ESPN3 in all markets with the Sling Orange plan, and ABC in select markets. So even if ABC isn’t offered in your area, you can still use Sling TV to stream the NBA Finals anywhere in the U.S.
If NBA TV is a must, then for another $5 per month, you can get the Sports Extra bundle which includes NBA TV, and a dozen more channels like Outside TV and NHL Network. Even if you add NBA TV or choose 50 hours of Cloud DVR service for another $5 per month, you’re still on the cheapest bundle at $30 per month.
Sling TV will work on Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku and other major streaming devices. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and simply cancel online if Sling TV doesn’t seem like the right fit.
Don’t have a streaming device yet?
Want to learn more about how Sling TV stacks up against live streaming competitors? Read my comparison for Sling TV vs PlayStation Vue.
DirecTV Now: NBA Finals Live Stream without cable
If Sling TV doesn’t do it for you, then I’d recommend using DirecTV Now for watching the NBA Finals. You’ll get ABC within the least expensive channel bundle called “Live a Little” for $35 per month. You’ll also get entertainment channels like A&E, History, Viceland and National Geographic channel.
The nice thing about DirecTV Now is that you can also stream the game on your iPhone or tablet on the go. And you can use your subscription to sign into pay-TV apps for ABC and WatchESPN.
So you don’t need to be home to watch the game. DirecTV Now has apps for Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV and Android TV devices. And you can bump into the slightly higher priced channel bundle for NBA TV if you really want it. But frankly, I’d just stuck with the “Live a Little” bundle.
If you use DirecTV Now to live stream NBA Finals
You can try out DirecTV Now free for 7-days. But you may want to consider a couple of promos that DirecTV Now is offering to new customers. For a brief subscription of two to three months, DirecTV Now will send you an Apple TV. Sign up and prepay for one month, and you can get a Roku Streaming Stick. After that, cancel whenever. No contracts. No long term commitments.
Watch NBA Finals live stream on PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue is another option to watch the NBA Finals, but it costs twice as much as Sling TV.
The Access package is $39.99 per month for 48+ channels, including ABC, ESPN and TNT. If you want NBA TV, then you’ll have to bump up to the Core package, which is $45 per month.
Watch NBA Finals on Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV has ABC, ESPN and TNT and costs $40 per month for roughly 50+ channels. But you’re also getting a lot more value-wise that Hulu’s competitors can’t offer. Aside from live channels like A&E, FS1, FS2, National Geographic and TNT, you’re also getting access to Hulu’s massive on-demand library of TV shows and movies. It’s the same one that people subscribe $7.99 per month for. And you’ll also get access to Hulu Originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “The Path” and the adaptation of Stephen King’s “11.22.63”.
So when you’re not watching basketball, there’s a whole lot of other shows and movies up for grabs. You can try out Hulu with Live TV free for a week. If you don’t like the service, you can easily cancel online. There’s no obligation or contracts like a cable company.
Stream NBA Finals on YouTube TV
YouTube TV offers a number of ways to live stream ABC so you can watch the Cavaliers and Warriors go toe to toe all week. There’s only one channel bundle that costs $40 per month and unlimited Cloud DVR. You’ll also get networks like TNT, ESPN, FS1, FS2 and AMC. Check out YouTube TV’s free 7-day trial and watch the NBA Finals online or on an Apple TV or Roku.
Can I live stream the NBA Finals on the ABC app?
Sure, but there’s a couple caveats. To live stream on the ABC app without a cable subscription, you will need to subscribe to DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV. Sling TV doesn’t currently have app authentication for the ABC app, but it does for WatchESPN.
When the NBA Finals roll around, you can use a DirecTV Now or Sling TV account to sign in to the WatchESPN app and get a live stream.
What’s the best way to stream the NBA Finals?
Hulu with Live TV gives you the most value for your money and it’s the best shot for most people who are trying to get a local ABC station to watch a game. For $40 per month, you’re getting 50+ live channels, including all the channels you’ll need for the NBA Finals. You’ll also get Hulu’s massive on-demand library for movies and TV shows and all Hulu Originals. You can try out Hulu with Live TV free for a week.
Sling TV and DirecTV Now are two solid backup options because they carry the most important channels for the least amount of money.
Sling TV has a free 7-day trial and promo offers that can get you a free or discounted streaming device. DirecTV Now also lets you try out its service free for a week. Prepay for three months and get an Apple TV with your subscription. Pay for just one month, and you’ll get a Roku Streaming Stick with your subscription.
What’s your preferred way to watch the NBA Finals without cable? Tell fellow readers in the comments below.