How to Watch NBA TV Without Cable

Looking to watch NBA TV live without cable? Explore our comprehensive guide on the top streaming services, free trials, pricing options, and must-have channels like ESPN and ABC.

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You can watch NBA TV live without cable or a satellite TV service on six different streaming services that provide some level of live TV.

NBA TV is a sought-after TV channel for basketball fans, and this season is no different. The networks airs regular season and playoff games. Chances are you want a live TV package that carry other channels broadcasting live NBA games, including ESPN and regional sports networks such as Bally Sports, NBC Sports, or ROOT Sports Northwest.

I’ve tried out every streaming service available for NBA TV, comparing their channel lineups and features, to give you the most authoritative and up-to-date guide. You won’t find NBA TV on Hulu + Live TV, but you have six other options to get this basketball-centered network without a cable subscription.

How to Get NBA TV Without Cable

ServiceFree TrialsMonthly PriceKey Channels
DIRECTV STREAM5-day free trialEntertainment: $79.99
Choice: $108.99
Ultimate: $119.99
Premier: $164.99
ESPN, Bally Sports networks, CNN, TNT, TBS, NBA TV, NBC Sports, Marquee Sports Network
Sling TVNoneOrange Plan: $40 + Sports Extra: $11ESPN, TNT, TBS, NBA TV, NFL RedZone, MLB Network, ESPNU
YouTube TV7-day free trial$72.99ESPN, TNT, TBS, NBA TV, SEC Network, ACC Network, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, MLB Network
Fubo7-day free trialPro: $79.99
Extra: $87.98
Elite: $89.99
Premier: $99.99
ESPN, ESPN2, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Disney Junior, Comedy Central, HGTV, Pac 12 Networks, NFL RedZone (with Sports Plus bundle)
NBA TVNone$6.99NBA TV (only)
NBA League Pass7-day free trial through the NBA website$99.99 per seasonNBA TV, live and on-demand games, radio broadcasts for all NBA games (excludes live local/national broadcast games)

What you need to know about on NBA TV

NBA TV typically broadcasts about 90 regular season games live, but the network is subject to local blackout restrictions. You can still watch your home team’s game on a regional sports network or a local broadcast station that is carrying the game.

So if you are considering some cord-cutting options for watching games, you may want a service that carries your local RSNs.


Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia

DIRECTV STREAM carries NBA TV, and probably has the most comprehensive NBA coverage among live TV streaming services due to its channel lineup.

The Choice plan is the lowest-priced DIRECTV STREAM bundle that has NBA TV. A subscription includes more than 105 channels and costs $108.99 per month. CNN, TNT, TBS, ESPN, ESPN2, and NBA TV and regional Bally Sports networks are part of the Choice package.

The Choice package has 40 regional sports networks, including Bally Sports networks, NBC Sports and Marquee Sports Network.

The Ultimate package has more than 140 channels, including local channels, and more sports and entertainment channels. The Ultimate package is $119.99 per month. The Premier Package has over 150 channels, including premium channels such as Max, Cinemax and Showtime. A subscription to Premier is $164.99 per month.

You can look over the regional sports networks in your area.

The Choice plan includes all your local broadcast channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.

Subscribers get more than 105 channels, and unlimited Cloud DVR storage to record games. You can watch live TV channels unlimited screens in your home. The on-demand library has more than 40,000 movies and shows.

DIRECTV STREAM is ideal for avid sports fans seeking extensive NBA coverage, including regional games. While pricier than alternatives, its comprehensive channel lineup surpasses Sling TV’s more limited sports offering.

If you are up for watching the entire season of your local team, and want coverage through the NBA playoffs and NBA finals, then DIRECTV STREAM is worth considering.

DIRECTV STREAM works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Smart TVs running on Android TV and Google TV. There are mobile apps for iOS and Android devices as well.

Sling TV

Blue$40/month41 (Locals included)
Orange + Blue$55/month88
Device support: AirTV Mini, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast along with Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast.

Sling TV is a decent budget pick for NBA TV. Sling TV is best suited for people who only need a small number of channels during basketball season. 

The Sling Orange plan has 34 channels, including ESPN, TNT and TBS for $40 per month. Watching NBA TV through Sling requires an extra add-on.

The Sports Extra bundle adds 14 channels, including NBA TV, NFL RedZone, MLB Network and ESPNU for $11 per month. Sling Orange subscribers can watch live TV on one screen at a time. Sling does not have any regional sports networks, but it is the cheapest live TV service that offers ESPN.

Sling TV suits budget-conscious consumers who prioritize key channels like ESPN over a wider selection. Compared to DIRECTV STREAM, it offers a more affordable yet narrower choice for basketball enthusiasts.

Sling Blue includes FS1 and local NBC and FOX stations for $40 per month. The Blue plan lets you watch live TV on three screens at once. Sling TV is currently offering a discount of half off for your first month.

There are no contracts, or extra fees like cable TV. You can start watching NBA TV live through Sling TV on a Roku, Fire TV, Smart TVs, Google Chromecast and smartphones. 

YouTube TV

  • Free trial
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR
  • Three simultaneous streams
YouTube TV$72.99/month128
Device support: Android TV, Google TV, Smart TVs by Samsung, LG, VIZIO, Hisense, Sharp and Sony; Chromecast, Google TV, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Google Nest Hub; Android and iOS devices.

YouTube TV has more than 128 live TV channels, including TNT, TBS, NBA TV and ESPN.

A subscription to the base plan costs $72.99 per month, and includes unlimited Cloud DVR.

The YouTube TV base plan carries other key sports channels such as TNT, TBS, SEC Network, ACC Network, ESPNews, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, and MLB Network. YouTube TV carries entertainment networks such as Bravo and Disney Junior.

You’ll be able to watch CNN, Golf Channel and FX. Unlimited Cloud DVR is included with a subscription. And you can create up to 6 profiles for a household per account.

YouTube TV caters to viewers who value a diverse channel lineup, including sports and entertainment. Its broader range, compared to Fubo’s sports-centric approach, appeals to households with varied interests.

The service works with Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, NVIDIA Shield TV, Apple TV and Chromecast. You can get a free 7-day trial, or look over the channel lineup for your area. 


  • Free trial
  • unlimited Cloud DVR
  • 10 simultaneous streams
Elite $89.99/month259
Premier$99.99/month268 & Paramount+ w/ Showtime
Device support: Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Xbox One, along with Smart TVs by Hisense, Samsung, LG, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast TV. Android, iPhones and iPads with current iOS.

Fubo (formerly fuboTV) has more than 192 channels, including ESPN and NBA TV. Local ABC stations are also carries by fubo in most of the U.S. But fubo currently does not have TNT or TBS.

The Pro channel package costs $79.99 per month. ESPN, ESPN2, HGTV, Big Ten Network, Disney Junior, and Comedy Central are part of the Pro bundle.

The fubo Extra bundle adds 59 more channels for $7.99 per month. It includes NBA TV, INSP, Tennis Channel, MTV Live, MTV Classic, FXM, Pac 12 Networks, and ESPNews.

All subscribers get unlimited Cloud DVR storage. You can watch live TV on 10 screens at once. If you miss a game, you can use fubo’s “look back” feature to watch sporting events that aired in the last 72 hours

The Elite plan is $89.99 per month, and has 65 more sports, news and entertainment channels. The Premier plan has 268 channels, including Paramount Plus with Showtime, for $99.99 per month. The fuboTV Elite package adds 60 more channels, including the Pac-12 Network.

The Sports Plus bundle adds 32 more channels and costs $10.99 per month. It includes NFL RedZone, all four Stadium networks, Sports Illustrated TV, Golf TV English, Golf TV Spanish, PAC 12 Arizona, PAC 12 Bay Area, PAC 12 Los Angeles, PAC 12 Mountain, PAC 12 Oregon, PAC 12 Washington, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Pacific, FNTSY, Fight Network and TyC Sports.

Fubo stands out for sports-focused subscribers, especially those interested in channels beyond NBA TV. However, its lack of TNT and TBS may be a drawback compared to YouTube TV’s more comprehensive entertainment options.

fubo has a library of on-demand content, including movies and TV shows.


  • Live NBA TV
  • On-demand games
  • Free 7-day trial
Standard$6.99/mo.Live Stream & on-demand
Device support: Roku OS 9+, 5th Generation+, Apple TV (OS 15+), Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick Gen 3+, Fire OS 6+, Hisense, Comcast Xfinity Flex, Xumo TV, cable boxes. Gaming Consoles: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S. (All devices and consoles listed are for select countries)

You have a couple of options to consider if you want an affordable option for getting NBA TV. One straightforward choice is the standalone streaming subscription for NBA TV. Priced at $6.99 per month, this package grants you round-the-clock live access to NBA TV and a selection of on-demand basketball content. Subscribers also enjoy exclusive online features typically reserved for NBA League Pass holders.

However, it’s worth exploring whether bundling NBA TV with your existing TV plan could offer more value. While some TV providers might not include NBA TV, leading to the standalone package being your only option, bundling can often be more cost-effective.

An NBA League Pass subscription not only offers all the benefits of the standalone NBA TV package but also provides a richer experience with additional live games and exclusive in-app features.

While it offers specific NBA coverage, it lacks the broader sports and entertainment selection found in services like DIRECTV STREAM.

NBA League Pass

  • Live NBA TV
  • Commercial-free
  • Three streams at once
Standard$6.99/mo.Live Stream & on-demand
Device support: Roku OS 9+, 5th Generation+, Apple TV (OS 15+), Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick Gen 3+, Fire OS 6+, Hisense, Comcast Xfinity Flex, Xumo TV, cable boxes. Gaming Consoles: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S. (All devices and consoles listed are for select countries)

NBA League Pass, priced at $99.99 per season, offers an enticing package for basketball fans, providing access to live and on-demand games, along with NBA TV coverage.

While the breadth of games available is impressive, the service is not without limitations, particularly regarding blackout restrictions. This means that while you can access a wide range of games, local team games will not be available live. Additionally, nationally broadcast games on channels like ESPN, ABC, or TNT are excluded from live viewing on League Pass.

These games become available, albeit delayed – three days later for local games and three hours later for national broadcasts. It’s a significant caveat, especially for people whose primary interest lies in following their local team’s every move.

The service’s appeal is heightened with the League Pass Premium, featuring commercial-free games on three devices at once and access to unique in-arena streams. This premium experience, however, comes at a cost, raising questions about its value for money.

Despite these restrictions, NBA League Pass does offer comprehensive coverage for the avid NBA follower, especially those interested in teams outside their local market or international audiences. The inclusion of radio broadcasts for all NBA games is a notable addition, so you can follow the action even when they can’t watch it live. However, potential subscribers should weigh these benefits against the blackout restrictions and consider their viewing preferences and patterns before making a decision.

NBA League Pass is the ultimate choice for die-hard NBA followers wanting access to a plethora of games. It offers more extensive coverage than NBA TV’s standalone service but includes blackout restrictions.

Watch NBA TV without cable FAQs

How to Watch NBA TV on Roku

If you want to watch NBA TV on Roku, you have a couple of options. You can either subscribe to a live TV streaming service that carries NBA TV and other channels such as ESPN and TNT, or subscribe to NBA League Pass. A subscription to NBA League Pass lets you live stream out-of-market basketball games.

How to Watch NBA TV for free

DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV and YouTube TV all offer different free trials that let you go hands-on with their service. Each of these three services carry NBA TV. You just need to make sure you cancel before the free trial ends if you do not want to be billed.

Does Hulu Live TV have NBA TV?

No. Hulu Live TV does not carry NBA TV, but it does carry regional NBC Sports networks which carries a number of live NBA games.

How to Watch free NBA games on a Smart TV

You can sign up for a free trial of DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo and YouTube TV and watch NBA games for about a week. But each service has a slightly different time frame for their free trial, so be sure to read the fine print, and make a note of when to cancel.

ABC is an over-the-air channel which will also carry a number of NBA games during the season that you can watch free by using a TV antenna.

How to Watch NBA League Pass on a Smart TV

If you are using a Smart TV from Samsung, LG or Sony, you have a few of options for watching NBA League Pass without a cable or satellite TV subscription. 

You can sign up for a free trial of NBA League Pass through the NBA website. Just add the NBA app to start watching live games once you subscribe.

Amazon Prime members can sign up for a free trial and subscription to NBA League Pass.

You can also sign up for DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Sling TV or YouTube TV if you want NBA TV and other cable TV channels that carry live NBA games.

Can you watch in-market games on NBA League Pass?

No. NBA League Pass does not have the rights for in-market games, so it is subject to local blackout restrictions. League Pass subscribers will still need regional sports networks to watch their local team.

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Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.