Streaming has become a very popular way of watching the NBA. More and more people are cutting their cable cord in the US and it’s often the only option Internationally to watch your favorite team. The good news is there are legal and affordable options. You have Hulu, NBA TV, NBA League Pass service, FuboTV, ESPN+ and SlingTV. This page is dedicated to breaking down the service offerings of the best BNA streaming services and how to use them. If you are still hesitant about joining a streaming service, our guide will help you figure out which service is best for you. Every NBA fan is going to have different needs. If you are a fantasy player who wants to watch multiple games at the same time, the League Pass has that feature. If you are an out-of-town fan trying to watch the Nets in Colorado, streaming might be your only way of watching.
|Rank||Name||Package||Price||NBA Offering||Devices||Countries||Stream NBA|
|1||Hulu + Live TV||Hulu + Live TV||$54.99/Month||No Package Offering (Games Only On Via Live Channels)||Apple & Android Devices, Roku, FireTV, XBOX One, Playstation 4, Chromecast, Web, Roku, Smart TVs||US Only||Free 7-Day Trial|
|2||FuboTV||Ultra||$84.99/Month||NBA TV & (Only Through Live TV Channels)||Apple & Android Devices, Roku, FireTV, XBOX One, Playstation 4, Chromecast, Web, Roku||US, Canada, Spain||Free 7-Day Trial|
|3||NBA TV + League Pass||League Pass (All Teams)||$28.99/playoffs, $39.99 (No Commercials)||One Team, All Teams, or All Teams W/ No Commercials||Apple & Android Devices, Roku, FireTV, XBOX One, Playstation 4, Chromecast, Web, Roku||Everywhere||Free 7-Day Trial|
|4||ESPN+||Basic||$5.99/Month, $49.99/Year||NBA only available via Watch ESPN (Cable Subscription Required)||Apple & Android Devices, Roku, FireTV, XBOX One, Playstation 4, Chromecast, Web, Roku||US Only||Watch Now|
|5||Sling TV||Orange/Blue||$45/Month||NBA League Pass ($28.99 Month)||Apple & Android Devices, Roku, FireTV, XBOX One, Playstation 4, Chromecast, Web, Roku||US Only|
1. Hulu + Live TV
Overview: For those looking to watch the NBA, Hulu offers up ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, and TNT. These are the sports channels that cover the NBA mostly. There are no premium add-ons yet to connect an NBA League Pass. Watching local teams can be a bit tricky given there are no Fox Sports local channels provided. Hulu + Live TV runs on many platforms, and the most popular are Apple TV, Fire TV, Mobile Devices, and gaming systems. If you are looking to just watch nationally televised games and playoffs, this will work out just fine. Out-of-market games you would be best looking at a League Pass.
Price: Now there are are a few different packages you can subscribe to with Hulu. It can be part of the ESPN+ and Disney+ combo which is $15.99 a month. This excludes Live TV. You can also just use Hulu on its own, but that isn’t quite as economical given the package includes two other channels. The Hulu + Live TV is $54.99 a month which is going to carry the channels that a cable company would. You can start a free trial now at no cost!
Reliability: When Hulu first launched they struggled with performance. It is now one of their strongest features. They recommend a middle-tier internet speed to be able to run at full performance. The Live TV feature still lags behind a cable channel broadcast as all streaming services do, but Hulu is very close to being real-time.
Interface: Hulu has one of the better interfaces and it is extremely easy to navigate around. Everything is organized into their own content categories and it is simple to move to live programs and using the DVR. The guide shows up to two weeks ahead and looks like a pretty standard guide.
Positives: Hulu has one of the more reliable services and a ton of on-demand content to pair with your Live TV package. The interface is extremely easy to use and also very modern. Not every streaming service offers a Cloud DVR, but Hulu provides 50 hours at zero extra charges. There is a week trial that is free for you to try, that way you can get a feel out of it.
Negatives: If your main goal is to cut costs from cable, adding a $54.99 package is essentially just replacing your cable package with Hulu. In addition to the WiFi you need to run it, the difference likely isn’t substantial enough when you add everything up. There are no additions for a local sports channel, for those wanting to watch their local team. It would be limited to them being nationally televised.
Overview: FuboTV was known for more soccer streaming but has branched out to be one of the top sports streaming services available. They have launched to be one of the biggest channel providers as they added 200+ channels that you would usually see on your normal cable provider list. Because FuboTV is essentially a major provider you have access to plenty of sports channels. There are over 75 channels for sports alone. You do have access to nationally televised games and can add the NBA TV channel to the list. The advantage FuboTV has over ESPN+ is the fact that ESPN channels are covered for the nationally televised game. The downside is that you would need to still add in the NBATV package to get those out of market games for basketball.
Price: FuboTV is a bit more pricy as you have more channels and DVR space packed into the plan. The standard package includes 105 channels and it is $59.99 a month. There is an ultra package with the sports package included and that is $84.99. The sports package that includes NBATV is $10.99 a month extra on top of the standard package.
Reliability: The 4K quality is in the works for FuboTV so you will have to bear with them for the quality of the picture as most are at least 720p. Overall though it is a reliable service and the quality of sports streaming has been better than most.
Interface: There isn’t much of a difference between the interface of FuboTV and other streaming services. Everything is broken up nicely and you can navigate around easily to get to different genres or channels. There is also a favorite area where you can set the most used channels. The schedule looks very much like the one you would see on your cable TV.
Positives: There are a lot of positives for FuboTV and one of the major advantages is being able to pay a small fee to get the regional sports channel. This means you will not have blackouts like other streaming services. While you won’t be able to see every NBA game like a League Pass, you do have the options for a wide variety of channels and see nationally televised games. FuboTV has the advantage of being able to watch most sports, especially with their ability to pull international sports like soccer. FuboTV provides a DVR cloud feature, which means you can set up a game to record and it will be there to watch later.
Negatives: The negative here is the price point if you were looking to truly get away from cable. The streaming bundle is essentially a cable subscription so you are just trading companies as you would also need WiFi to run it at your house which is going to be another bill. The other negative is that for NBA games you won’t have every game at your choosing like League Pass below.
3. NBA TV + League Pass
Overview: There are a few different options you have when subscribing to NBA. The NBA TV subscription is for those who don’t have a cable provider to subscribe to the channel through. It is now a standalone product. This means you can get the live NBA TV games and NBA coverage on NBA TV. There is also a NBA team pass that means you can subscribe to any out of market team and watch all of their games. League pass is the most popular as this is the equivalent to a Sunday Ticket for NFL. You can subscribe and watch all teams or even upgrade to all teams and no commercials for more a year. This is by far the most NBA centered product, which shouldn’t be a surprise.
Price: Things can get pricey here and if you are only looking to watch one team, the one-team pass makes the most sense. It is $119.99 a year and you have access to every game from the team you choose. The basic NBA TV pass is $59.99 per year and this is not much of an interest for those who are hardcore fans. The League pass for all teams is $199.99 a year or $249.99 for no commercials. There are monthly prices as well.
Reliability: League Pass is already reliable on its own and the addition of third-party providers gives it stability when using it over another platform. Rarely does League Pass let me down even when watching multiple streams at the same time.
Interface: Because it is tied directly to the NBA you have an excellent interface and by far my favorite out of the three for NBA alone. There are various options to choose from when viewing a game where you have stats and data at your fingertips.
Positives: Now if you are already an owner of Amazon, Sling, Hulu, or any sort of cable provider, you can simply add the NBA League Pass into your package. This is suggested for those who want to view multiple games night and also want to take a look back at games in history. NBA League Pass offers up their archives where you can go to historical games and watch them live. If you are a fantasy player and want to watch multiple games at the same time, there is a feature to select multiple games on the same screen. You might have a preference for the broadcast and you can select which team’s broadcast you want to listen to.
Negatives: If you have NBATV or League Pass on its own without a cable provider then you will have to find out another way to watch nationally televised games or local games. It is also on the more expensive side but if you are going to use it to its full capacity, it is worth it. The option for the single-team viewing helps pricing as well.
Overview: ESPN+ is a relatively new streaming platform as it is an expanded service from the ESPN app. It is not a major provider of NBA games as it doesn’t want to compete with ESPN. You can stream NBA games via ESPN, but you can do that for free anyway. ESPN+ provides its value with other sports such as NHL, MLB, Soccer, UFC, and other various sports. Now if you are a fan of other sports and not just basketball, this is where ESPN+ can have an advantage for you. NHL is not a sport widely on TV anymore outside of local channels or the nationally televised game. Subscribing to ESPN+ also gives you access to the paywall written content on ESPN.com. If you are a fantasy sports player, this can be helpful if you want to see what Matthew Berry is up to. Access the 30 for 30 documentaries and many more ESPN exclusive shows, such as Peyton’s Place. This app is simply more than just streaming basketball games. If you are looking for a more NBA centered package rather than a casual one, you might want to look elsewhere. I find ESPN+ to be more of a compliment to the ESPN app which you need a cable service provider to access.
Price: The price of ESPN+ is not bad at all. You can subscribe for $4.99 a month or $59.99 a year and save $10. ESPN is a part of the Disney package, and you can get ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu for just $12.99 a month. This has been the most popular way of getting ESPN+. There is no free trial with ESPN+, however, $4.99 is cheap enough to try it for the month and you can cancel at any time.
Reliability: One of the biggest factors in signing up for a streaming service is its reliability. There is nothing worse than watching a close game and having the stream get lost or hang up. For U.S. Sports, the service has been spot on. There are no real hangups or complains, but the issues do come when viewing sports outside the country. There have been issues with the FA Cup and Italian League coverage, which might be because they are overseas.
Interface: ESPN+ has a simple and clean interface to use. Whether you are looking on a mobile device or on a USB plugin, it is broken out to show you what is live now but you can also check the schedule by league or sport.
Positives: The price point is the first positive for me as you can’t beat $4.99 for the extra content you receive. You can also take shows and highlights offline to view on your portable device. If you are about to travel somewhere and want to catch up on highlights or watch a 30 for 30 documentaries, there is a download offline feature. I do really like the ability to access the ESPN exclusive articles on the website, which is usually behind a paywall. One of the big advantages ESPN+ has is the ability to stream on five devices per account. You can also pause and replay broadcasts as you would on your cable service with a DVR.
Negatives: If you are a cable cutter, you will be quickly disappointed that you are not subscribing to ESPN channels. Any nationally televised game on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2 will not be available for stream. This will be negative for all streaming services, but locally blacked out games will occur on ESPN+ as well. Of course, if you have cable service or Hulu Live TV, then you are covered and it is a solid addition. For streaming basketball games, there are only going to be a few a night that is available on ESPN+ in comparison to the other services. ESPN+ is certainly a better provider for all-around sports coverage compared to just NBA games like a League Pass.
5. Sling TV
Overview: If you are looking for a little bit of live tv coverage and NBA League Pass, Sling TV will work out for you. It is also a plus for those with other members in the house who are looking for separate entertainment. Sling TV was one of the earlier services but has failed to grab the market as Hulu has evolved into one of the better packages. They offer up three packages, and it is a bit cheaper than some of the other sites but doesn’t come with some of the extra streaming content, like a Hulu + Live TV. The League Pass can be added on for $28.99 a month. Sling also includes ESPN, TNT, and ABC which is where you will find most NBA games, so you will be able to watch live broadcasts.
Price: Both the Sling Blue and Sling Orange package sit at $30 per month. You can combine them for $45 per month, which gets you over 50+ live channels. Showtime, Starz, and Epix can be added on for less than $10 per month, and as mentioned the NBA League Pass can be added on for $28.99 a month. There are also extra $5 packages that are more niche. Sling TV also offers a 7-day free trial.
Reliability: Sling TV is not a bad product as it has a reliable DVR service and the connection is generally on par with most streaming services. You will need to have at least 25 Mbps for reliable service and if other devices are going you will want to up your WiFi service.
Interface: The interfaces from service to service do not change too much. Everything is available for customization to get your home page and favorite channels for easy access. The guide and on-now section is easy to get around and the DVR use is another plus for Sling TV.
Positives: Sling TV is slightly cheaper than some of the other sites and the easy addition of League Pass can make this a perfect NBA set up for you as you will also get the ESPN channels for nationally televised games. There are a lot of add ons and custom programs to help you get packages that everybody will like. You can adjust on the fly and change your packages each month to see what suits your needs. There is also a 7-day free trial.
Negatives: The pause and rewinding features do not work on some channels and that can be one of the major downsides. They have focused on the main channels, but if you are looking for 150+, then you will have to look somewhere else. Overall it is a solid product and one of the major streaming services.
Streaming NBA Games For Free
If you are avoiding paying for a streaming service and find yourself wanting to watch NBA games still, there are plenty of free streams out there. However, there are more negatives to this than positives. First of all, you are endangering your information and computer. You can get malware from some of these sites and viruses can plague your computer. There are no restrictions on these sites and because traffic is so large, it is an easy way to target vulnerable computers.
Now if this doesn’t bother you, then you might get annoyed with the process of trying to find a working link. Streams get busted all the time or are run from an unreliable service that cuts out and lags behind. Trying to find a quality stream is very tough, and it has made me frustrated in my free streaming days before ponying up the dough for good content.
The hassle isn’t worth it if you are watching a game that is five minutes behind the real live TV, and you are running a major risk of ruining your computer or mobile device. The most serious issue is that personal information can be obtained in these sites if that is what it is being used for. I much rather pay monthly fees compared to trying to get my life back together or restoring a laptop.
NBA Streaming FAQ
- How Do I Stream NBA Games?
- Do I Need A Cable Subscription To Stream NBA Games?
- Can I Stream NBA Games For Free?
- Are Nationally Televised Games Available For Stream?
- Why Are Local Games Blacked Out When Streaming?
How Do I Stream NBA Games?
There are multiple streaming services that provide access to NBA games. You can download apps like ESPN+, FuboTV, and NBA League Pass to view them on your phone, computer, smart TV, or streaming device. You will need to sign up with an account for the services.
Do I Need A Cable Subscription To Stream NBA Games?
You do not need a cable subscription to stream NBA games. However, if you are looking to watch nationally televised games, you will need to have cable access due to restrictions of streaming sites showing those games.
Can I Stream NBA Games For Free?
There is a free trial period for some streaming services, but monthly or yearly passes have to be paid for to stream NBA games. Anytime a game is played on NBATV it can be streamed for free.
Are Nationally Televised Games Available For Stream?
Nationally televised games are not available for streaming on certain services due to the rights. However, if you have a cable subscription you can log into ESPN and TNT to stream the games off their platforms.
Why Are Local Games Blacked Out When Streaming?
Local games are blacked out due to a rights issue between the league and the local sports channels. For example, if you live in Arizona and want to stream the Suns, they will be blacked out due to the local provider having exclusive rights.
NBA Live Streaming Apps
NBA Live Streaming Apps
You have Hulu, NBA TV, NBA League Pass service, FuboTV, ESPN+ and SlingTV. This page is dedicated to breaking down the service offerings of the best BNA streaming services and how to use them. If you are still hesitant about joining a streaming service, our guide will help you figure out which service is best for you. Every NBA fan is going to have different needs.
Not every app has every game