GUIDE: How to Watch the NBA on TV, Streaming and more

GUIDE: How to Watch the NBA on TV, Streaming and more

Fans are currently enjoying a golden era of sports entertainment, with a wealth of thrilling action accessible to us daily. The high-flying, fast-paced action of the National Basketball League (NBA) remains unrivaled, treating us to jaw-dropping athleticism and skill from the likes of Steph Curry, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and many more.

As one of America’s biggest sports, there are plenty of viewing options to choose from, but which is best? Whether you are a die-hard fan who needs to catch every game or someone who just likes to tune in to the big clashes, this article has the answer. Here is a run-down of your options and our opinion on what brings the best value.

Table of Contents:

  • Overview of Viewing Options
  • Regional Blackouts and RSN
  • Comparison of Services
  • Editor's Choice
  • Watch NBA for Free
  • Season Schedule and Important Dates

Editorial rating (4.5/5)
NBA League Pass
Price: $14.99-$22.99/mo.
Offer: 7-days Free Trial
Benefit: Stream Games Live & On-Demand

Overview of Viewing Options

To tune into some, or all, of the 2023-24 NBA season, you will need access to the following channels:

Regional Blackouts and Workarounds

Fans who follow the NBA closely, are well acquainted with the annoyance of regional blackouts. These restrictions are in place to uphold the exclusive broadcasting rights of regional sports networks (RSNs), minimizing local competition and aiming to boost stadium attendance by limiting access to live game broadcasts in certain regions.

Accessing the necessary RSNs to watch local games can be challenging. The DirecTV RSN Lookup Tool is a helpful resource; by entering your zip code, it informs you about the games available in your area and suggests the appropriate subscription packages.

A popular workaround for these regional blackout constraints involves the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). By encrypting your connection and masking your IP address, VPNs allow you to get past these restrictions. However, it's important to choose a VPN provider carefully, prioritizing those with strong security and privacy protections, such as NordVPN or Surfshark, to ensure a safe viewing experience.

Detailed Comparison of Services

Cable and Satellite Options

To ensure the most complete access to NBA action throughout the year, a cable package that incorporates the primary channels of ABC, ESPN, TBS and TNT will be your best starting point. It is all about incorporating local and national channels into the set-up, and a combination of a cable package plus NBA League Pass will do that.

DirecTV, Cox, Dish, Optimum and Verizon Fios all tick the boxes in terms of giving you the required channels for NBA action, with the added benefit of all featuring NBA TV. NBA TV is also available through NBA League Pass, which is detailed at the end of this section. These cable packages come at a higher cost than other options, but it's for a reason. They offer the best combination of national and local channels, in addition to a huge array of other channels.

  • Cox - $61.00–$152.00 per month
  • DirecTV - $69.99–$159.99 per month
  • Dish - $84.99-$114.99 per month
  • Verizon Fios - $69.00–$129.00 per month

Streaming Services

For those without cable or living outside their favorite team's local broadcast area, streaming services can be your best friend. Sling TV emerges as a cost-effective alternative, particularly with its NBA Season Pass add-on. At a special rate, fans can access every out-of-market NBA game plus a very strong channel lineup that includes TNT, ESPN and much more.

FuboTV comes in at a slightly higher cost but is an appealing option for sports fans, offering a wide variety of local and national sports broadcasts. The same can be said for YouTubeTV, but you will benefit from a smaller pool of channels to choose from, and then there is Hulu + Live TV which combines national and local game access through its vast channel selection. Most of these streaming platforms will offer a variety of add-ons which will expand your sports viewing options, allowing you to include channels like Golf Channel, NFL Network, NFL Redzone, FOX Soccer Plus and many more.

Editorial rating (4.5/5)
Fubo Sports US
Price: Basic Plan from $79.99/mo.
Offer: 7-days Free Trial
Service Type: TV Streaming Service

Other streaming services

NBA League Pass stands out for its comprehensive coverage, allowing fans to watch out-of-market games live and on-demand, alongside 24/7 NBA TV. Priced at $14.99 monthly, with a premium option at $22.99 for multi-device streaming and in-arena streams, this is an excellent option for someone who wants the scaled-back NBA experience, but you will have to struggle against blackout restrictions for in-market games.

Editor’s Choice:

There are a lot of NBA games to tune into throughout each fascinating season. Thankfully, through the options detailed above, there is something for every type of fan. If you want to ensure you have access to as many games as possible, a combination of the DirecTV Choice Package ($84.99) and NBA League Pass ($14.99) is your best bet. This will cost you $99.98 a month, which is pretty steep, but that is the price you have to pay for the knowledge that you will have access to almost every single NBA game. DirecTV’s Choice Package gives you all the national channels you need, whilst also offering the best collection of regional sports networks. Any gaps are then covered by NBA League Pass, which gives you every single out-of-network NBA game live and on-demand.

The NBA League pass also comes in as our best value-for-money option, giving you the option of tuning into the vast majority of NBA games for just $14.99 a month. If you are willing to leave out the additional channels that come with the more expensive packages and just want to focus on NBA action, this is the one for you.

How to Watch for Free

Gaining access to NBA games at no cost will depend on having the right broadcast networks accessible through digital antennas. This may allow for the viewing of some nationally broadcast NBA games, though they tend to be far and few between.

To consistently enjoy NBA action without a charge, you could explore the strategy of stacking free trials offered by streaming services. Platforms like Hulu, YouTube TV, and FuboTV generally provide 7-day free trials. By strategically timing these trials one after another, you can increase your access to NBA games over time. NBA League Pass also offers a 7-day free trial, giving you an extra platform to trial. This is only a temporary solution as you will be reliant on the free trials available and, once you have used one, it's gone.

Please remember, that it is very important to be vigilant about the expiration of these free trials. Failing to cancel in time can lead to automatic subscription fees, which are expensive.

Season Schedule and Important Dates:


  • October 24: Start of the 2023-24 NBA Regular Season
  • November 3: NBA In-Season Tournament begins
  • December 9: NBA In-Season Tournament Championship


  • February 8: NBA Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET)
  • February 16-18: NBA All-Star 2024 in Indianapolis
  • February 16-21: NBA All-Star break
  • April 14: NBA Regular Season ends
  • April 16-19: NBA Play-In Tournament
  • June 6: NBA Finals
  • June 27: NBA Draft

Author: Venuse, Inc