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How To Watch NBA Basketball Games Without Cable (2023)

Watch NBA Basketball without cable

NBA basketball is back for the 2022-2023 season and the Golden State Warriors are ready to defend their championship. 

Whether you’re a die hard fan of a team or a causal viewer who just wants to catch a few games, this article will show you how to stream the NBA games you’re looking for, both nationally and your local team’s broadcast.

If you just want to skip the introduction and find where you can stream your NBA team’s games you can click here or on the button below.


Before we get started, let’s break NBA broadcast coverage down into 3 categories:

  1. Nationally televised games 
  2. In Market Broadcasts
  3. Out of Market Broadcasts

Nationally Televised Games

The NBA broadcasts nationally televised games on TNT and ESPN/ABC on specific nights of the week, with NBA TV filling in the rest. 

If you’re just a casual fan of the NBA then the national coverage alone might have enough content to keep you entertained throughout the season. 

The NBA nationally televised game schedule is as follows for 2022-2023:

  • Monday – NBA TV
  • Tuesday – TNT
  • Wednesday – ESPN
  • Thursday – TNT (starting Jan 2023)
  • Friday – ESPN
  • Saturday – NBA TV and ABC (starting Dec 2022) 
  • Sunday – NBA TV and ABC (various games on Christmas Day and Feb 2023)

In Market and Out of Market Games

How NBA Regional Sports Networks and Blackouts Work

Before we get into each team’s streaming options, let’s take a minute to talk about Regional Sports Networks (RSN’s) and Blackouts. 

Each NBA team sells the rights to broadcast their games to a Regional Sports Network. These RSN’s then have the exclusive right to broadcast that game in a specific area surrounding the local team’s city. These networks then sell the rights to their broadcast to your local cable provider and sometimes to streaming TV services. 

For example, if you live near Boston, your local market is likely NBC Sports Boston, whereas if you live near Milwaukee your regional network is likely Bally Sports Wisconsin. 

This means if you live in your local team’s viewing area (aka – “In Market”) then you need to find a service that carries that specific sports network to watch your team’s games.

If you don’t have access to the network, the NBA will then “Black Out” games so that they can not be watched locally without access. If your team is part of a national broadcast, those games will also be blacked out on the national feed and can only be watched on the RSN.

For example, if you live in New York you can not watch the Knicks on NBA League Pass within the New York area and you’ll need a provider who carries MSG Network. Additionally if ESPN or TNT are showing the Knicks game, it will likely be blacked on those channels, but available on MSG. 

To see which teams are blacked out in your viewing area you can click here.


In Market Games

If you’ve made it this far you’re probably wondering how to actually stream your local NBA team’s games. We have a complete team by team list below.

You will notice that some teams have more options than others, but every team has at least one streaming option that includes local NBA games.

Unfortunately not every streaming service includes your local team’s games. Make sure your team’s network is included before you sign up.

RSN’s On Streaming Networks

The streaming networks that include Regional Sports Networks are:

  • YouTube TV ($64.99/mo)
  • Hulu With Live TV ($69.99/mo)
  • fuboTV ($69.99/mo)
  • DirecTV Stream ($89.99/mo) *

* Please note that DirecTV Stream’s Entertainment package is less expensive ($69.99), but the Regional Sports Networks are included in the $89.99 Choice package or higher.

(Disclosure: StayingFrugal is an affiliate of Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Stream and fuboTV – Learn More)

Bally Sports Plus

If your local team broadcasts on a Bally Sports network (formerly Fox Sports) you also have the option of subscribing directly to your local Bally Sports channel via Bally Sports Plus. For $19.99 per month or $189.99 per year you get access to all NBA and NHL content on the channel, as well as MLB in some markets.

Of course the downside to Bally Sports Plus is that it does not include national networks like TNT, ESPN and NBA TV required to watch nationally broadcast games, but if you’re not interested in those and don’t care to watch other channels this is a great way to see your games and save money.

NBC Sports Networks on Peacock

Although it’s not available at the time of this post but NBCUniversal announced that NBC Sports networks will soon be included in the Peacock streaming network in the near future. Considering Peacock only costs $4.99 per month this would be the best bargain in sports for those who live in NBC Sports broadcast areas.

With that all out of the way, let’s take a look at what streaming options are available in your NBA team’s area.

Team By Team NBA Streaming Options

TeamNetworkStreaming Options
Atlanta HawksBally Sports SoutheastDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Boston CelticsNBC Sports BostonHulu Live TV
fuboTV
DirecTV Stream
YouTube TV
Brooklyn NetsYES NetworkDirecTV Stream
Charlotte HornetsBally Sports SoutheastDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Chicago BullsNBC Sports ChicagoHulu Live TV
fuboTV
DirecTV Stream
YouTube TV
Cleveland CavaliersBally Sports OhioBally Sports Plus
Dallas MavericksBally Sports SouthwestDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Denver NuggetsAltitude NetworkDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Detroit PistonsBally Sports DetroitDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Golden State WarriorsNBC Sports Bay AreaHulu Live TV
fuboTV
DirecTV Stream
YouTube TV
Houston RocketsAT&T Sportsnet SouthwestDirecTV Stream
Indiana PacersBally Sports MidwestDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Los Angeles ClippersBally Sports Southern CaliforniaDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Los Angeles LakersSpectrum SportsNetDirecTV Stream
Memphis GrizzliesBally Sports SoutheastDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Miami HeatBally Sports SunDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Milwaukee BucksBally Sports WisconsinDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Minnesota TimberwolvesBally Sports NorthDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
New Orleans PelicansBally Sports New OrleansDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
New York KnicksMSG NetworkDirecTV Stream
fuboTV
Oklahoma City ThunderBally Sports Oklahoma CityDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Orlando MagicBally Sports SunDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Philadelphia 76ersNBC Sports PhiladelphiaHulu Live TV
fuboTV
YouTube TV
Phoenix SunsBally Sports ArizonaDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Portland Trail BlazersRoot Sports NorthwestfuboTV
YouTube TV
Sacramento KingsNBC Sports CaliforniaHulu Live TV
fuboTV
DirecTV Stream
YouTube TV
San Antonio SpursBally Sports SouthwestDirecTV Stream
Bally Sports Plus
Utah JazzAT&T Sportsnet Rocky MountainfuboTV
YouTube TV
Washington WizardsNBC Sports WashingtonHulu Live TV
fuboTV
DirecTV Stream
YouTube TV
Toronto RaptorsSportsNet (Canada)SportsNet Now

Out of Market Games

Strangely, the NBA makes their games much easier to stream if you’re a fan of a team outside your local viewing area. If this applies to you then all you need to do in this case is sign up for NBA League Pass, which costs $99.99 for the whole season or $129.99 for no commercials and two simultaneous streams.  

One thing to note is if your out of market team plays a game in your local market, your League Pass game will be subject to blackout. For example, a Celtics fan living in Minnesota would have their games blacked out when they play the Timberwolves, but available when the Celts play against the rest of the league. 


Summary

To watch NBA games without cable, and you live in your local team’s broadcast area, you’ll need to subscribe to a streaming network like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV or DirecTV Stream, with YouTube TV being the cheapest at $64.99 at the time of this review. Sling TV does not include regional networks at this time, but does include ESPN and TNT in some packages.

For those with a Bally Sports Network you also have the option of Bally Sports Plus for $19.99 per month, but that only includes Bally Sports and does not include national NBA broadcast networks TNT or ESPN.

Lastly if you live outside your favorite team’s broadcast area you also have the much cheaper and easier option of watching on NBA League Pass for $99 per year.

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