How to watch and stream the 2021 NBA basketball season without cable

October is lastly right here, which implies it is time for the NBA to show the warmth up on the courts. The league ideas off its Seventy fifth-anniversary season on Oct. 19 with a full 82-game slate for the primary time in two years — and the storylines could not be any extra intense. 

Are LeBron James and the Lakers on a collision course with Kevin Durant and the Nets for the NBA title? Or will Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks show that they’re greater than only a one-hit marvel and win back-to-back championships? 


Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates within the remaining second earlier than defeating the Phoenix Suns in Recreation 6 to win the 2021 NBA Finals.

Justin Casterline/Getty Photographs

This season the NBA will proceed its expanded playoff format with a play-in event on the finish of the season for the groups seeded 7-10 in every convention. The winners will take the final two seeds of their convention and proceed on to battle within the conventional 16-team best-of-seven collection construction. The motion goes to be tight all season lengthy as groups jockey for playoff positions. 

So what does all this imply for NBA followers seeking to stream their staff’s video games? To start with, followers will most probably want entry to a couple channels in an effort to catch each second of the season. ABC and ESPN will mix to televise 101 video games, TNT will air 65 and NBA TV can have 107. All out-of-market video games will proceed to air on NBA League Move.

The excellent news is that you do not want cable to look at basketball this 12 months, nevertheless it nonetheless is perhaps the best and least expensive alternative relying on the place you reside.

Learn extra: NFL 2021: How to watch and stream football, RedZone this season without cable

Stay TV streaming providers vs. cable

Die-hard sports activities followers are beholden to regional sports activities networks, or RSNs, that carry nearly all of the video games for his or her native staff. These RSNs are normally included in native cable packages, so most cable subscribers by no means have to fret about having access to the broadcasts on these channels: They will merely activate the TV and watch the sport. 

Twine-cutting basketball followers have a harder path. Due to rights agreements, most live TV streaming services like YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV do not carry many RSNs. DirecTV Stream is the exception. It has practically each RSN, notably the Bally Sports activities channels (previously Fox Sports activities) provided by Sinclair, however you will must spring for its $85-a-month plan. 

Learn extra: DirecTV Stream review: Expensive, but the best option for streaming NBA and NHL

Finally, relying in your location, getting a cable subscription that features ESPN, TNT and the native RSN may really be cheaper and simpler than streaming — particularly if it is bundled with the house web you will seemingly be getting anyway. 

NBA League Move, NBA TV and blackouts

For NBA followers seeking to watch a ton of out-of-market basketball, a subscription to NBA League Move has rather a lot to supply. You may get the entire NBA slate for $199 for the season, with commercials and one gadget, or $249 for the season with in-arena feeds as a substitute of commercials, and the power to look at on two gadgets directly. These thinking about following solely a single staff can purchase a Group Move for $119 for the season.

The important thing catch right here is “out-of-market.” Most followers are in-market, which means they observe the native staff, and sadly for them RSNs have broadcast exclusivity within the area that they cowl. Which means native NBA video games are blacked out on NBA League Move.

If you happen to’re dwelling in Los Angeles, for instance, you will not be capable of watch Lakers or Clippers video games on NBA League Move. The identical goes for Knicks followers in New York, Bucks followers in Milwaukee and so forth. The one approach to watch most of these house staff video games in your house market is to get a service that has the native RSN, particularly Spectrum SportsNet, Bally Sports activities SoCal, MSG Community or Bally Sports activities Wisconsin. 

Providers like NBA League Move use IP addresses to dam out video games in viewers’ areas — you will simply get a black display should you attempt to watch these video games. That is why League Move is good for many who wish to observe a number of of the groups primarily based in cities aside from their very own, aka out-of-market groups, however for native followers it is not as helpful. 

In one other twist, the NBA TV community will broadcast 107 video games this season that can be thought-about nationwide for these out-of-market. Which means you’ll nonetheless be capable of watch your native staff play in your RSN, however viewers across the nation will want NBA TV in an effort to watch the sport — it is going to be blacked out on League Move.

Fortunately, League Move subscribers have the choice of including NBA TV to their bundle for an additional $60 a 12 months or $7 a month. That is most probably one of many least expensive methods to get NBA TV for the out-of-market fan. 

YouTube TV is the one dwell TV streaming service that features NBA TV in its base channel lineup. DirecTV Stream, FuboTV and Sling provide the channel solely on higher-priced tiers or in particular add-ons; see under for particulars.

DirecTV Stream: Greatest for followers of the native staff at $85

For these decided to look at their native basketball staff with out a cable or satellite tv for pc TV subscription, a dwell TV streaming service is the very best wager. Whereas it’s expensive, DirecTV Stream is the best choice for most individuals, notably these the place the native video games air on Bally Sports activities networks. 

Beneath is a chart of the entire NBA groups within the US and their corresponding RSNs. 

Notice: Not one of the (US-based) providers carry the RSN for the Toronto Raptors. Followers seeking to watch Fred VanVleet and co. want to make use of NBA League Move to get all of the video games that aren’t both in your native RSN or on a US nationwide broadcast.

RSN availability by staff and streaming service

Group Community Identify DirecTV Stream FuboTV YouTube TV Hulu Plus Stay TV Sling Blue
Atlanta Hawks Bally Sports activities Southeast Sure No No No No
Boston Celtics NBC Sports activities Boston Sure Sure Sure Sure No
Brooklyn Nets YES Community Sure No No No No
Charlotte Hornets Bally Sports activities Southeast Sure No No No No
Chicago Bulls NBC Sports activities Chicago Sure Sure Sure Sure No
Cleveland Cavaliers Bally Sports activities Ohio Sure No No No No
Dallas Mavericks Bally Sports activities Southwest Sure No No No No
Denver Nuggets Altitude Sure No No No No
Detroit Pistons Bally Sports activities Detroit Sure No No No No
Golden State Warriors NBC Sports activities Bay Space Sure Sure Sure Sure No
Houston Rockets AT&T SportsNet Southwest Sure Sure No No No
Indiana Pacers Bally Sports activities Indiana Sure No No No No
Los Angeles Clippers Bally Sports activities SoCal Sure No No No No
Los Angeles Lakers Spectrum SportsNet Sure No No No No
Memphis Grizzlies Bally Sports activities Southeast Sure No No No No
Miami Warmth Bally Sports activities Solar Sure No No No No
Milwaukee Bucks Bally Sports activities Wisconsin Sure No No No No
Minnesota Timberwolves Bally Sports activities North Sure No No No No
New Orleans Pelicans Bally Sports activities New Orleans Sure No No No No
New York Knicks MSG Sure Sure No No No
Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder Bally Sports activities Oklahoma Sure No No No No
Orlando Magic Bally Sports activities Florida Sure No No No No
Philadelphia 76ers NBC Sports activities Philadelphia No Sure Sure Sure No
Phoenix Suns Bally Sports activities Arizona Sure No No No No
Portland Path Blazers Root Sports activities Northwest Sure Sure No No No
Sacramento Kings NBC Sports activities California Sure Sure Sure Sure No
San Antonio Spurs Bally Sports activities Southwest Sure No No No No
Utah Jazz AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain Sure Sure No No No
Washington Wizards NBC Sports activities Washington Sure Sure Sure Sure No

Some key takeaways:

  • The RSNs above are sometimes solely obtainable to native subscribers. Discuss with the person service’s particulars under to seek out out should you dwell in a spot the place you’ll be able to obtain a specific RSN. 
  • DirecTV Stream’s $85-a-month Selection bundle consists of NBA TV and the entire RSNs for basketball, apart from NBC Sports activities Philadelphia. Sixers followers hoping to look at Joel Embiid pulverize the competitors should look elsewhere. 
  • They may bounce over to FuboTV, Hulu Plus Stay TV or YouTube TV, which all carry NBC Sports activities Philadelphia, however followers of different groups will principally be out of luck. FuboTV solely presents 10 RSNs for basketball, whereas Hulu Plus Stay TV and YouTube TV solely have six. Sling TV does not provide a single RSN.

One different observe: If you happen to do not acknowledge the identify of a few of these channels, don’t fret. As talked about, the Fox Sports activities RSNs have been rebranded as Bally Sports activities, as a result of the channels are not owned by Fox however Sinclair, which has since partnered with on line casino group Bally’s to rename them. 

DirecTV Stream is dear. It is the priciest of the 5 main dwell TV streaming providers, nevertheless it’s additionally the one with probably the most RSNs. Its least expensive, $70-a-month Plus bundle consists of ESPN, ABC, TNT and TBS. You will want to maneuver as much as the $85-a-month Selection plan to get any obtainable RSN in addition to NBA TV. You should utilize its channel lookup tool to see which native channels and RSNs can be found in your space. 

Greatest choices for nationally broadcast video games

Apart from DirecTV Stream, the chances are lengthy {that a} dwell TV streaming service carries the RSN to your native staff’s video games, which makes the opposite 4 providers higher bets for watching nationally televised video games. 

FuboTV prices $65 per thirty days and presents 10 RSNs for basketball. It additionally consists of ESPN, however not TBS — which is perhaps an issue for some basketball followers. However you’ll be able to add NBA TV for an additional $7 a month with the Fubo Additional Bundle or pay for the $80-a-month Elite streaming tier, which incorporates Fubo Additional. Try which local networks and RSNs it offers here.

YouTube TV prices $65 a month and presents six RSNs for basketball, together with the entire nationwide broadcasts together with NBA TV. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which native networks and RSNs can be found in your space.

Hulu Plus Stay TV prices $65 a month and carries six RSNs for basketball, together with ESPN, ABC, TBS and TNT, however not NBA TV. Click on the “View all channels in your space” hyperlink on the backside of its welcome page to see which native networks and RSNs can be found the place you reside.

Sling Blue presently lacks a single RSN to look at basketball. You’ll be able to, nevertheless, use Sling to look at some nationwide broadcasts. Sling TV’s Orange plan consists of ESPN, and each plans provide TBS, however none of them provide you with entry to ABC. NBA TV is obtainable as a part of the Sports activities Additional add-on, which prices $11 a month for both the Blue or Orange plan, or $15 for the mixed Orange-and-Blue plan. The person plans price $35 a month every, and the Orange-and-Blue plan prices $50 a month. You’ll be able to see which local channels you get here.

Every dwell TV streaming service presents a free trial, lets you cancel anytime and requires a stable web connection. On the lookout for extra data? Try our live TV streaming services guide. | How one can watch and stream the 2021 NBA basketball season with out cable


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