NBA Live Stream Guide: How to Legally Watch NBA Online (2016-2017)

NBA Book Cover NBA

The NBA is back for the 2016-2017 season! Looking for a way to watch NBA online without cable? Check out our full guide to legal NBA live stream options.

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Sling TV buttonUnited States Only

International Only (Canada, etc)

It’s been one of the most exciting offseasons in NBA history, and now it’s time for the 2016-2017 NBA season to begin. If you’re looking for the complete guide to legal NBA live stream options, you’ve come to the right place!

While cable remains the most common way to watch NBA games and all kinds of live sports, it’s also the most expensive. Cable bills have soared in recent years, with many people paying $100 or more each month just to watch their favorite teams play. If you’re tired of paying a fortune for cable, you should know about your alternatives for how to watch NBA games online, as well as ways to enjoy all your other favorite sports. 

Today, there are several ways to watch NBA online without cable. If you’d like to catch an occasional NBA live stream, or if you’d like to follow your favorite team throughout the season, we’ll show you the best ways to enjoy NBA live streaming without needing a cable subscription.

Live outside the United States? Check out international NBA live stream options here.


Sling TV Offers the Best Way to Watch NBA Online without Cable

Sling TV

There are a variety of online NBA live streaming options available, but one of the best is Sling TV.

Sling TV is a cable alternative that provides live streaming of many popular cable networks, including ESPN networks, TNT, ABC, FOX Sports Regional networks, and 20+ other great channels. Sling’s packages start from only $20 a month, with NO contract required! All of those channels will be carrying NBA regular season and NBA playoffs games. 

Sling TV works without a cable subscription, and is offered without a long-term contract. You can use it on your computer, your smartphone, tablet, gaming console, streaming device, or smart TV.

In all, Sling TV gives you:

  • Live coverage of all games aired on ESPN (every Wednesday and Friday)
  • Live coverage of all games aired on TNT (every Thursday and some Tuesdays)
  • Live coverage of post-game coverage from TNT (Inside the NBA and more)
  • Live coverage of all games aired on ABC via the WatchESPN App 
  • Live coverage of all local games aired on your FOX Sports Regional Network (see list below)
  • All that, plus coverage from 20+ other great TV channels like TBS, Comedy Central, CNN and more
  • Plans start at just $20 a month, with NO contract required!
  • A FREE 7-day trial 

As you can see, Sling TV offers a ton of NBA content every week, throughout the whole season. And it’s only $20 per month, and available on a no-contract basis.

Basically, Sling TV gives you full access to 25+ cable channels – without the cable bill! With Sling TV, you can enjoy NBA live streaming on your TV using a streaming device (Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, etc.) or on your favorite mobile device. And for T-Mobile customers, you can even stream Sling TV onto your qualifying T-Mobile device for 30% less per month! For up to one year, you pay just $14/month for all that Sling TV’s Sling Orange package has to offer. Cancel at any time, and rest assured that Sling TV’s streaming won’t count against your data usage each month as it’s covered under T-Mobile’s Binge On feature. This is by far the cheapest NBA live stream option out there.

If you go with the Sling Blue package, which is $25 a month, you may also get your local FOX Sports regional network. For fans of the following teams, this will allow them to watch ALL of their local team’s games live:

  • Phoenix Suns – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Arizona
  • Cleveland Cavaliers – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Ohio
  • Los Angeles Clippers – locals can watch live on FOX Sports West
  • Orlando Magic – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Florida
  • Atlanta Hawks – locals can watch live on FOX Sports South
  • Detroit Pistons – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Detroit
  • Minnesota Timberwolves – locals can watch live on FOX Sports North
  • Los Angeles Clippers – locals can watch live on FOX Sports San Diego (via FOX Sports West + Prime Ticket)
  • Memphis Grizzlies/Charlotte Hornets/Atlanta Hawks – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Southeast
  • Dallas Mavericks/San Antonio Spurs – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Southwest
  • Brooklyn Nets – locals can watch live on YES Network
  • Oklahoma City Thunder – locals can watch live on FOX Sports KC or FOX Sports Oklahoma
  • Miami Heat – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Sun
  • Milwaukee Bucks – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Wisconsin
  • Charlotte Hornets – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Carolinas
  • Indiana Pacers – locals can watch live on FOX Sports Indiana
  • New Orleans Pelicans – locals can watch live on FOX Sports New Orleans

It’s important to note that you will only get the network(s) that is local to your area. It’s also possible that select games will be blacked out, but most will be available to watch live. Click here to find out which FOX Sports regional networks are available in your area, or see our Sling TV review for more info.

And don’t forget, some of Sling TV’s packages also include ESPN live stream, ESPN2, TNT streaming, TBS, Adult Swim, and more. All of these channels are available nationwide, to ALL Sling TV subscribers. There’s something to watch for the whole family. But who cares about selection? We’re here to talk about basketball! So, how does Sling TV help you watch NBA games online?

Sling TV gives subscribers full access to all content from ESPN, which airs hundreds of NBA games each season and the NBA Draft live stream during the offseason. ESPN has games every Wednesday and Friday throughout the regular season plus plenty of playoffs coverage, and with Sling TV you’ll be able to watch them live every week, just like if you had cable.

In addition to ESPN, you’ll also gain access to content from TNT, which offers NBA streaming on Thursdays and some Tuesdays, plus live coverage of Opening Night games and the NBA All Star Game streaming. TNT also offers tons of valuable post-game coverage, including the incredibly popular Inside the NBA.

Lastly, when you subscribe to Sling TV, you’ll be able to use the WatchESPN App for free, to enjoy all games that ABC airs.

Also – for a limited time, Sling TV is running a number of awesome promotions. Some of the best deals include:

Regardless of which deal you choose, you’ll be getting a fantastic bargain, and you’ll be able to enjoy being able to watch NBA games online without the ridiculous expense of cable TV.


PlayStation Vue Offers Another Way to Watch NBA Live Stream

Playstation Vue is a new live streaming service from Sony. Vue is a service similar to Sling TV, offering live content from a number of popular cable channels, including the ESPN networks and TNT. So, with Vue, you can watch all the NBA games that air on those channels throughout the playoffs.

Unfortunately, Playstation Vue does have a few drawbacks. To start, its basic package is more bloated, making it a bit more expensive than Sling TV, starting at $29.99-$39.99 a month depending on location, compared to Sling’s $20 a month. Vue is currently available on PS3/PS4 gaming consoles, Fire TV, and Chromecast streaming players (no Apple TV support). While Vue is also available on mobile iOS devices, it has severe mobile streaming restrictions, blocking access to most channels if you try to stream on the go outside your home network.

Check out our full PlayStation Vue review for more info on the service.


NBA League Pass offers Live and On-Demand NBA Streaming

watch the nba online with nba league pass

Another solid option to watch NBA online without cable is NBA League Pass. 

League Pass is the official streaming service of the NBA. Subscribers to this service will enjoy both NBA live streams and on-demand replays of NBA games, all season long.

Unfortunately, there’s one catch, and it’s a big one: NBA League Pass blocks out local teams. Due to NBA streaming licensing, NBA streaming services are not allowed to offer live streaming of local teams. So, you won’t be able to watch any games from teams within your local broadcasting area. For example, if you’re a Chicago Bulls fan living in the Chicago area, you won’t be able to watch the Bulls with this service. Because of this, NBA League Pass is better for those who do not live close to their favorite team(s).

NBA League Pass offers a convenient and easy way to keep up with all the NBA action you crave. During the regular season, fans will be able to stream up to 40 games per week. Here’s a breakdown of everything you’ll get with NBA League Pass:

  • Live streaming of up to 40 NBA games per week
  • On-demand replays of every NBA game of the regular season
  • On-demand streaming of classic NBA games
  • Stream up to 4 games at once
  • Watch NBA streams on all your favorite devices – computers, mobile devices, streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, gaming consoles, and more
  • One-step live game access through social media posts

NBA League Pass is priced at $199 per season, or 5 installments of $44.99. This package gives you access to live and on-demand games from every NBA team, all season long.

You can also get NBA Team Pass, a similar service that offers the same NBA live stream and other content – but only for a single team of your choosing. Team Pass is available for $119.99 per season, or 5 installments of $26.99.

If you just want to catch a certain game, you can also get a NBA Single Game pass for just $6.99. This one-time purchase will give you access to a live NBA stream of the game of your choosing.

*Please note: all packages include local blackouts*


Catch Featured Games on ABC with an Antenna

antenna DVR combo

If you have an HD antenna, you can enjoy several live NBA games throughout the season, for free! You don’t need cable or any sort of subscription – all you need is a quality HD antenna.

A good antenna will let you watch all over-the-air channels for free. ABC is freely broadcasted over-the-air, so you’ll be able to watch all ABC content for free. For NBA fans, that means several free NBA games throughout the season. ABC tends to air a featured game or two each weekend, which you’ll be able to enjoy live without cable.

For more flexibility, you can always record the games you want to watch and view them later, on your own schedule. A DVR is all you need. For the best DVR options, see our guide to DVRs.


International NBA Live Stream Information

Watch NBA Online without Blackouts with NBA League Pass International

If you live outside of the United States, you can subscribe to NBA League Pass International for the best NBA live stream experience. The international version of this service is very similar to the standard domestic version described above, with one big difference: the international version does not have blackouts. So, unlike the domestic version, subscribers to League Pass International will be able to watch live games from every single NBA team, all season long.

The exact price and content available can vary depending on which country you live in. Typically, the prices are about the same as the domestic version, but International does offer a better value since there aren’t blackouts. Here are some links to a few popular International League Pass pages:


Use a VPN to Watch NBA Games Live from Outside the US

If you live outside the US and are unable to access some of the best NBA streaming services, there is an alternative. You can use a VPN to access NBA live stream from your computer.


Do you have any questions about legal NBA live stream services? Contact us and we’ll help. Curious about other sports? Check our live sports streaming guide for more. 


NBA Team Guide

Eastern ConferenceWestern Conference
Boston CelticsDallas Mavericks
Brooklyn NetsHouston Rockets
New York KnicksMemphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ersNew Orleans Pelicans
Toronto RaptorsSan Antonio Spurs
Chicago BullsDenver Nuggets
Cleveland CavaliersMinnesota Timberwolves
Detroit PistonsOklahoma City Thunder
Indiana PacersPortland Trail Blazers
Milwaukee BucksUtah Jazz
Atlanta HawksGolden State Warriors
Charlotte HornetsLos Angeles Clippers
Miami HeatLos Angeles Lakers
Orlando MagicPhoenix Suns
Washington WizardsSacramento Kings