Update: Revised for the 2017 NBA Finals.
With three rounds of the NBA Playoffs in the books, a mere four victories separate the final two teams — the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers — from hoisting the coveted Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Can LeBron James and the Cavaliers repeat as champions, or will Steph Curry and the lights-out Warriors continue their season-long dominance and bring the Bay Area yet another World Championship? It all starts Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland; basketball fans, this is what you’ve waited for since October.
While the NBA’s popularity knows no boundaries, the same can’t be said for the broadcasts. Whether it’s your boss coming down on you for watching at work, your decision to cut cable, or some other obstacle, it’s not always easy to get your NBA fix. We feel your pain, so we’ve compiled this guide detailing how you can stream the Finals in the comforts of your own home. So bust out your favorite Bill Laimbeer throwback jersey and put on some Shawn Kemp Kamikazes, here’s your ticket to the 2017 NBA playoffs.
Live Stream on ABC’s website or using the ABC app
ABC offers a live stream of the NBA Finals online if you live in one of a few select markets, including Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. Similarly, customers with a DirecTV subscription in areas such as Albuquerque, Boston, Ft. Smith/Fayetteville, Jackson (Mississippi), Kansas City, Milwaukee, Monterey-Salinas, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Portland-Auburn (Maine), Savannah, and West Palm Beach can view the ABC live stream. Of course, you’ll need to verify your TV provider beforehand. You can also watch the Finals on your smartphone or tablet with the ABC app — again, if you’re in one of the aforementioned cities — which is available on the following platforms.
|Apple TV (2nd generation and later)||Roku|
|Amazon Fire TV||Amazon Fire TV Stick|
|Windows (Windows XP and later)
Hardware: Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor (for netbooks)
|MacOS (Mac OS X 10.6 and later)
Hardware: Intel Core Duo 1.33GHz or faster processor, MacOS v10.6 or later, 256MB of RAM, 128MB of graphics memory
|Apple iPhone (iOS 8 and later)||Apple iPad (iOS 8 and later)|
|iPod touch (iOS 8 and later)||Android phones (Android 4.0 and later)|
|Android tablets (Android 4.0 and later)||Kindle Fire HD (7.0 and 8.9-inch)|
|Kindle Fire (2nd generation and later)|
ESPN’s companion client, WatchESPN, gives NBA fans live access to any Finals game set to stream on either ESPN or ESPN 2. The service does require users to sign-in with a compatible cable or satellite subscription, hindering access to those who’ve completely gone off the grid. Nevertheless, those who possess the required credentials — or know someone who does — gain access to the exact same broadcast as those who choose to watch on television. Basically this means you won’t miss out on hearing Jeff Van Gundy go on about fired coaches, how to stop LeBron James, and his disdain for the Chicago Bulls’ management team.
|Apple iPad (iOS 8 and later)||Android TV|
|Apple iPhone (iOS 8 and later)||PlayStation 4|
|Apple TV||Xbox One|
|Apple iPod touch (iOS 8 or later)||Android phones (Android 4.0 and later)|
|Android tablets (Android 4.0 and later)||Chromecast|
|Xbox One S|
The new cord-cutter’s special from Dish Network provides a great way to watch the NBA Finals without a cable or satellite subscription. Subscribers to Sling TV’s introductory package ($20 a month) get channels such as TNT, TBS, and ESPN, granting even basic users access to the Finals.
Microsoft’s Xbox One even recently gained access to a Sling TV application, and DISH Network currently offers users a free trial of everything the streaming service offers. Although the trial lasts a mere seven days, it’s worth checking out given the sheer amount of content users have access to. Do keep in mind, however, that you need to cancel the trial before it ends, otherwise you’ll notice a one-month charge for $20 on your next bank statement. You can check availability in your area here, and browse the list of Sling TV-compatible devices below.
|Apple iPad (iOS 9 and later)||Roku (Roku LT and later)|
|Apple iPhone (iOS 9 and later)||Select LG Smart TVs|
|Apple TV (4th generation and later)||Xbox One|
|LeEco Smart TVs||Android phones (Android 4.4 and later)|
|Android tablets (Android 4.4 and later)||Mac (Lion 10.7 and later)|
|Amazon Fire TV||Kindle Fire|
|Chromecast||PC (Windows 7 or later)|
Like Dish Network, Sony recently joined the cord-cutting revolution and now offers subscriptions for its own version of an online streaming service. Called PlayStation Vue, subscribers to the service gain broadcast access to channels such as NBC, Fox, CBS, TNT, ABC, ESPN and a host of other top-tier networks. The prices of these plans vary and the most basic option with Finals coverage starts at $40.
Similar to ABC’s aforementioned streaming option, the Finals games are only available on PlayStation Vue in select cities. If you live outside of these select markets, you can watch NBA Finals games after they have aired. If you visit the PlayStation Vue website and you’re only allowed to peruse the Slim packages, then odds are you do not live in one of the select markets showing the NBA Finals. If you do, however, you can access PlayStation Vue using any of the following devices.
|iPad (2nd generation and later)||Google Chromecast (1st generation and later)|
|Apple iPhone (iOS 7 and later)||Roku devices (OS 7.1 and later)|
|iPod touch||iPad Mini (1st generation and later)|
|PlayStation 3||Amazon Fire TV|
|PlayStation 4||Android TV|
|Apple TV (4th generation running OS 10 and later)||Android tablets (Android OS version 4.4 and later)|
|Android phones (Android OS version 4.4 and later)||PlayStation Vue Mobile|
|Amazon Fire tablets (3rd generation and later)||Amazon Fire TV Stick|
The Finals schedule
(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers
Game 1: Thursday, June 1 – Cleveland at Golden State (9 p.m. ET – ABC)
Game 2: Sunday, June 4 – Cleveland at Golden State, (8 p.m. ET – ABC)
Game 3: Wednesday, June 7 – Golden State at Cleveland, (9 p.m. ET – ABC)
Game 4: Friday, June 9 – Golden State at Cleveland, (9 p.m. ET – ABC)
Game 5*: Monday, June 12 – Cleveland at Golden State, (9 p.m. ET – ABC)
Game 6*: Thursday, June 15 – Golden State at Cleveland, (9 p.m. ET – ABC)
Game 7*: Sunday, June 18 – Cleveland at Golden State, (8 p.m. ET – ABC)