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NBA Live Stream: How to watch basketball without cable

Do you want to watch NBA games live from anywhere in the world, for free? The main option for catching your favorite team without having to pay is to make use of one of the free streaming service trials available right now. However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, you’ll have to shell out for a monthly streaming subscription. Our top recommendations for watching the NBA, free or otherwise, include Fubo TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Read on to learn more about what each of these streaming providers offer and why they are the best options for watching NBA games live.

The best way to watch NBA basketball

Watch NBA Basketball on FuboTV

FuboTV app icon on Apple TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Our top recommendation for watching NBA basketball anywhere online is FuboTV. Once you subscribe, you’ll have access to a huge selection of cable TV channels, not just sports or NBA-focused ones. Plus, you can watch from any compatible device, including your phone, tablet, or smart TV. The best part? There’s a FuboTV free trial, which allows subscribers to watch to their heart’s content for an entire month. That’s right, you get a whole month of TV streaming for free, including live sports like NBA basketball games.

Other ways to watch NBA basketball

Watch NBA Basketball on Sling TV

Sling TV app icon on Apple TV.
Digital Trends

Starting at $15 per month, Sling TV’s NBA League Pass package allows you to access and watch every national NBA game, and every out-of-market game, with a few blackout restrictions. You’ll also get 31 channels including NBA TV, and individual team channels.

The other more comprehensive solution for watching NBA games live is Sling Orange at $40 per month, discounted to $20 for your first month for new subscribers. With Orange, you get access to 31 live cable TV channels like ESPN, TNT, TBS, CNN, HGTV, and many many more. It expands your potential entertainment outside of NBA basketball, including to other live sports. While there is no Sling TV free trial, you can sign up to access the free service, but content is limited.

Watch NBA Basketball on Hulu with Live TV

The live guide on Hulu With Live TV.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Hulu’s version of live streaming TV is aptly named Hulu with Live TV. While it is slightly different than the standard Hulu, and Hulu does have a free trial, the live service arm does not. The good news is that you can watch live sports, including NBA basketball games, on Hulu with Live TV, plus you get access to over 85 live cable channels including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, TNT, and beyond. The Hulu with Live TV plan is $70 per month, allowing up to two simultaneous streams at once, from any device. There is an unlimited screens option that you can add-on if you need to stream from more devices than that all at once.

Watch NBA Basketball on YouTube with Live TV

YouTube TV clock.
YouTube TV

Similar to some of the other services, YouTube TV, or YouTube with Live TV, allows you to watch live cable channels online, from anywhere. Because it provides access to channels that broadcast NBA basketball games, you can use it to watch NBA live stream content. With a subscription, you can access over 100 channels, including FOX, ESPN, CNN, TNT, ABC. You can also add-on channels like the NBA League Pass to make sure you never miss any games due to blackout restrictions. YouTube TV starts at $65 per month for over 100 channels, including NFL and NBA networks, with unlimited DVR space to record live broadcasts if you can’t be there to watch. The base plan is available for $55 for your first three months for new subscribers, which is a discount of $10. YouTube TV does offer a free 5-day trial if you’re desperate to catch a certain game but not quite ready to pay for a subscription.

Watch NBA Basketball From Abroad with a VPN

NordVPN company name and logo, blue mountain peaks against a white circle on a blue background.
NordVPN

Traveling abroad, away from your home country? You may run into a snag when trying to watch NBA basketball live online. Some services, like FuboTV, ESPN, and Sling TV, region-lock access based on your current IP address. Since your IP is assigned when you connect to the internet, generally from where you’re located, you might find yourself unable to watch your favorite team tear up the court. There is a workaround, and it’s both easy to setup, and free if you’re a new subscriber.

Dish is hands-down the best way to watch basketball at home, offering access to ESPN, TNT and NBA TV, so you can watch all of the matches in the season, as well as multi-view so you can watch up to four live at the same time.

To watch NBA basketball abroad, you’ll need a VPN or virtual private network. Our top recommendation for exactly this is NordVPN, which will assign you an IP in the country of your choosing, in this case the United States, allowing you to mask your current IP. The best part is that there is a NordVPN free trial you can use, for up to a month totally free. With access, you’ll be better protected, as the masked IP helps protect your anonymity and privacy while browsing online, and you’ll be able to watch services that would otherwise be restricted like FuboTV. That way, you can watch NBA live stream content from anywhere in the world.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I watch the NBA for free?

To watch the NBA for free, you can make use of the free streaming trials offered from the likes of FuboTV or YouTube TV. Don’t be fooled by the offer of free games from the NBA CrunchTime app—that only includes game highlights.

Can I watch NBA League Pass for free?

The NBA League Pass is not free, as it costs $69.99 for the season if you purchase it as a standalone service. However, it does come with a free 7-day trial.

Is the NBA free on YouTube? 

NBA games aren’t broadcast for free on regular YouTube. However, if you sign up for YouTube TV, the company’s live TV service, you can catch games on any of its network channels or via a NBA League Pass add-on.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Briley Kenney
Briley has been writing about consumer electronics and technology for over a decade. When he's not writing about deals for…
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