The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA Championship in October, but the new 2020-21 NBA season has already begun. Even if you lost your cable subscription, you can still see court stars watching it throughout the season with the right video streaming service. Our guide covers everything you need to know before making a decision.
Watch NBA on video streaming services
The 2020–21 NBA season began on December 22, 2020 and runs until May 16, 2021. This is a long time to subscribe to any live TV streaming service, so be sure to choose wisely. The first thing to consider is whether a service needs to watch every regular-season NBA game in your area. This season, the national-market game will air on ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and TNT. YouTube TV is currently the only live TV service we’ve reviewed that offers all of these national broadcast channels without any add-ons or workarounds.
Unlike NFL games, however, not all NBA games air on national channels. Some sports are broadcast on the Regional Sports Network (RSN) which are available only in local markets. Most RSNs are owned by Sinclair (FOX Sports, soon to be re-established as Bally Sports Network channel), Comcast (NBC Sports) or AT&T (SportsNet). Blackout rules still apply for video streaming services, so it is important to know if one of these RSNs owns the broadcasting rights of your local team. Do not confuse RSN with your local broadcasting partner; NBC Sports Philadelphia is separate from the local NBC station in Philadelphia.
At the time of publication, Fox Sports RSNs 17 NBA Covered Teams, NBC Sports RSN Features nine NBA teams, and AT&T’s Sportsnet RSN Handle local broadcasts for two NBA teams. These local channels are available only to customers who live in the local market. Currently, AT&T TV is the only service that includes Fox Sports, NBC Sports (though it is missing a few of these), and Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV followed by SportsNet RSN, and YouTube TV all featuring Fox Sports NNS. Has left. Again, the RSN you require depends on your location, so don’t immediately miss a service that doesn’t have a special set of RSNs. For more information, see List of regional NBA broadcasters.
When you choose between them you should compare the technical specifications of these streaming services. For example, if you want to record and re-watch games regularly, check the service’s DVR storage limit. If you have a lot of people in your household who all want to watch TV at the same time, then you need a service that supports a lot of concurrent streams. Verify that each service you hire supports all streaming devices that you have, too.
What is an NBA League Pass?
The NBA also offers several subscription options: Live TV ($ 6.99 per month), One Team ($ 119.99), NBA League Pass ($ 199.99), and NBA League Pass Premium ($ 249.99). The Live TV option gives you access to NBA coverage and airs regular season games on NBA TV. The One Team Plan enables you to watch live, out-of-market games for a team. The NBA League Pass scheme allows you to watch hundreds of games from around the league, while the NBA League Pass Premium Tier gives you the same allowances without advertisements. One Team and both League Pass plans support offline download, but only the League Pass Premium Tier lets you stream to two devices simultaneously.
All NBA league pass plans are subject to blackout restrictions, So you won’t be able to watch every local or national broadcast game live. Yet NBA League Pass is one of the few ways to watch market games live. The NBA League Pass audio option ($ 9.99) allows customers to listen to every game without a blackout.
Cable and over-the-air options
Another way to ensure that you can watch all the regular CBA games in your area is to sign up for a cable plan with a premium sports package that includes all local RSNs. A cable plan is usually more expensive than live streaming options, but is great for those who want to get the widest possible variety of cable TV networks for one price.
Because some NBA games will air on ABC, you can pick up those games on antenna or lowcast, a cheaper streaming option that includes all local channels.
If you are looking forward to watching sports other than NBA, check out our roundup of the best sports streaming services. Baseball fans should read our guide to the best MLB streaming services.
The best NBA playoff streaming services featured in this roundup:
Hulu + Zee TV
$ 64.99 per month
Hulu + Live TV’s lineup includes ABC, ESPN and TNT, so only NBA TV is missing for regular season viewing of the national NBA broadcast. It also has NBC Sports RSN, but lacks Fox Sports and SportsNet RSN. Other sports channels in Hulu’s lineup include BTN, CBS Sports Network, ESPN2, FS1, Golf Channel and NAPE Sports Network. Optional Español Add-on ($ 4.99 per month) You get international sports coverage through ESPN Deportes.
You get 50 hours of DVR storage with your subscription, but the enhanced cloud DVR increases this limit to 200 hours. The unlimited screen add-on is also useful; This allows you to stream an unlimited number of devices on your home network and keep three mobile devices away from it. The pair costs $ 14.98 per month, or you can buy them separately for $ 9.99 per month. Hulu supports 1080p live streams on select platforms. An important benefit of Hulu is that ad-supported access to its on-demand library of shows and films is included in the subscription price.
You can stream Hulu + Live TV on the web or apps for mobile platforms (Android and iOS), media streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV and Roku), smart TVs and game consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, and) Can download. Nintendo Switch).
$ 64.99 per month
YouTube TV has all the channels an NBA fan needs to keep up with the season, including ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. The service includes all NBC Sports RSNs, but does not provide Fox Sports RSNs or SportsNet RSNs. Die-hard fans can add on NBA League Pass for $ 39.99 per month or $ 249.99 for the entire season.
YouTube TV also includes networks such as Golf Channel, MLB Network, NFL Network, Tennis Channel and Olympic Channel. Fox Soccer Plus and NFL Redzone are available for $ 15 per month in Sports Plus add-ons.
With your subscription, you get unlimited cloud DVR storage (with recordings available for up to nine months), three simultaneous device streams, 1080p live stream on select platforms, and support for six user accounts with your YouTube TV subscription.
The service is available on the web, mobile platforms (Android and iOS), media streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV and Roku), smart TVs, and game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox).
$ 59.99 per month
FuboTV offers ABC, ESPN, NBC Sports RSN and some SportsNet RSNs, but it is missing Fox Sports RSN, NBA TV and TNT. Nevertheless, the service offers one of the most comprehensive sports lineups with channels such as CBS Sports Network, FS1, Golf Channel, and NFL Network. fuboTV also has an impressive international sports lineup; Bein Sports, GOL TV and TUDN are just a few of those available.
A fuboTV subscription includes up to 30 hours of DVR content, which you can keep forever. It offers two cloud DVR add-ons that increase the limit to 250 ($ 9.99 per month) or 1,000 hours ($ 16.99 per month). FuboTV provides add-ons to extend the stream limit from two devices (the default) to up to five devices on your home network. The service includes two excellent playback features: Lookback, which allows you to watch certain sports events up to 72 hours after they are broadcast, and Startover, which allows you to start some live events from the beginning.
Most of FuboTV’s live streams are limited to 720p / 60fps, although the service broadcasts some programming in 4K. FuboTV has on-demand content in 1080p, although some titles are available in 4K. FuboTV is available via the web or with a dedicated app for mobile platforms (Android and iOS) and media streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV and Roku devices), but not game consoles.
$ 35 per month
This will take some work, but you can play almost all regular CBA games with Sling TV. Orange and Blue plans ($ 50 per month for both or $ 35 per month for one) include TNT and ESPN. If you add on the Sports Extra Package ($ 11 per month), you get NBA TV with 20 other sports channels such as FS2, MLB Network and Golf Channel. Sling TV enables you to subscribe directly to NBA League Pass.
To watch your local ABC channel, you need to install the HD antenna and hook it up with a sling. It’s cumbersome, but it’s an option for existing Sling TV customers who don’t want to miss an NBA game this season.
Regional sports networks are mostly missed. You can get some NBC Sports RSNs with Sling TV depending on your location, but Fox Sports and SportsNet RSNs are not available. Although it does not affect your ability to watch NBA games, there is no way to get CBS on Sling TV.
The Cloud DVR feature included in Sling TV provides 50 hours of storage, but you can get 200 hours of cloud storage and the ability to save recordings from being auto-deleted for the Cloud DVR Plus add-on ($ 5 per month) Huh. storage capacity. You can stream up to four devices at once with Sling Orange + Blue.
Sling TV is available on media streaming devices (Apple TV (4G generation only), Chromecast, Fire TV and Roku), mobile platforms (iOS and Android), and Xbox consoles.
$ 69.99 per month
AT & T TV’s entry-level entertainment tier includes ABC, ESPN and TNT, making it a good choice for casual NBA fans. The $ 84.99 per month choice plan includes sports channels such as ACC, Big 10 Network, ESPNews, ESPNU, MLB Network, NBA TV and Tennis Channel. This tier also includes RSNs from AT&T, Comcast, and Sinclair, even missing some of the NBC Sports RSNs. AT&T TV is the only service we’ve reviewed that offers RSN from all three media networks, so this may be the best option for you if your local team’s game is broadcast on one of these channels.
AT&T TV offers playback devices similar to fuboTV. The service’s lookback and rewind features allow sports fans to watch previously aired content (up to 72 hours in the past) and resume live streams from the start of broadcasting for certain channels. The service maintains DVR recording for 90 days, but provides only 20 hours of DVR storage. AT&T TV is available on the web, streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), mobile platforms (Android and iOS), but not gaming consoles. The service supports three streams simultaneously per account.