How to Watch the NBA Livestream (2021-2022 Season)

Paid and free options give you the all the hoops action you want

Streaming NBA games is easy, but it's also complicated because there are many places to watch an NBA livestream. ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA TV, and various regional sports networks have broadcast rights for NBA games, so you need access to streaming sources for those if you want the best coverage.

Event Details

The 2021-2022 NBA Season kicks off on October 19, 2021. Playoffs begin April 16 and finals start on June 2.

We show you the best options for watching NBA livestreams on ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA TV, and NBA League Pass. If none of those work for you, we have some sources for free NBA livestreams that you can check out.

How to Watch the NBA Season

Four national networks share the rights to broadcast regular season and postseason games. Some games are also available on regional sports networks. That means the best way to watch is with a cable subscription or a subscription to a cable replacement streaming service.

Every team in the NBA plays 82 games per season. So, it's unlikely that anyone would want, or be able to, watch every game. If you want to leave your options open and want to watch as many games as possible, make sure you have some type of access to these channels:

  • ABC: Games are broadcast throughout the regular season on ABC each week on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. Some playoff games are shown on ABC, and the entire NBA finals are broadcast on ABC.
  • ESPN: Doubleheaders are broadcast on ESPN on Wednesday and Friday nights throughout the season. The Western Conference Finals are also on ESPN.
  • TNT: Doubleheaders are broadcast on TNT on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The Eastern Conference Finals are also on TNT.
  • NBA TV: Games are broadcast on NBA TV almost every night throughout the regular season. Some playoff games are also on this network.
  • Regional sports networks: These networks have the rights to broadcast local teams. If you have a regional sports network in your area, it may have the rights to broadcast the games of your local NBA team.

How to Stream the NBA on a Streaming Service

Since NBA games are broadcast on four networks and a variety of regional sports networks, the best way to catch the most games possible is to use a streaming service.

To use a television streaming service, you need high-speed internet and at least one device that's capable of streaming, like a computer, a phone, a set-top box like a Roku, or a game console.

These streaming services offer unique lineups of channels, so some are better for watching the NBA than others.

The streaming services in this list offer some type of free trial, so you can start streaming NBA games without paying ahead of time.

Here are the most popular streaming services and the relevant channels each offer:

  ESPN TNT NBA TV ABC
YouTube TV Yes Yes Yes Most markets
Hulu With Live TV Yes Yes No Most markets
AT&T TV Now Yes Yes Yes (Some plans) Most markets
Sling TV Yes Yes Add-on Limited markets
fuboTV No Yes Yes Most markets

YouTube TV is the best option for streaming NBA games throughout the season and postseason. It includes ESPN, TNT, NBA TV, and it also has ABC in most markets.

AT&T TV Now is a good choice as well, depending on your area, but the required channels aren't included with cheaper plans. Sling TV is also a decent option, but only if you live in one of the few markets where they're able to provide a livestream of ABC.

fuboTV and Hulu with Live TV are the worst options for streaming the NBA. fuboTV doesn't have ESPN, and Hulu with Live TV doesn't have NBA TV.

The availability of ABC from these services is based on your ZIP code. If a service doesn't have an agreement with the ABC affiliate in your area, you can't livestream NBA games on ABC through that service.

How to Stream the NBA With NBA League Pass

NBA League Pass is a subscription service that allows you to stream NBA games. It has three pricing tiers, and each gives you a different level of access. The least expensive version allows you to stream games from a single team. The most expensive version gives you access to the most games possible.

While NBA League Pass offers a good deal of flexibility, it's subject to blackout rules. That means you may not be able to stream games from your local team, depending on where you live, and nationally broadcast games may also be blacked out.

NBA League Pass offers free trial periods a few times throughout the season. If a free trial isn't available when you sign up, either pay for your subscription right away or wait for the next free trial.

Here's how to stream NBA games with NBA League Pass:

  1. Navigate to nba.com/leaguepass

    NBA League Pass
  2. Scroll down, view the options, and select Buy Now.

    NBA League Pass
  3. Choose a plan, and choose Buy or Pick Team.

    A screenshot of the NBA League Pass subscription options.

    If you choose Pick Team, choose one team. You can stream only that team's games, and normal blackouts apply. If you are blocked from watching your local team, choosing your local team won't get around the blackout.

  4. Enter your email and password and click Sign In & Continue to sign in to your existing NBA account, or click Create Account to make a new account.

    The NBA League Pass sign in screen.
  5. Enter your credit card information, accept the terms and conditions, and then click Process Payment.

    The NBA League Pass agreement.
  6. After you purchase a subscription, you can watch NBA games on NBA.com or any compatible mobile device through the NBA app.

Livestream the NBA Season on Your Phone, Tablet, or Streaming Device

If you want to watch NBA games on your mobile device, set-top box, or game console, you'll need the appropriate app. Each of these apps requires some type of subscription to use.

The ESPN, TNT, and ABC apps only allow you to livestream NBA games if you have a cable subscription. The NBA app only lets you livestream games if you have an NBA League Pass subscription.

Here are some of the apps that allow you to stream NBA games:

We provide links to the YouTube TV app because it provides the best level of NBA coverage for most people. The other streaming services also have mobile apps.

Free Online Sports Websites to Stream NBA Games

When the official sources don't work, the last option is to use an unofficial free online sports streaming site. These unofficial sites link to free streams but don't have the rights to stream NBA games.

Here are some free sports streaming sites where you can typically find NBA streams.

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