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Forget the regular season. Now is the time to focus on what really matters in the NBA: the thrilling postseason and the epic NBA Finals. You know the favorites, you know the underdogs, and you who you want to see lift the trophy (and who you don't). But do you know how to watch the NBA playoffs without cable?
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream the NBA playoffs:
It's okay if you don't because we're here to show you. Below, we'll lay out the channels we need to get in order to watch every NBA playoff game live, and then we'll show you how to access NBA playoff live streams using services and techniques that are perfectly legal. Are you ready? Let's find out how to watch the NBA playoffs without cable.
First things first: what channels are we trying to get here, anyway?
The places to turn to for live NBA playoff games are ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.
So how can we get our hands on these channels? No worries: we have the answer.
ABC is the only channel airing NBA playoff games this year that is a broadcast network (“broadcast” means that it's available over the air via an antenna). That means the only way to get the rest of the gang — ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV — is to use a “multichannel TV service” like cable. We say “like cable,” but we don't necessarily mean cable. If you're a cord cutter, you can use a live TV streaming service instead!
We love live TV streaming services because they offer slimmed-down bundles of live TV networks for less cash than the cable giants charge. Below, we'll list our favorite live TV streaming services for watching NBA TV, ESPN, TNT, and ABC. We'll also talk about antennas and other options. Here's how to watch NBA playoff games online without cable (and over the air, too)!
Stream NBA playoffs for free with Hulu
Hulu + Live TV is, of course, the skinny bundle service from established on-demand streaming brand Hulu. Hulu's take on the skinny bundle will fit NBA playoff fans just fine, because Hulu's base package includes ABC (in select markets), ESPN, and TNT. Only NBA TV is missing, and that makes Hulu + Live TV a pretty complete way to watch the NBA playoffs and NBA Finals without cable. You can try out Hulu + Live TV for free for a week — just click our link to get started.
Stream NBA playoffs for free with fuboTV
fuboTV is a pretty strong option for streaming the NBA playoffs. fuboTV now offers ABC (in select markets), ESPN, and TNT. Only NBA TV is missing. You can catch almost every game of the NBA playoffs on fuboTV, and this service did very well in our fuboTV review.
Stream NBA playoffs with Sling TV
Sling doesn't currently carry ABC, but it still has enough NBA playoffs coverage to merit a mention here. Sling TV can get you a live stream of ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and even NBA TV. You can check out our review of Sling TV to learn more, or just click on the link in this section to get started with the service and see it for yourself.
ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV: YouTube TV has got it all. Google's skinny bundle service is arguably the best bet for basketball fans, particularly at this time of year.
AT&T's skinny bundle service has undergone some rebranding. Once known as DirecTV Now, this service now goes by the name AT&T TV Now. It's still a solid option for streaming lots of great stuff, including the NBA playoffs. AT&T TV Now subscribers can get access to live streams of ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT.
As we mentioned earlier, most of the channels that air NBA playoff games are not available over the air. But ABC is available over the air in a lot of areas, and that's crucial. ABC will have some of the best games of the playoffs this year, and it's one of the channels that skinny bundles can only make available in some markets. It's well worth investing in an over-the-air antenna if you want to watch the NBA playoffs without cable. Besides, an antenna is a worthwhile investment for year-round viewing: you'll get major networks, PBS, and more. You can watch NFL games in the off-season and then catch regular-season match-ups next season on ABC. What's not to love?
You want to watch the NBA playoffs without cable, but that doesn't mean that you want to watch every game on your phone. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to get the services listed above onto your favorite TV.
Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV each have great apps for Roku.
Fire TV users can choose between Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.
Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all work on Apple TV, too.
Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV offer support for Chromecast devices.
As for Android TV, there are apps available for that platform from Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
Of course, sometimes you actually do want to get your NBA playoffs live stream onto a smaller screen. No problem there: Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV each offer apps for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV also offer desktop and/or in-browser apps for use with your computer.
Finally, we should mention that Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV have apps for Xbox One, while Hulu + Live TV has one for PlayStation 4.
That's a lot of platform support from a lot of different services, so you should have no trouble finding a way to watch the NBA playoffs without cable. Scroll back up, grab a free trial or two, buy an antenna, and get ready to enjoy a whole lot of playoff action without ever having to go crawling back to your cable or satellite provider. You're free, baby!
In Canada none of those services are available. So… What to do? ?
Antennas don’t look like that any more… I’m constantly surprised that people don’t know about OTA TV any more at all! A whole generation, apparently. HD antennas work very well and are very small and don’t live on towers (most of the time), and if you are fairly close to the source, indoor antennas may work.
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