Baseball season might be over, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to watch. As you may have noticed the 20016-17 NBA season is already in full swing. For those of you that hate cable television but really love basketball, this can be a trying time.
I mean, which is more important? Watching basketball or being able to kill the cable bill? Luckily for you, you don’t have to make that choice.
Believe it or not, it’s never been easier for sports fans to watch the NBA without cable!
The best, the easiest, and by far the cheapest way to watch the NBA without cable is through the use of an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. With this antenna, you’ll be able to watch broadcast television in 1080 HD for free (minus the one-time purchase cost of course).
For basketball fans, that means being able to pick up both nationally and locally broadcast games. Nationally broadcast games are usually on ABC but the station for local games will vary depending on where you are; so you should with your local broadcast affiliates.
Check out the NBA broadcast schedule on ABC:
OTA games are a little sparse during the regular season, but ABC owns the rights to the NBA Finals, so having an antenna pays off exponentially in the end.
Sling TV is a great way to watch basketball without cable because you can get all of the cable stations that carry NBA games without the hassle of having to buy an expensive and bloated package. For $20 a month, you can subscribe to Sling TV’s Orange package and get ESPN and TNT; both of which broadcast NBA games. As far as bang for your buck, this is as good as it gets.
Another cable-free way to watch the NBA is by getting a subscription to PlayStation Vue. PlayStation Vue’s cheapest package, Access, costs $30 a month and will give you the same station’s that Sling TV will; ESPN and TNT. That is $10 more a month than Sling, so you will need to determine if you think the added value is really there.
Also most recently PlayStation Vue signed a deal to add NBA TV to its lineup. NBA TV, like NFL Network, is filled with original content created by and for the NBA; but most importantly, they broadcast NBA games. Although it’s unclear which package NBA TV will be included in, details should emerge in the coming weeks. You can also bet your paycheck that if Vue is getting this channel, so will Sling. So at the end of the day, you really just need to go with the service you prefer, as they will most likely both end up offering the same channels.
You can check out the NBA TV broadcast schedule here.
For the ultimate NBA fan, your cable TV alternative just might lie in NBA League Pass. For $199.99 a season (which can be payable in five payments of $49.99), you get streaming access to every single NBA Game. You also get a lot of extras, like condensed games and streaming access to classic NBA games.
If you don’t want to watch every single game, and you just want to follow your favorite game, then you can subscribe to the Team Pass option and follow a single team for the season for $119.99. For those of you just wanting to just watch particular game, you can stream a single game for $6.99.
The only drawback to the whole thing is that there a blackout rules attached to everything. If you live in a certain area, you won’t be able to live stream games from certain teams; regardless of where they’re playing. So if you live in Chicago, you couldn’t live stream The Bulls.
However, you can stream blacked out games after a certain time period expires. For national games, you have to wait three hours until after the game ends; for local games, you have to wait three days.
You can find out more about NBA Blackout Rules by following this link.
Despite its appearance, watching the NBA without cable is just as easy as with cable but with the added bonus of costing far less. Even if you buy a subscription to NBA League Pass, you still end up spending far less than you would with even two months of cable. Sounds like a win win to me.
What’s your favorite NBA team? Do you think they’ll make it to the playoffs or do you just hope they do? Let us know in the comments below or sound off on social media!
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This week's latest in cordcutting news and trends: New OTA stations, why it might be time to rescan your antenna, a look at Pay TV's sneaky hidden fees, Mohu's Independence Day sale and more.
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.