Cord slicing brings notably thorny challenges for sports activities followers, and so they’re by no means extra obvious than when the postseason rolls round. Case in level: the NBA playoffs that get underway Saturday, April 13. As in earlier years, broadcasting of the postseason event will likely be divided between 4 networks: ABC, TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV.
Three of these are cable networks, however there are nonetheless methods for the enterprising cord-cutter to catch a lot of the motion. Based on the TV schedule obtainable at press time, we’ve outlined your choices for watching the playoffs and not using a cable- or satellite-TV subscription. Follow our information and also you’ll be capable of watch many—however not all—of the reside broadcasts and see which workforce ultimately lifts the Larry O’Brien Trophy this June.
Updated for the 2019 NBA Playoffs.
Go together with your antenna for ABC
ABC stays the one over-the-air (OTA) community broadcasting the NBA playoffs. The excellent news is you want an antenna solely to observe that community’s video games. As ABC has unique rights to the NBA Finals, you received’t miss a single layup when the most effective from the Eastern and Western conferences face off in June.
But your antenna will solely get you a lot recreation within the earlier rounds: According to the present TV schedule, ABC will carry seven video games within the first spherical, and presumably extra if any of the matchups go seven video games (every match-up is a best-of-seven elimination event). ABC will even broadcast three video games within the Semifinals, however none within the Conference Finals, as these rights are owned by ESPN and TNT. Fortunately, there are on-line choices for watching all of these video games.
TNT Overtime is your ticket to TNT broadcasts
The full TV schedule wasn’t obtainable at press time, however TNT televised greater than 40 playoff video games every of the previous two postseasons, so it’s truthful to count on about the identical this 12 months. About half of these will likely be broadcast within the first spherical—although that quantity will definitely go up if any matchups go greater than 4 video games—and TNT sometimes splits the majority of the Semifinals with ESPN. TNT additionally completely carries the Eastern Conference Finals this 12 months.
The best solution to see these TNT video games with out cable is with TNT Overtime, a second-screen web site that brings “enhanced coverage” of the community’s NBA video games—together with the playoffs—to your pc, pill, or telephone totally free.
TNT Overtime doesn’t stream the TV broadcast feed. Instead, it affords you a personalized view of the sport together with your selection of 4 HD digital camera angles—the Backboard Cam will get you up near the scoring, two Player Cams completely observe particular person gamers as voted on by followers, and the Action Cam provides you a court-level view of all of the, effectively, motion—with unique content material and evaluation from TNT commentators.
If you’ll be able to’t determine on one angle, you’ll be able to watch all 4 on the similar time in Mosaic view. The web site additionally posts spotlight clips from every angle and affords a couple of social-media options, so you’ll be able to join with different followers throughout the recreation. An extra characteristic this season, TNT Overtime’s highlights, stats and play-by-play integrations will likely be obtainable alongside the reside recreation expertise.
Most of TNT’s playoff video games normally get the TNT Overtime remedy, so that is nice time to check out the service should you’ve by no means used it earlier than.
These free choices will solely get you half approach by the playoffs, although; you’ll must subscribe to a streaming service—at the very least briefly—to get entry to the majority of the broadcasts. Here’s what’s obtainable.
Sling TV has been a godsend for cable-cutting sports activities junkies, and it’s downright important throughout the NBA postseason. The service’s $15-per-month Sling Orange bundle affords 30 channels, together with ESPN and ESPN2, which is able to account for 19 video games all through the primary spherical and semifinals. ESPN additionally has unique rights to the Western Conference Finals.
On April 26, nonetheless, ESPN will likely be within the thick of its NFL Draft protection. That means ESPNews would possibly decide up the slack by carrying a few of that day’s 4 first-round Game 6’s if vital. To get ESPNews and catch these video games, you’ll want so as to add Sling TV’s Sports Extra bundle ($5 monthly along with the fundamental subscription).
SlingTV will even provide you with entry to TNT. Sling TV streams reside TV broadcasts, so not like with TNT Overtime, you’ll be seeing precisely what you’d should you have been watching the video games as a part of a cable bundle.
You can watch Sling TV in your iOS or Android system, or in your massive display screen with a Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Amazon FireTV. In reality, Currently, the service is providing a reduced Roku Ultra with a three-month dedication, or a free Roku Express once you pre-pay for 2 months. To allow you to flip in native channels, Sling can also be providing a free RCA HDTV Indoor Antenna and AirTV Bundle once you prepay for 3 months, and the identical antenna a la carte once you prepay for 2 months.
Sling TV comes with a seven-day free trial and requires no dedication or contract. You can cancel as quickly because the playoffs finish—although with such different choices as A&E, CNN, Food Network, and Disney Channel, you would possibly discover you need to maintain it round.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue service brings one other streaming possibility this postseason, however its subscription value and what’s included relies on the place you reside. Its fundamental Core bundle provide greater than 70 channels, together with TNT, ABC ESPN, ESPN2, and NBA TV. If you reside in a market the place Sony has the proper to hold reside feeds of some or the entire main networks, you may additionally get ABC. The price for all this, although, is a relatively excessive $50 a month.
But the additional price does include advantages: You’ll additionally get PlayStation Vue’s multi-view feature, which lets you watch as much as three reside channels all on one display screen, so you’ll be able to concentrate on one recreation whereas keeping track of one or two others on the similar time. You can decide your native channel availability by getting into your zip code on the PlayStation Vue site.
DirectTV Now, AT&T’s streaming service, affords lots of the similar channels as SlingTV and PlayStation Vue. For $50 a month, its Plus bundle will provide you with greater than 40 channels—together with, ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2. To get ESPNews, although, you’ll must bump your self as much as the 50-plus channel Max bundle for $70 a month. As with Sling TV, you get the primary seven days free.
You can stream DirectTV Now to your pc, iOS or Android units, Apple TV, Android Fire TV, and Chromecast. The service is at present providing and Apple TV 4K free once you prepay for 4 months.
Hulu with Live TV and You Tube TV
Hulu and You Tube have made issues easier for cord-cutters by providing single flat-fee packages that embody the majority of their channel choices. YouTube TV is the higher selection for NBA followers because it contains NBA TV together with ABC, TNT, and the three ESPN networks it’s worthwhile to catch all of the playoff motion. With YouTube TV’s latest value enhance, Hulu with Live TV is 5 bucks cheaper and affords those self same channels minus NBA TV.
Don’t let the value determine for you, although. You’ll must verify with every service to see which affords the required reside channel streams in your space earlier than making your final choice. As with lots of the providers, there’s a seven-day free trial obtainable.
Sports broadcasting nonetheless lags different sorts of TV programming in providing streaming choices. But with the cord-cutting options above, we’re assured you’ll be capable of tune in when your favourite workforce hits the hardwood.