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After having its season cut short due to coronavirus concerns, the 2020 NBA season has officially restarted, with the top 22 teams in the league converging in Orlando to finish out the season on a modified schedule.
As part of the so-called “NBA Bubble,” teams will play in pre-designated arenas with no fans, and players will be subjected to regular COVID-19 testing, as the league aims to wrap up its season in the midst of a global health pandemic.
The 22 teams will play eight games each to determine seeding for the playoffs, which will then continue with the traditional 16-team format. The teams are all hoping to unseat last year’s NBA champs, the Toronto Raptors, who are favorites to repeat, though teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Lebron James-led Los Angeles Lakers are also heavy contenders for the title.
Despite not having fans in the stands, the games will still be available to watch on TV and to stream from home. The league will air games on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV. Here’s how to watch without cable (plus a couple deals to stream the games for free).
The best place to stream live sports online is through fuboTV. Fubo is the only streaming service to offer NBA TV, which will carry a majority of the games. Fubo also recently announced plans to add ESPN and ABC to its channel lineup, with an expected launch date of mid-August — in time to catch the remaining games. In addition to its NBA coverage, fuboTV gets you almost 100 channels of live TV, and its $54.99 standard plan includes FS1, NFL Network, Golf Channel, Pac 12 Network, CBS Sports and more. Customize your package with add-on channels and various family plans too.
Fubo lets you watch content on your phone, tablet or TV, and a standard plan lets you watch live TV on two screens at once. A monthly subscription also includes 30 hours of cloud DVR recording — great for when you want to record the game to replay later.
Fubo is offering a 7-day free trial right now. Get the deal here to test out the service for yourself. You can cancel anytime.
2. Sling TV
Another great live TV streaming service, Sling’s got a $30 package right now that includes ESPN and TNT. You can also add NBA TV for an additional $10 per month. Like fuboTV, Sling lets you watch live TV from any device, and its basic package includes popular channels like CNN, Food Network, HGTV and more. Sling gets you 50 channels in total, and a monthly plan includes 10 hours of DVR recording. Stream content from any connected device.
Sling is offering a 3-day free trial right now. Get the deal here. You can cancel anytime.
3. Hulu + Live TV
If you want sports and entertainment, you best bet is to sign up with Hulu + Live TV. For just $54.99/month, you get unlimited streaming of Hulu’s massive catalog of TV shows, movies and originals (including The Great, Little Fires Everywhere and The Handmaid’s Tale) plus access to NBA games on ESPN, TNT and ABC (in most markets).
Hulu + Live TV is basically your one-stop-shop for content. Stream a new movie or binge your favorite show, then switch over to the Live TV platform to watch a game in real-time. See details and start a 7-day free trial here.
ALSO CONSIDER: HDTV Antenna
If you only care about nationally broadcasted games, or are looking for the cheapest option on the list, consider picking up an HDTV antenna from Amazon. This one comes in a sleek, circular shape and gets you a signal range of 200 miles. That means it can pick up broadcast TV channels like CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC, which will be broadcasting a number of NBA games.
The antenna won’t catch cable channels like TNT or ESPN, so if you want to watch the games on those channels, you’ll have to consider a streaming service like the ones mentioned above.
But if you’re a casual fan or just want basic cable (without having to pay a monthly fee), this antenna is the right choice for you. Purchase: $39.99 on Amazon.com.