Catching local NBA games isn’t always easy.
They don’t always air on major networks.
If you don’t have cable, then it can be even harder to watch your favorite team.
Luckily, there are a few out-of-market resources that allow you to watch them.
Here are a few ways you can watch out-of-market NBA games.
How To Watch Out-Of-Market NBA Games (10 Ways)
1. Regional Sports Networks
One of the ways that you can watch out-of-market NBA games is to find an app or program that lets you watch regional sports networks.
Part of the reason that you can’t watch every NBA game is the way the networks split the games between themselves.
They want people to buy into certain packages to be able to watch every game in the NBA season.
They’re counting on major fans paying more to ensure they don’t miss out on any of the action.
One of the ways that you can watch out-of-market games is to focus on your regional sports network.
There are three major ones, but they each have their own affiliates and partnerships, which can make them a little confusing.
As the name might suggest, they’re also only available in certain regions.
The top regional sports networks include:
Before you buy the one that’s available to you, you first need to check if the regional sports network even covers your team.
Each one has a few teams associated with them that allow them to cover and air their games.
If the team that you want to watch isn’t a part of that network, then you don’t want to waste your money on it.
Once you find which network hosts your team’s games, you can find out what packages or apps they have which allow you to watch them.
Using apps connected to regional sports networks can help you watch out-of-market NBA games.
2. NBA TV League Pass
The NBA has a few streaming subscriptions that you can purchase.
Depending on which subscription you sign up for, you can get a few benefits.
The NBA TV League Pass allows you to watch out-of-market NBA games through their app.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay $59.99 a year for the service.
That said, you may not always be able to watch the game live.
The NBA TV League Pass is the streaming portion of NBA TV.
NBA TV is an actual network that features games and NBA talk shows.
You have access to both, but you can only watch live games that air on NBA TV.
If the game airs elsewhere, like ABC or ESPN, then you won’t be able to watch the game live.
Instead, you’ll have to wait anywhere from three hours to three days depending on if the game was in-market or not.
After the delay is over, they’ll have a replay of the game for you to watch.
This might not be ideal if you want to be part of the action as it happens.
That said, with the NBA TV League Pass, you also get access to all of their shows.
If you’re desperate to watch out-of-market games and don’t mind waiting for them to become available, then NBA TV League Pass may be ideal for you.
3. NBA Team Pass League Pass
Another streaming option that the NBA offers is its Team Pass service.
The Team Pass costs $119.99 a year.
With it, you’re able to choose one team which enables you to watch out-of-market games with them.
You can also watch them live.
However, like the NBA TV League Pass, you won’t be able to watch the game live if it airs on ABC, ESPN, or any other nationally-broadcast networks.
You’ll need to wait three hours for that game to become available on the service.
However, the benefit is that since you can choose one team to watch out-of-market games with, you don’t have to wait three days for those particular games to hit the service.
You will have to wait for them for every other team, though.
The Team Pass is ideal for NBA fans who are primarily concerned with a single team.
If you have one team that you want to focus on, then the Team Pass may be perfect for you.
4. League Pass
The second-most expensive subscription program that the NBA offers is its League Pass.
The League Pass costs $199.99 a year.
While it costs a good penny, it does give you a few perks.
This program allows you to watch hundreds of out-of-market games.
It doesn’t matter what division or team, you can watch practically any team if it’s an out-of-market game.
This pass basically moves you from being able to watch one team with the Team Pass to watching all the teams.
As before, not even this expensive subscription will allow you to watch live games that are on national broadcasting networks.
You’ll need to wait three hours before you can watch the game.
If it isn’t a nationally broadcast game, however, then you can watch it live with your League Pass subscription.
This service is ideal for those who can afford the high price to watch all their teams out-of-market.
You’ll still need to have patience when it comes to national games, however.
5. League Pass Premium
The final subscription service that the NBA offers is League Pass Premium.
It offers the same benefits as League Pass except this service removes commercials.
It’ll cost you $249.99 a year.
If commercials bother you, then you might find the price agreeable enough to get rid of them.
League Pass Premium also allows you to watch hundreds of games out-of-market.
Even with the high price tag, however, you’re unable to watch nationally broadcast games until three hours after they air.
The only thing that the extra price gives you is a commercial-free experience.
This pass is ideal for those who can afford it and really want to get rid of commercials.
As long as you don’t mind waiting three hours for certain games to drop, then this pass is a great way to watch out-of-market games.
6. Sling TV
One of the key things you need to do to be able to watch out-of-market games is to get your hands on a service that has ESPN.
One of the cheapest options is Sling TV.
There are a few different subscription options that Sling TV provides.
The good news is that both the Orange and Blue subscriptions cost $35 a month.
The subscription you’ll want to choose is Sling TV Orange because it has ESPN and TNT.
Besides ESPN, TNT is another network that frequently airs NBA games.
You can also get access to NBA TV and all the games and shows it airs by adding the Sports Extra add-on with Sling TV.
It costs an additional $11 a month.
If you have an antenna to catch local games, then adding Sling TV can ensure you’re able to watch most, if not all, of the games that are normally out-of-market for you.
There are a few other benefits of using Sling TV, too.
One is that it’s available on several different devices.
Even if you can’t catch the game at home, you can download Sling TV onto your phone and watch it on the go.
It also comes with a DVR that lets you record the first 50 hours for free.
If you want to record anything beyond that 50-hour mark, then you’ll need to pay for it.
This allows you to record games that you won’t be around to watch.
Sling TV is an ideal choice for NBA fans who want a cheap way to watch most, if not all, of the out-of-market games.
7. Hulu With Live TV
Another streaming option that can make watching out-of-market games more affordable is Hulu.
The base package of Hulu comes with both ESPN and TNT right off the bat.
It also includes all your local networks, so even if you don’t have an antenna, you can watch local games.
That said, not all the games are broadcast live on Hulu.
If you want to be able to watch every game live, then you’ll need to pay for Hulu + Live TV.
This is a costlier version of the service at $69.99 a month.
It also doesn’t offer NBA TV, so you’ll miss out on any games that air on that network.
Like Sling TV, there are a few benefits that Hulu + Live TV can offer.
Since it’s a streaming platform, you’re able to watch your live games on almost any device.
You can watch it on your TV, then switch it to your phone if you need to leave home.
Hulu + Live TV is also offering free DVRs after April 13th, 2022.
This will allow you to record any game that you might miss.
Since it’s free, you don’t have to worry about paying more if you go beyond a certain hour-mark.
Hulu + Live TV is a more expensive option than Sling TV and it doesn’t come with NBA TV.
That said, it is a way that you can watch some out-of-market NBA games.
8. YouTube TV
One of the best ways to watch an NBA live stream out-of-market is with YouTube TV.
It has several networks under its umbrella, like ESPN, TNT, and even NBA TV.
You can even get all of your local channels through them.
That said, it doesn’t have any regional sports networks attached to it.
If there’s a game played on one of those networks, then you won’t have access to it.
That said, because you have access to ESPN and NBA TV, you’ll be able to watch all of the playoff games.
YouTube TV costs $65 per month, so it’s even cheaper than Hulu + Live TV.
You get a lot more as well.
It also has an unlimited DVR, so you can record as many games and shows as you want.
Like the other streaming platforms, you’re able to watch YouTube TV on supported TVs and phones.
Even if you have Roku or Amazon Fire TV, you can download the app for YouTube TV and watch from there.
YouTube TV is a great option for someone looking for the best price with the most content.
You may miss out on a few games, but with its ability to stream nationally-broadcast games and the entirety of the playoffs, YouTube TV has a lot to offer.
9. DirecTV Stream
Although you may not like the idea of having a satellite subscription, there’s no question that DirecTV Stream has the most options.
With its basic subscription, you’re able to get access to ESPN and TNT.
That also includes all your local networks for your local games.
The biggest perk of DirecTV Stream is that it also has a large collection of regional sports networks.
It has both Bally and NBC Sports, which means you can easily watch those games even if you would normally be out of their market.
That said, you can expect to pay a high price for it.
The basic service is $75 a month.
However, if you want the regional sports networks, then you’ll need to pay $90 a month to sign up for the DirecTV Stream Choice plan.
The good news is that the Choice plan also comes with NBA TV.
Between all that DirecTV Stream has to offer, you practically have every network at your fingertips to watch live NBA games.
Whether they’re out-of-market or not, DirecTV Stream gives you access.
10. Sports Bars
If you want to watch out-of-market games but don’t want to pay for them, then you should become a local at a sports bar.
One of the benefits of going to a sports bar is that they usually have a large catalog of channels to watch.
The whole point of sports bars is being able to access practically any game that’s live.
It’s how the bar attracts patrons to it.
If you know there’s a live game happening, then you can head to your local sports bar and ask them to put it on.
In most cases, they likely have the sports package that you need to watch the game.
Since they’re paying the cable bill for you, it’s a good idea to order something from the bar to support them, too.
Sports bars are a great way to watch out-of-market games because you can bond with other fans, eat great food, and be part of the live experience.
The best thing is you don’t have to worry about monthly subscriptions.
What NBA Teams Are In What Regional Sports Network?
To make the most of watching out-of-market games, you need to know what teams belong to which regional sports network.
The last thing you want is to pay for a package that comes with the regional sports network only to discover that they don’t cover your team.
Here’s a list of the NBA teams and the regional sports network they’re associated with:
- Atlanta Hawks: Bally Sports South
- Boston Celtics: NBC Sports Boston
- Brooklyn Nets: YES Network
- Charlotte Hornets: Bally Sports Southeast
- Chicago Bulls: NBC Sports Chicago
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Bally Sports Ohio
- Dallas Mavericks: Bally Sports Southwest
- Denver Nuggets: Altitude Sports
- Detroit Pistons: Bally Sports Detroit
- Golden State Warriors: NBC Sports Bay Area
- Houston Rockets: AT&T SportsNet Southwest
- Indiana Pacers: Bally Sports Indiana
- Los Angeles Clippers: Bally Sports West
- Los Angeles Lakers: Spectrum SportsNet
- Memphis Grizzlies: Bally Sports Southeast
- Miami Heat: Bally Sports Sun
- Milwaukee Bucks: Bally Sports Wisconsin
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Bally Sports North
- New Orleans Pelicans: Bally Sports New Orleans
- New York Knicks: MSG
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Bally Sports Oklahoma
- Orlando Magic: Bally Sports Florida
- Philadelphia 76ers: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Phoenix Suns: Bally Sports Arizona
- Portland Trailblazers: NBC Sports Northwest
- Sacramento Kings: NBC Sports California
- San Antonio Spurs: Bally Sports Southwest
- Toronto Raptors: TSN
- Utah Jazz: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
- Washington Wizards: NBC Sports Washington
Now that you know which team corresponds to what regional sports network, you can find the package that you need to ensure you’re always able to support your team.
What’s The Difference Between Out-Of-Market And Blackout In Network Sports?
It can be frustrating to discover that you can’t watch a game because it’s out of your market or because there’s a blackout.
These terms may mean nothing to you, which can make the situation even more frustrating.
Out-of-market refers to games that are outside of the broadcast region that you live in.
It doesn’t include when your team is at home or on the road.
Rather, it means you’re out of market for games in a different region that doesn’t use the same broadcast region as you.
For example, if you live on the east coast of the United States, then it’s unlikely that you’re going to be in-market for games on the west coast.
That’s because you’re not in the broadcast region for those games.
You’d need to find an out-of-market way, like those listed above, to watch those games.
Blackouts, on the other hand, are when a network chooses to limit whether another network, region, or device has the ability to show a game.
It’s like being out-of-market except blackouts can change at any moment.
A blackout that affects a network means that the one with the airing rights might restrict the ability to air on a certain network.
This is often the case when national networks want to limit local channels from being able to air games.
A blackout that affects a region means that the network with the airing rights is keeping a certain region from being able to watch the game.
The only way that those people can watch the game is through their own network.
Finally, a blackout that affects devices means that the network with the airing rights keeps certain streaming platforms from being able to air the game.
Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to watch a game because you’re not in the region.
Luckily, there are a few ways that you can get around that restriction.
Depending on your budget, you can pick up a few more benefits and channels along the way.