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How to Watch the 2023 NBA Playoffs Live Online

Written by Madeline Lylo

As a kid growing up in Detroit, the NBA Playoffs used to be one of my favorite times of the year. When I was a little boy, we had Isaiah Thomas, Rick Mahorn and the iconic Bad Boys. Then, as a law student, it was the Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton led Pistons teams that played some of best defense the League has ever seen. Sadly, this year’s NBA Playoffs won’t include the Pistons, but there is still plenty of basketball action to enjoy well into the spring and summer. In this 2023 NBA Playoffs viewing guide, our team at Streaming Stadium will give you the info you need to start watching the pursuit of the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 15 minutes or less.

How to watch the Phoenix Suns playoff run

How to watch the Miami Heat playoff run

Streaming the 2023 nba playoffs: Fact vs. fiction

  • The NBA’s current TV deal is valued at 2.6 billion per season.
  • ABC and ESPN, both owned by Disney, will carry the majority of games, with the NBA Finals exclusively on ABC.
  • TNT will also broadcast several post-season games
  • NBA TV will not exclusively carry any NBA Playoffs games, which means it’s not a must-have for cord cutters.
  • The NBA Playoffs are all national broadcasts although local regional sports networks will simultaneously carry early round action
  • There are four live TV streaming providers that offer all of the channels you need to watch the playoffs online cover to cover: Sling TV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV.
  • Sling TV does not carry ABC. However, you can use your Sling TV credentials to sign in to the ESPN app and watch ESPN3. ESPN3 will simulcast ABC’s NBA Finals coverage.

Although there is speculation that a huge new TV deal is on the horizon, the NBA Playoffs TV schedule is still governed by an 8 year deal signed in 2014. Under that deal, ABC, ESPN, and TNT are the channels that have the rights to broadcast playoffs games, as well as some regional sports networks in the early rounds. If you’re reading this right before tip-off and want to start streaming right away, take a look at the table below. It highlights the live TV streaming providers that carry ABC, ESPN, and TNT, and compares the current free trials they are offer.

As you can see, there are four live TV streaming providers that carry all the channels necessary to stream the NBA Playoffs in their entirety: DirecTV Stream, Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV.

Sling OrangeDIRECTV STREAMDIRECTV STREAM – ChoiceFuboFuboTV Sports LiteHulu + Live TVSling Orange & BlueYouTube TV
ABC ABC
ESPN ESPN
ESPN3 ESPN3
NBA TV NBA TV
TNT TNT

Note: Although Sling TV doesn’t carry ABC, you can stream ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals on the Watch ESPN app with your Sling TV credentials.


Can I watch the NBA Playoffs on Sling TV?

Yes, you can watch the NBA Playoffs using a Sling TV account. Sling Orange is my top pick for live streaming the NBA Playoffs this year. Why? Cost, first and foremost. With the prices of everything going wild, many families are getting priced out of something as simple as watching sports at home. At $35 per month, Sling TV Orange is half the cost of many competitors, and it gets you ESPN, and TNT.

NBA TV can be added as part of the sports package, and although Sling lacks local channels like ABC, there is a work around. Using Sling TV credentials, NBA fans can login to the watch ESPN app to watch the ABC broadcast of the NBA Finals, which is simulcast on ESPN3.

Read our Sling TV sports review.


Can I watch the NBA Playoffs on DirecTV Stream?

Yes, DirecTV Stream is a good choice for watching the NBA Playoffs. DirecTV Stream, as the only live TV streaming service that carries Bally Sports regional sports networks, which are the channels that carry the regular season for many NBA franchises, is a popular choice for NBA fans already. However, the platform also features the channels you need to watch the NBA Finals.

The setup process is fairly easy and straightforward and you can stream the NBA Playoffs on mobile or on a Roku device.

DirecTV Stream’s base package only offers 50 hours of DVR storage, and the interface isn’t our favorite to use, but you can be up and running with basketball action in under 15 minutes.

Get next season covered

As an added bonus, there is a good chance you will be able to stream your NBA team’s regular season on the DirecTV Stream platform when the 2023 hoops games begin. For example, as the number one seeds, the NBA Playoffs will get a large viewing audience from Phoenix and Miami this season. Both of these teams have TV deals for the regular season with Sinclair owned Bally Sports RSNs, Bally Sports Arizona and Bally Sports Florida. DirecTV Stream “Choice” is the only live TV streaming service that carries Bally Sports Arizona and Florida. If you buy a DirecTV Stream package to watch the Suns or Heat this playoff season, you can upgrade to the “Choice” package next season and potentially watch your squad as defending champs. Hold a good thought.

Read our full DirecTV Stream review.


Can I watch the NBA Playoffs on Hulu + Live TV?

Yes, you can watch the NBA Playoffs on Hulu + Live TV. The platform carries ABC, ESPN, and TNT.

Read our Hulu + Live TV review for sports fans.


Can I watch the NBA Playoffs on YouTube TV?

Yes, you can watch the NBA Playoffs on YouTube TV. YouTube TV carries ABC, ESPN, and TNT. You can even login to the watch ESPN app using your YouTube TV credentials. The platform supports a wide array of devices including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Android, and Samsung Smart TVs.

Read our YouTube TV sports review.


Can I watch the NBA Playoffs on fuboTV?

Yes, you can watch the NBA Playoffs on fuboTV, but there is a catch. fuboTV gets you ABC and ESPN, but lacks TNT. NBA fans can watch the bulk of the playoffs on fuboTV, but unfortunately, there will be a few gaps in coverage.

Read our fuboTV sports review.


Can I watch the NBA Playoffs on a Roku device?

Yes, it is possible to live stream the NBA Playoffs on a Roku device. The issue isn’t with Roku, but with app compatibility, and all of the live TV streaming options I list above can be used on Roku devices.

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