How to watch the NBA Finals without a cable subscription

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Giannis Antetokounmpo dunk
Giannis Antetokounmpo goes to the basket as Chris Paul looks on in game 2 of the NBA Finals.

  • The 2021 NBA Finals are now underway between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.
  • You can watch the remaining NBA Finals on ABC and ESPN3.
  • Many internet providers offer ESPN3 for free, and Sling is the cheapest streaming service with the channel.

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The 2020-21 NBA regular season concluded on May 16 and the Finals began on July 6. Remaining games are being broadcast live on ABC and ESPN3.

The Chris Paul-led Phoenix Suns defeated LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, and the Los Angeles Clippers to represent the Western Conference in the Finals. In the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the star-studded Brooklyn Nets, the Miami Heat team that eliminated them last year, and the surprising Atlanta Hawks to earn their first Finals appearance since 1974.

You can see the full 2021 NBA playoff bracket below, including the matchups following the play-in tournament that ended on May 21.

NBA Playoff Bracket
The 2020-21 NBA playoff bracket.

Key dates for the 2020-21 NBA season

The 2020-21 NBA season is coming to a close with the Finals now in full swing. Here’s a rundown of key post-season dates.

  • May 22 – NBA playoffs officially began
  • July 8 – NBA Finals began
  • July 22 – NBA Finals Game Seven, if necessary

How to watch the 2021 NBA Finals

The NBA Finals are being broadcast live on ABC and ESPN3. ABC is available through several subscription streaming services without cable, and you may be able to stream the game online for free via ESPN3 depending on your internet provider. You can see if your internet provider includes ESPN3 here.

You can also stream the NBA Finals via the ESPN app, ABC.com, or the ABC app if you already pay for those channels through your TV provider.

If you don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, you can sign up for a live TV streaming service with access to ABC and/or ESPN3, like Sling TV, AT&T TV, Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV, or YouTube TV, to watch the Finals live.

Sling TV

Sling TV includes ESPN3 as part of its Orange plan for $35 a month. Sling doesn’t include ABC, but NBA Finals airing on that network are simulcast on ESPN3.

New Sling subscribers can get their first month for a discounted rate of just $10, which makes Sling one of the cheapest options for people who just want to stream the NBA Finals.

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YouTube TV

YouTubeTV offers channels like ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV for $65 a month, providing full access to all of the major broadcast and cable networks that show NBA games, including the Finals.

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Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV features access to channels like ESPN, TNT, and ABC for $65 a month, offering full access to the NBA Finals. However, NBA TV is not offered which could be an issue for viewers who want to catch more games during the regular season.

On the plus side, Hulu + Live TV does include access to Hulu’s entire on-demand library of shows and movies. You can also bundle Hulu with ESPN+ and Disney Plus for an extra $8 a month.

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Fubo TV

Fubo TV includes ABC under its Starter plan for $65 a month, so you can catch the NBA Finals. On the downside, TNT is not currently available, which could be an issue for fans who want to watch games during the regular season and playoffs.

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AT&T TV

AT&T TV is one of the most comprehensive options for streaming the NBA all season long. Plans start at $70 a month, but NBA fans who want access to the most games will need the Choice plan for $85 a month. This package includes ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.

That said, viewers who just need ABC or ESPN3 to watch the Finals have cheaper options to consider.

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2021 NBA Finals schedule

The 2021 NBA Finals began on July 8. You can find dates and times for the remaining games below.

Wednesday, July 14

Game Four: Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks, 9 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN3

Saturday, July 17

Game Five: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN3

Tuesday, July 20

Game Six (if necessary): Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks, 9 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN3

Thursday, July 22

Game Seven (if necessary): Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN3

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