The 2023 NBA Finals starts this week, with Nikola Jokic and the first seed Western Conference champions Denver Nuggets taking on Jimmy Butler and the eighth seed Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat.
The NBA Finals is where the best players are celebrated and legends are made. This annual event captures the attention of basketball fans worldwide, drawing in millions of viewers and generating tremendous excitement. The Finals are the culmination of months of intense competition and playoff battles, where teams must navigate a grueling series of best-of-seven matchups to earn the right to compete for the ultimate prize: The Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The Denver Nuggets were a strong favor to advance from the NBA playoffs to the Western Conference championships and, ultimately, the NBA Finals. The Miami Heat stunned the Eastern Conference by beating second-seeded Boston Celtics earlier this week in an exciting and thrilling match-up that went all the way to seven games.
The 2023 NBA Finals are the third-consecutive year that different teams have advanced to the final best-in-seven series to determine the top NBA team of the year — something that hasn’t happened since 1979. It’s slated to be an epic series of events, broadcast live to tens of millions across the country and billions around the world.
This year, the broadcast rights to the 2023 NBA Finals are held by the Walt Disney Company, with all games of the series airing on ABC. That means much of the country will be able to watch the games live as they air with just a simple over-the-air antenna plugged into a TV set’s tuner jack (we continue to stand behind the Mohu Leaf Antenna as one of the best to pick up local broadcast stations from just about anywhere).
But what if you want to watch the 2023 NBA Finals away from the TV set, or record the games for later viewing? That’s where a streaming television service comes in handy, and there are plenty of options to catch this year’s NBA championship series without plunking down too much cash. Many offer support across a wide variety of devices — including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, computers, game consoles and more — as well as cloud DVR features and the ability to share a single account with multiple family members, all at a price that doesn’t break the bank.
Here’s a look at the best streaming services that offer live access to every game from the 2022 NBA Finals, with the top option being the cheapest (consider all the options, though — some may have additional channels or features that you might like).
1. Sling TV
Cost: $40 a month (Sling Orange, discount available!)
Free trial: Sometimes
Number of channels: 35-45, depending on the package
Cloud DVR: 50 hours for free, 200 hours for a small fee
DEAL: Get Sling TV for just $20 by clicking or tapping here
Sling TV routinely makes our list of the cheapest ways to stream live sports events, and the 2023 NBA Finals are no exception: Sling TV is the CHEAPEST way to watch all games between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat during this year’s NBA championship finals series, and will be available via the Sling Orange package, which costs $40 a month.
Readers of The Desk who sign up for Sling TV using this link can score a deal on their first month of service, bringing the cost of Sling down to just $20, a 50 percent discount off the normal rate. Again, streamers who want to watch the 2023 NBA Finals must subscribe to Sling Orange to view the games.
Sling allows streamers to watch all 2023 NBA Finals games on their smart TVs (including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV/Google TV), phones, tablets, game consoles, laptops and other video-capable devices, and record each game using Sling’s built-in cloud DVR for later playback.
Sling will offer each game of the 2023 NBA Finals live on ABC. In areas where Sling doesn’t offer access to a local ABC station, the 2023 NBA Finals will simulcast on ESPN 3, which is available across the country.
2. DirecTV Stream
Cost: Starts at $75 a month (discount available!)
Free trial: Sometimes
Number of channels: Over 75, including local stations
Cloud DVR: Unlimited, record as much as you want
DEAL: Get $10 off plus free movie networks by clicking or tapping here
DirecTV Stream is backed by the same company that offers DirecTV’s award-winning satellite television service, and includes many of the same local broadcast, news, sports and entertainment channels that viewers have come to love from DirecTV.
The streaming service offers live access to local ABC stations and affiliates across most of the country, which means customers won’t have to miss a moment of the 2023 NBA Finals when they sign up for DirecTV Stream (in areas where ABC isn’t offered, the games will simulcast on ESPN 3, which is available with an active DirecTV Stream subscription via the ESPN app).
Sports fans will appreciate the wide variety of live events on DirecTV Stream: In addition to the 2023 NBA Finals, DirecTV Stream offers pro football, baseball, auto sports, hockey and more thanks to its partnerships with Fox Sports, ESPN, NBC Sports, CBS Sports. The service also offers a generous cloud DVR that allows streamers to record an unlimited amount of shows, movies and sports — perfect for those who want to save, then re-watch, every minute of the 2023 NBA Finals.
DirecTV Stream starts at $75 a month plus tax, but readers of The Desk who sign up for DirecTV Stream using this link can score a special $10 discount off their first three months of service, bringing the cost down to just $65 a month plus tax. Even better: DirecTV Stream will throw in free access to Max (formerly HBO Max), Cinemax, Showtime, Starz and MGM Plus for three months.
Cost: $70 a month
Free trial: Sometimes
Number of channels: Over 110 in base package
Cloud DVR: Limited, depends on service plan
Get it: Click or tap here
Sports fans who want access to as much live sports as they can get without the headaches of add-on packages or bloated programming plans should take a serious look at Vidgo, one of the best destinations for live professional and college sports on television.
Vidgo’s base programming package, called Vidgo Plus, offers more than 110 live channels of sports, news and entertainment from a number of providers, including ABC and ESPN, which will offer all 2023 NBA Finals games in June. While Vidgo might cost nearly double what Sling TV charges for live TV, it includes way more channels in its base programming package — including Fox News Channel, Disney Channel, Freeform, Fox, FX, National Geographic, Comedy Central and hard-to-find sports networks like Pac-12 Network, Big 10 Network, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Vidgo is sure to leave sports fans satisfied well beyond the 2023 NBA Finals.
Vidgo is best suited for people who want to catch the 2023 NBA Finals live across a wide variety of devices, including smart TVs (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV/Google TV), phones, tablets and computers. The base package offers a limited cloud DVR with just 20 hours of recording space, and only for the first three months of an active subscription, which means it’s probably not the best option for people who want to record each game of the 2023 NBA Finals to watch later. (But, read on, there are more solutions for these viewers!)
Still, Vidgo is a great option for sports fans who are new to watching live events without cable or satellite, and who want the flexibility to watch the games on their TV, phones and tablets. And it’s a great way to stay on top of college and professional sports long after the 2023 NBA Finals are done.
4. Fubo TV
Cost: Starts at $75 a month, plus regional sports fee
Free trial: Yes (7 days)
Number of channels: Over 140 in base package
Cloud DVR: 1,000 hours
Get it: Click or tap here
Streaming television services that replicate cable and satellite can be a little on the pricey end, due mostly to costs associated with bringing programming to viewers, which isn’t cheap. That said, Fubo TV recognizes that sports fans want more than just a way to watch live sports over streaming, and they’ve built a service that offers several unique features that are well worth the money.
First, the channels — Fubo TV will absolutely offer each and every game from the 2023 NBA Finals, thanks to its programming deals that include access to ABC and ESPN 3. The service also offers up live access to Fox, NBC, CBS, Fox Sports 1, CBS Sports Network, BeIN Sports and Stadium, and even produces its own channel called Fubo Sports Network.
But Fubo TV doesn’t stop there: The service offers live stats and replays of key moments during live sports games, as well as a generous cloud DVR that allows users to record 1,000 hours of programming — large enough to save all games from the 2023 NBA Finals, and then some.
Fubo TV is a great option for sports fans who want to test out a service before they commit to it, thanks to its seven-day free trial, which streamers can get when they sign up at this link.
One thing to note: For those who do decide to keep Fubo TV beyond that seven-day free trial, the service charges a separate monthly fee for regional sports channels, which runs anywhere from $11 to $14, depending on the area. The full cost of Fubo TV will be presented before you start your seven-day free trial, so there won’t be any surprises along the way.
Other Services to Consider:
- YouTube TV: The Google-backed streaming service is a sponsor of the 2023 NBA Finals, and will offer access to all games aired on ABC and ESPN 3. The service costs $73 a month and offers a generous unlimited cloud DVR feature for recording games. While YouTube TV is a great all-around service for sports fans, it encountered some glitches during the NBA playoffs and conference finals that frustrated customers. Other users have reported recent problems with YouTube TV’s cloud DVR that caused them to miss programs that didn’t record, but this seems to be an isolated issue involving just a handful of accounts. Assuming YouTube TV has worked out the kinks, it’s a great service for sports fans who want to catch the 2023 NBA Finals, and it offers a seven-day free trial (and a special discount!) when streamers sign up using this link.
- Hulu with Live TV: The Disney-owned service offers live access to local ABC stations and the ESPN networks (including ESPN 3) for just $75 per month, which also includes access to Hulu’s video on-demand library, Disney Plus (with ads) and ESPN Plus. Hulu is the best option for streamers who already have Disney Plus or ESPN Plus, and want to save money by bundling the three services together. That said, there are better options for sports fans who want the ultimately streaming TV package with the best perks available.
2023 NBA Finals Schedule
- Thursday, June 1: Game 1 (Miami at Denver), 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC
- Sunday, June 4: Game 2 (Miami at Denver), 8 p.m. ET on ABC
- Wednesday, June 7: Game 3 (Denver at Miami), 8:30 pm ET on ABC
- Friday, June 9: Game 4 (Denver at Miami), 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC
- Monday, June 12: Game 5 (Miami at Denver), 8:30 p.m. on ABC (if needed)
- Thursday, June 15: Game 6 (Denver at Miami), 8:30 p.m. on ABC (if needed)
- Sunday, June 18: Game 7 (Miami at Denver), 8 p.m. on ABC (if needed)
All 2023 NBA Finals games will stream live on Sling TV (ABC, ESPN 3), DirecTV Stream (ABC), Vidgo (ABC) and Fubo TV (ABC). Dates and times of each 2023 NBA Finals game was accurate as of Wednesday, May 31, but programming is subject to change. For the latest schedule, consult your local TV listings.