The NBA’s post-season tournament will begin on April 11, with the playoffs starting April 15. Here’s the good news: it’s really quite easy to stream all of the action online. Below, we’ll explain which networks are showing NBA playoff fixtures in your country, as well as how you can watch the NBA abroad with the help of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Note that we’ll only be recommending official sources for watching the 2023 NBA playoffs. The NBA is incredibly popular and as such, unlicensed streams are almost inevitable. However, we strongly advise against using these. They often only have laggy, low-resolution video and can be taken offline for copyright violation at any moment. This means you might not even see who wins a given game. Most countries have at least one official NBA broadcaster anyway, so there’s no need to resort to shady, unauthorized streams.
Many of the services showing the NBA playoffs are geo-restricted. As such, you’ll need a VPN to access your usual home services while traveling abroad.
How to watch the NBA playoffs with a VPN
Never used a VPN before? Not sure how to get started? Follow the steps below to unblock and stream the 2023 NBA games from anywhere.
Here’s how to watch the NBA playoffs online from anywhere:
- First of all, you’ll need a VPN. We particularly recommend NordVPN but Surfshark and ExpressVPN are both great options too.
- Now, download and install the VPN app. Most offer a selection of apps for different operating systems so be sure to get the right one for your device.
- Decide which of the streaming services below you’d like to unblock and sign up, if you haven’t already.
- Connect to a VPN server in the required country. For example, you’d use an American server to unblock ESPN or a British server to watch on Sky Go.
- Try playing a video on your chosen service. In most cases, it will begin immediately, but if you see an error or the video buffers endlessly, clear your browser’s cookies and cache, then reload the page.
NBA playoff games are broadcast live, which is why it’s so important to check that your VPN works in advance. By performing the steps above ahead of time, you ensure there’ll be enough time to get help from your VPN’s customer service team in the event of any problems. This also reduces your chances of missing the start of the game.
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How to stream the NBA playoffs live without cable in the US
In the US, NBA playoff coverage is split between four ESPN channels, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV. ESPN, ABC, and NBA TV allow you to watch for free if your cable TV package includes these channels. But what if you don’t have cable? The good news is that you can still stream every single NBA game live online.
Both ESPN and NBA TV allow you to watch at no additional cost if you have a FuboTV, Sling TV, or YouTube TV account. We’d recommend signing up for a Sling TV account if you don’t already have one, as it’s the least expensive of the services above. The Blue plan costs $45 USD per month (currently half off) and includes TNT, ABC, ESPN1, ESPN2, and ESPN3. ESPNU can be added as part of the Sports Extra pack for an extra $11 per month, but you can skip this if you’re not interested in University basketball.
The services above are all geo-restricted and can only be accessed in the USA. Additionally, they require you to have a payment method linked to an American address, so it’s difficult for foreign users to register. Americans in other countries can still sign up and use these platforms by connecting to a VPN, however.
Where else can I watch the NBA playoffs online?
Want to watch NBA playoff coverage from outside the US? No problem: take a look below to find out which networks are showing the 2023 NBA playoff games in your country.
Canadian basketball fans can find NBA games on three different services: Sportsnet ($34.99 CAD/month), TSN ($19.99/month), and NBA TV Canada. So what’s the best course of action? Well, NBA TV Canada doesn’t offer live streams of games. Instead, these are split between TSN and Sportsnet. If either channel is included in your cable plan, you can just sign in with your provider details to watch online at no added cost.
These streaming platforms are only available in Canada. That said, you can access them from other countries by connecting to a Canadian VPN server.
In the UK, NBA fixtures are exclusively shown on Sky Sports Arena. Existing Sky Sports subscribers can sign into the Sky Go app and watch at no added cost, but otherwise, you’ll have to buy a Sky Sports pass on Now.
Your best bet is the monthly pass, which costs £34.99. You don’t actually need a Now account to purchase a Sky Sports pass, though, so at least there are no hidden charges to worry about. Alternatively, you could sign up for NBA League Pass: this costs £49.99 per season and allows you to stream every game. A seven day free trial is also available.
Sky Go and Now are geo-restricted. This means you’ll have to either be in the UK or connected to a British VPN server to use them.
It’s easy to watch the NBA playoffs live in Australia as nearly every game is shown on the same channel: ESPN. If you already get ESPN as part of your Optus or Foxtel TV package, you can just sign into the Fetch or Foxtel Go app and start watching immediately.
Want to watch the 2023 NBA in Australia without cable? Kayo Sports includes ESPN and shows most NBA playoff games. It costs $25 AUD a month and comes with a 14-day free trial. All of the above options are only available in Australia. You can use these services as normal from abroad by using a VPN.
beIN Sports and NBA TV both broadcast NBA playoff games in France. However, while you can watch every NBA playoff fixture without cable, doing so isn’t cheap. To stream NBA TV live online, you’ll have to purchase a League Pass which costs €59.99 per season. If you’d like to be able to watch every NBA game, you’ll also have to pay a further €15 per month for beIN Sports.
Both of the services above are geo-restricted, meaning you’ll need a VPN to access them abroad.
There’s no need to worry if we haven’t mentioned your country above. The NBA is extremely popular and accordingly, has official broadcasters all over the world. Better still, the NBA even provides a list of official international broadcasters, meaning it’s easy to find out exactly where and when you can stream NBA games in your country.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use a free VPN to watch NBA?
You can’t realistically use a free VPN to watch the NBA online. One of the main issues is that free VPNs don’t offer enough servers or IP addresses to meet the high number of users they attract. The result is that IP addresses quickly become blacklisted, failing to unblock content.
Servers suffer from the heavy load and streams are often low resolution and with excessive lag as a result. Besides, a free VPN likely won’t provide you with sufficient security anyway.
Where can I find the NBA Playoff schedule?
With dozens of games coming up, it wouldn't make sense for us to list them all here. However, the NBA website actually has a fantastic, region-specific schedule that'll let you know which networks are showing each game in your country, as well as what time it'll air where you are.