How to watch the NBA in the UK

LeBron vs Kawhi
Complete guide to watching the NBA in the UK. Photo from Silver Screen and Roll.

There are a few options to watch the NBA in the UK. The time difference can make following the NBA from across the Atlantic a difficult task with fans often having to choose between sleep and games.

Some will opt to sleep and spend the next day dodging the score before they can watch last night’s action. Others will sacrifice rest to watch their favorite team.

NBA viewership is growing in the UK. There’s an active online community of UK-based NBA fans. It’s still battling to catch up with the NFL and Super Bowl mania, but basketball is gradually getting more attention.

Whether a lifelong fan or just getting into the sport, it’s useful to know how to watch the NBA in the UK. Here’s a quick rundown of the options, featuring some price information.

Sky Sports

Sky Sports announced a four-year deal to broadcast the NBA in October 2018. They replaced BT Sport as UK rights holders to the Association.

Sky Sports shows at least one NBA game on most nights. These are usually aired on Sky Sports Arena, though they have occasionally renamed the channel to Sky Sports NBA. Games will sometimes be shown on Sky Sports Main Event, too.

While BT took some ESPN coverage, including popular talk show The Jump, Sky has chosen to produce their own UK-based content. This is headlined by Heat Check.

Depending on your television provider, there will be an array of Sky Sports packages available.


If a Sky subscription is not of interest, Now TV is an alternative. This is a way to get access to Sky Sports with a daily, weekly or monthly pass. A Day Pass costs £9.99, which seems expensive, but it could be a good option for those days with multiple NBA games.

Sky’s selection of games can be a bit sporadic. Relying on them to show your favorite team is risky, but they go all out for big days in the NBA season like Christmas Day, and they show every playoff game.

NBA League Pass

Just like its MLB and NFL alternatives, there are various different options for NBA League Pass. Basketball fans can choose to get a taster with a Day Pass for £5.99, which enables access to live and on-demand features.

There’s also a three-game choice package for £31.99. This allows viewers to watch three NBA games per month, but this will obviously not be sufficient for devout fans.

The Team Pass is the next step up. This costs £99.99 per season, and allows complete access to full replays, condensed games and different commentary feeds for one team. Opting for the Team Pass might seem restrictive, but its price makes it a tempting option compared to League Pass.

The standard League Pass comes in at £179.99. This allows access to every game featuring every team in the current season. League Pass subscribers can also watch every game on demand from 2012 onwards, a selection of classic games and have 24/7 access to NBA TV. Full-length game replays are always available for League Pass subscribers, too.

Pay an extra £30 per season and fans can get League Pass plus Premium. The Premium option takes away adverts, but the biggest bonus is the ability to stream on two devices at once.

Streams

If the League Pass and Sky Sports are too expensive, it’s worth looking into online gaming streams.

Some bookmakers may offer live streams of games. The requirements to access the stream will vary – some bookies will want a deposit or a bet placed, while others will allow anyone with an account to watch the stream.

The downside to this, though, is that it will sometimes be restricted to a small box or not come with commentary.

Committed NBA fans will probably be happy to cough up for Sky or League Pass, but searching for streams online can be a good way to get into the NBA before making a hefty financial commitment.

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