Every year, broadcasters change the options available for watching your favorite NBA team (the Blazers, natch). Here’s a handy guide to your choices in 2019.
Your viewing options depend on whether you’re in the Blazers’ broadcasting territory. Check your zip code in the NBA’s blackout tool. If you see the Blazers listed, you’re considered local to Portland.
Important note: On Oct. 29th, Sony announced that PlayStation Vue is shutting down on Jan. 30th, 2020. They’re been removed from all recommendations lists.
If you live near Portland
You’ll need access to NBC Sports Northwest, ABC (or ESPN streaming), ESPN, and TNT. The Blazers’ games on League Pass and NBA TV are blacked out.
Best Choices: YouTube TV ($50/month), Your Cable Provider (Variable)
Runner Up: Hulu Live TV ($50)
Avoid: FuboTV (More expensive, and no access to ESPN), Sling TV (No NBCSNW), PlayStation Vue (Shutting down)
YouTube TV is the best combination of features, reliability and availability for a streaming cable service, now that Google and Amazon have made peace and it’s available on Fire devices. Hulu doesn’t offer Portland ABC affiliate KATU 2, but you can stream ABC’s NBA games via ESPN3. You can’t go too wrong with any of the Big Three cable streaming services.
It may seem weird to see your local cable provider (probably Comcast) listed as a “best choice”. However, it’ll have all the channels you need, and typically, it just works. Comcast even offers streaming on some devices. It’s just not as cheap as the streaming options, even as a package deal.
If you live outside of the Portland area, but in the United States
You’ll need access to NBA League Pass, plus ABC (or ESPN streaming), ESPN, TNT, NBA TV, and if you’re in another NBA team’s market, their local sports network. NBC Sports Northwest games would be blacked out. League Pass offers multiple online streaming packages; prices below reflect the one-team pass, $17.99/month. Subscription plans are here.
Best Choice: Probably YouTube TV + NBA League Pass ($68/month)
Cheapest Choice: Sling TV (Orange + Sling Sports Extra) + League Pass ($48/month)
Runners Up: Hulu + NBATV + NBALP ($75/month), Local Cable Provider (variable rates and availability)
Avoid: FuboTV, PlayStation Vue (Shutting down)
YouTube TV is again likely the best choice, but with conditions (see next paragraph). Hulu does not offer NBA TV, so you’ll need an additional $7/month subscription from the NBA along with League Pass. Sling TV does not offer local networks, but you can stream ABC games on ESPN3. Most readers didn’t seem to prefer Sling’s apps and availability, so consider a free trial to start.
Important: If you live in the local market of other NBA teams, all their games (including against Portland) will be blacked out on League Pass and NBA TV. In a major city like Los Angeles or New York, this could involve multiple teams. What local network(s) broadcast those games, and which cable services carry them? You’ll need to research this yourself. Some cable providers also don’t offer NBA TV, so check their web site.
If you live outside of the United States
Best (and only!) choice: International League Pass.
With the exception of Canada, all NBA games are shown outside the US on International League Pass. It’s available in most countries. Select games, plus All-Star Weekend, are blacked out in Canada on League Pass due to local broadcast rights. Canadians, learn more here.
What devices are supported by each service?
Unfortunately that changes somewhat regularly. You’ll need to visit the web site of each service and research your TV’s and devices.