How to Watch the NBA Draft 2022

The NBA Draft is back this June, and you can watch it live on ESPN and ABC.

The 2022 NBA Draft will occur at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 23, 2022. Both rounds of the draft will air on ESPN, while ABC will also broadcast the first round.

Normally, 60 total player selections take place on draft day. But two penalties imposed by the league mean that the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks have forfeited their second-round picks.

Keep scrolling to learn more about the NBA Draft, including the best TV providers for tuning in.

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What channel is the 2022 NBA Draft on?

The 2022 NBA Draft will air live on ESPN and ABC on Thursday, June 23. ESPN will air both rounds of the draft, while a simulcast of round one will air on ABC.

ESPN Radio will also provide live coverage of the NBA Draft. You can listen to the audio-only option for free on ESPN.com and the ESPN app.

2022 NBA Draft schedule

While the draft takes place in June, there are two major NBA Draft events to keep your eyes on beforehand.

The NBA Draft Combine and the NBA Draft Lottery take over Chicago in mid-May. While both events will feature live TV coverage, only specific segments of the NBA Draft Combine will air live.

Event Date Time (ET) Channels
NBA Draft Lottery May 17, 2022 7:00 p.m. ESPN
NBA Draft Combine May 18–20, 2022 Various ESPN2, ESPNews
NBA Draft June 23, 2022 7:00 p.m. ESPN, ABC*

*First round only.

Best TV plans for watching the NBA Draft

When it comes to watching the entire NBA Draft, most TV providers will have you covered. After all, ESPN is a widely available channel.

We recommend YouTube TV ($64.99 a month) as the best provider for watching the NBA Draft. The live TV streaming service only requires a smart device and an internet connection, and it comes with both ESPN and ABC.

YouTube TV also has other essential NBA channels like TNT and NBA TV—which are important if you decide to subscribe well in advance of the draft and watch the tail end of the playoffs. We even recommend YouTube TV for watching the WNBA.

If YouTube TV doesn’t meet your budget, there are plenty of other TV providers to explore in the table below. You could also try watching the NBA Draft for free with one of the cost-saving options listed further down.

Which TV providers offer NBA Draft channels

Provider Type Price ESPN ABC Details
Cox Cable $53.00–$132.00/mo. View Plans
DIRECTV Satellite $74.99–$149.99/mo. View Plans
DIRECTV STREAM Streaming $69.99–$149.99/mo. View Plans
DISH Satellite $69.99–$104.99/mo. View Plans
fuboTV Streaming $64.99–$79.99/mo. View Plans
Hulu + Live TV Streaming $69.99–$75.99/mo. View Plans
Optimum Cable $30.00–$105.00/mo. View Plans
Philo Streaming $25.00/mo. View Plans
Sling TV Streaming $35.00–$65.00/mo. View Plans
Spectrum Cable $49.99/mo. View Plans
Xfinity Cable $49.99–$89.99/mo. View Plans
YouTube TV Streaming $64.99/mo. View Plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

How to watch the 2022 NBA Draft for free

You can watch the first round of the NBA Draft for free through your local ABC network. Of course, you’ll need to make a one-time purchase of a digital antenna to get access to local channels. But then you’ll be able to reap the benefits of over-the-air TV, which hosts hundreds of major league sporting events throughout the year.

We recommend checking out the Mohu Leaf 50 ($59.99 on Amazon)†—which has a 60-mile range and 4K capabilities. You can also verify which local channels you’ll have access to by entering your zip code on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Reception Map Tool.

If you want to watch both rounds of the NBA Draft for free, you’re out of luck because you’ll need a TV provider to watch ESPN. But you could always sign up for a free trial to a live TV streaming service if you’re desperate to catch the entire NBA Draft without paying a single penny.

Stream the NBA Draft for free

Live TV streaming services offer various free trials throughout the year. Because the NBA Draft is only a one-day event, you can easily catch all the drama during the span of one of these free trials.

What is the NBA Draft?

The NBA Draft is an off-season recruitment event usually held annually after the most recent NBA season’s conclusion.

In its current form, the NBA Draft consists of two rounds. Each round features 30 player picks assigned to NBA teams based on previous season rankings and NBA Draft Lottery results—the NBA explains the lottery in greater detail here.

Did you know? The draft actually predates the NBA as we know it today, with the first draft taking place in 1947. It featured the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball League (NBL) before the two leagues merged to become the NBA.

By default, all 30 NBA franchises would have one draft pick per round. But teams can also trade their picks with other teams throughout the year, even on draft day.

Like in the NFL, the NBA also hosts a scouting combine where teams can scout potential draftees in the buildup to the draft. Live segments from the NBA Draft Combine—featuring player interviews, drills, and scrimmages—usually air on ESPN channels.

Final take

While ABC will air the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft, ESPN has your back with live coverage of both draft rounds. Luckily, ESPN is found in most TV plans these days.

We think YouTube TV is the MVP of TV providers for watching the NBA Draft. At $64.99 a month, you’ll get ESPN and ABC on top of every major channel required for watching both the NBA and the WNBA—should you stick around beyond the draft.

If you’re okay with only watching the first round of the draft, you could also simply tune in to your local ABC channel with a digital antenna. We often recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 ($59.99 on Amazon), but there are several other types you can browse on our Best Antennas for Cord-Cutters page.

Methodology

Our basketball experts researched the best ways to watch the NBA Draft by comparing the prices and channel lineups of the most popular TV services. Because the NBA Draft is completely televised on one channel and partially on another, we based our recommendations on provider availability and additional league coverage.

To learn more about our methods, check out our How We Rank page.

How to watch the NBA Draft FAQ

Is the NBA Draft Combine televised?

The NBA Draft Combine will air on ESPN2 and ESPNews. While the upcoming edition runs from May 18 to May 20, the first day will not air live on TV.

Is the NBA Draft Lottery on TV?

The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery took place on Tuesday, May 17, with coverage airing on ESPN.

Can you watch the NBA Draft without cable?

Most live TV streaming services like Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV carry ESPN, allowing you to watch the NBA Draft without signing up for a cable or satellite TV provider. You can also watch the first draft round over the air on ABC by using a digital antenna.

Disclaimer

Amazon.com price as of 04/22/22 9:00 a.m. MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

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