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What Channel Are the 2021 NBA Playoffs on?

The 2021 NBA Playoffs are on ABC, ESPN, and TNT. Read on to learn more about schedules and how to watch your favorite team.

Important update

The 2021 NBA Playoffs tipped off with a play-in tournament from May 18 through May 21. Check out TV providers and streaming services in your area to catch your favorite team.

NBA Playoff channels

To catch every single game of the NBA Playoffs and the NBA Finals, you’ll need a TV package with ABC, ESPN, and TNT.

NBA League Pass doesn’t broadcast NBA Playoff games because all games are nationally televised, but it does offer audio of the games.

Likewise, the NBA Playoffs won’t be broadcast on NBA TV, but you can stream every NBA Finals from 2000–2020 if your favorite team gets knocked out early.

2021 NBA Playoff schedule

Because of the new coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 NBA postseason is a . . . eh, a little different. We mapped out the schedule in the table below so you don’t have to scour the internet for it.

2021 NBA postseason schedule

NBA Play-In Tournament
NBA Playoffs
NBA Finals
Date Seeds
May 18–21 7th–10th See providers in your area
May 22–no later than 1st wk. of July 1st–7th (winners of Play-In Tournament) See providers in your area
No earlier than July 8th–no later than July 22 Well, it depends lol See providers in your area

How to watch the 2021 NBA Playoffs

Now that you know the channels you’ll need and the dates you’ll need them, we’ve got some recommendations on how to watch the NBA Playoffs and the NBA Finals.

And fear not hoopsters, all of the services and packages we recommend below include ABC, ESPN, and TNT.

How to watch the NBA Playoffs without cable

Best overall
YouTube TV
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Best value
Hulu + Live TV
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Sling TV Orange w/ free antenna*
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Price Channel count
$64.99/mo. 85+ View plans
$64.99–70.99/mo. 70+ View plans
$35.00/mo. 30+ View plans

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

*Must pre-pay for two month(s) of service. New customers only. Limit one device per Sling TV account. Not available with free trial. Not available in Puerto Rico.

If you’re looking to save cash, Sling TV Orange is a good deal at just $35.00 per month. The only catch is that you’ll have to sign up for Sling’s free TV antenna deal to get your local ABC affiliate.

Pro tip: Speaking of antennas . . . if you just wanna catch the NBA Finals, an antenna is the way to go. Check out our article Best Antennas for Cord-Cutters to see if an HD antenna is right for you.

We love YouTube TV. In fact, we ranked it best overall for live TV streaming services in 2021. It does, however, come with a price tag: $64.99 per month to be exact. But you can cancel any time, so why not splurge for the NBA Playoffs?

If you’re a Hulu fan (Go Big Green!), you can’t go wrong with Hulu Live. You’ll get all that fantastic Hulu on-demand content as well as 65+ live channels, including ABC, ESPN, and TNT.

How to watch the NBA Playoffs with cable or satellite TV

Best overall
DISH America's Top 200
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Best value
Spectrum TV® Select
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Best bundle
Optimum Select TV + Optimum 400
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Price Channel count
$89.99/mo. 240+ View plans
$49.99/mo. 175+ View plans
$99.99/mo. 330+ View plans

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

You’re probably wondering why we’d even bother with cable packages at this point. We know, we know, it’s 2021, but a lot of cable packages give you more total channels for about the same price as the live TV streaming services above.

Affordable cable TV providers

Most cheap cable packages include ABC, ESPN, and TNT. And some even offer internet and TV bundle discounts. Here are some of our favs.

Or see which cable providers are available in your neck of the woods.

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Spectrum TV Select will cost you less than YouTube TV or Hulu Live and get you way more channels. Just remember that this jewel of a TV plan is only available in Spectrum service areas.

Enter your zip code below to see if Spectrum is available in your area.

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DISH Network, on the other hand, is pretty much available anywhere. We like to think of DISH as the Michael Jordan of TV: G.O.A.T. (chill, Lebron fans). So if you’re willing to shell out some extra cash, DISH will have your NBA Playoff needs covered and then some.

If you live in the New York area and you want a sweet, sweet TV and internet bundle, Optimum has you covered.

With Optimum Select TV + Optimum 400, you’ll get over 330 channels (including ABC, ESPN, and TNT) and download speeds up to 400 Mbps. That’s a good grip of internet speed for most small- to medium-sized households.

Again, you’ll need to check if Optimum is available in your area. Just remember to credit us with the assist after you slam in that zip code below 😉

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NBA Playoff channel FAQ

Are the NBA Finals on ABC?

Yes, the 2021 NBA Finals are on ABC.

What channel are the NBA Finals on?

The 2021 NBA Finals are on ABC.

Where can I watch NBA games for free?

You can watch some NBA games for free on ABC with an HD antenna. You have to pay to watch NBA games on ESPN, NBA TV, NBA League Pass, and TNT. Check out our guide How to Watch the NBA for provider recommendations.