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How To Watch the NBA Draft 2023

The 2023 NBA Draft will air June 22 at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+, and ABC.

The 2023 NBA Draft will occur in Brooklyn on Thursday, June 22. Both rounds of the draft will air on ESPN and stream on ESPN+, while ABC will also broadcast the first round.

Several key prospects lit up the college basketball courts this past season. Now, it’s time to see how their professional careers will take off and which NBA teams will foster their talent.

Keep scrolling to learn more about the NBA Draft, including the best TV providers for tuning in. Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

Don’t miss the next NBA Draft

Enter your zip code below to score the best TV and internet providers for watching this season’s draft.

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What channel is the NBA Draft on?

The 2023 NBA Draft will appear live on ESPN, ESPN+, and ABC on Thursday, June 22. ESPN and ESPN+ will carry both draft rounds, while a simulcast of Round 1 will air on ABC.

If you prefer Spanish-language commentary, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ will show the NBA Draft en Español.

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

2023 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 16, 2023 8 p.m. ESPN
NBA Draft Combine May 17–18, 2023 Various ESPN2
NBA Draft June 22, 2023 8 p.m. ABC*, ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes

*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 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 vital for watching the NBA Playoffs leading up to the draft. It’s also a solid viewing option for watching WNBA and NBA Summer League games.

Which TV providers offer NBA Draft channels?

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.

Provider Type Price ESPN ABC Details
Cox Cable $56.00–$139.00/mo. View plans

Read Cox review
DIRECTV Satellite $64.99–$154.99/mo. View plans

Read DIRECTV review
DIRECTV STREAM Streaming $64.99–$154.99/mo. View plans

DISH Satellite $79.99–$109.99/mo. View plans

Read DISH review
fuboTV Streaming $74.99–$94.99/mo. View plans

Read fuboTV review
Hulu + Live TV Streaming $69.99–$82.99/mo. View plans

Read Hulu + Live TV review
Optimum Cable $35.00–$115.00/mo. View plans

Read Optimum review
Philo Streaming $25.00/mo. View plans

Read Philo review
Sling TV Streaming $40.00–$55.00/mo. ✔* View plans

Read Sling TV review
Spectrum Cable $59.99/mo. View plans

Read Spectrum review
Vidgo Streaming $69.99–$99.99/mo. View plans

Read Vidgo review
Xfinity Cable $20.00–$80.00/mo. View plans

Read Xfinity review
YouTube TV Streaming $72.99/mo. View plans

Read YouTube TV review

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Available only in select markets with Sling Blue. Without ABC, Sling TV subscribers can watch ESPN on ABC broadcasts via ESPN3.

Check TV providers in your area

Enter your zip code below to see which TV providers are available for your home.

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How to watch the 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 ($47.99 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 one of these trial periods.

Check out our Streaming Services with Free Trials guide for a closer look at available 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 league elaborates on the lottery with greater detail in their NBA Draft Lottery Explainer.

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 2023 NBA Draft, ESPN and ESPN+ have 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 $72.99 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 draft’s first round, you can simply tune in to your local ABC channel with a digital antenna. We often recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 ($47.99 on Amazon), but there are several other types you can browse on our Best Antennas for Cord-Cutters page.

How to watch the NBA Draft FAQ

Is the NBA Draft Combine televised?

Yes, ESPN2 televises the NBA Draft Combine. While the 2023 edition ran from May 15 to May 21, most TV coverage aired on Wednesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 18—including live scrimmages, interviews, and NBA Draft analysis.

Is the NBA Draft Lottery on TV?

Yes, ESPN aired the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 16. The 14 teams that missed out on the NBA Playoffs participated in this year’s Draft Lottery.

Can you watch the NBA Draft without cable?

Yes, you can watch the NBA Draft without a cable or satellite TV subscription through ESPN+. Otherwise, most live TV streaming services like Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV carry ESPN, and you can watch the draft’s first round on ABC using a digital antenna.


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.


Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. price as of 4/12/22 10:15 a.m. CT. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

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