skip to main content
We may earn money when you click our links.

How To Watch the NBA In-Season Tournament 2023

The NBA looks to spice things up with its inaugural In-Season Tournament, and we’ve outlined the best ways to tune in.

As the 78th NBA season unfolds, a new twist in gameplay awaits fans. Starting November 3, the NBA In-Season Tournament promises to inject a fresh dose of excitement into the first half of the regular season.

You can watch In-Season Tournament action on national channels like ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT. However, you need your local team’s in-market channels and an NBA League Pass subscription to watch the entire group stage.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best ways to tune in—ensuring you never miss a moment of the NBA’s first In-Season Tournament.

CableTV.com Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

Get courtside with the best NBA TV plan

Enter your zip code below to see your area’s top TV and internet providers.

Please enter a valid zip code.

What channel is the NBA In-Season Tournament on?

You can watch national coverage of the NBA In-Season Tournament on ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT.

Most games will air on regional sports networks (RSNs) during the group stage. Therefore, you’ll need your local NBA team’s RSN and an NBA League Pass subscription to watch in-market and out-of-market matchups.

Pro tip: Head to our How To Watch Local NBA Games guide for a list of every NBA team’s local channel affiliate.

NBA In-Season Tournament schedule

Spanning just over five weeks, the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament tips off on November 3 and ends on December 9. The tournament will feature the typical home-away format. But the semifinals and final will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

Below is an outline of the tournament’s various rounds. Head to the official NBA In-Season Tournament schedule for specific game details.

Round Start date Channels
Group Play November 3, 2023 ESPN, NBA TV, TNT, RSNs, NBA League Pass
Quarterfinals December 4, 2023 TNT
Semifinals December 7, 2023 ESPN, TNT
Championship December 9, 2023 ABC, ESPN2*

Data effective as of post date.

*ESPN2 shows the NBA Unplugged with Kevin Hart alternate telecast.

NBA In-Season Tournament groups

The NBA In-Season Tournament’s group play draw took place in July. Using last season’s standings, the league split all 30 NBA teams into groups of five within their conferences. The best teams from each group will move on to the quarterfinals, with two wild cards from each conference joining the pack.

Here’s the team list for each of the six groups in this year’s In-Season Tournament:

  • East Group A: Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Philadelphia 76ers
  • East Group B: Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Washington Wizards
  • East Group C: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, and Toronto Raptors.
  • West Group A: Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, and Utah Jazz
  • West Group B: Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Pelicans
  • West Group C: Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs

Did you know? The concept of the NBA In-Season Tournament draws inspiration from similar international soccer competitions. However, before fully embracing the tournament, the NBA tested the idea with the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Best TV plans for watching the NBA In-Season Tournament

NBA fans already prepped for the NBA regular season will have no trouble watching the In-Season Tournament. After all, regular-season and In-Season Tournament matchups air across the same channels with the same local and national blackout restrictions.

Our How To Watch NBA Games guide offers an in-depth look at the best TV plans for watching pro basketball. But here’s a quick rundown of our favorite NBA-centric TV providers.

  1. Local games: DIRECTV STREAM (starting at $69.99 a month) is the best service for watching in-market NBA games because it has fantastic RSN coverage. It also carries every national NBA channel.
  2. Out-of-market games: NBA League Pass is the only way to watch out-of-market NBA games. Some providers offer it as an add-on, but it’s also available as a standalone streaming subscription.
  3. National games: YouTube TV ($72.99 a month) is excellent for watching national NBA games on ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT because of its multi-view and unlimited DVR features. However, Sling TV presents a cheaper route for national coverage via its Sling Orange plan ($40.00 a month) and the Sports Extra add-on ($11.00 a month).

Which TV providers show the NBA In-Season Tournament?

Most TV providers carry In-Season Tournament games because ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT are common channels, as highlighted in the table below. However, NBA TV may require a higher-tiered plan or add-on package.

Provider Price ABC ESPN NBA TV TNT Details
Cox $61.00–$152.00/mo.
Check Availability
Please enter a valid zip code.
View Plans forCox
Available in


Read Cox review
DIRECTV $69.99–$159.99/mo. View plans

Read DIRECTV review
DIRECTV STREAM $69.99–$159.99/mo. View plans

Read DIRECTV STREAM review
DISH $84.99–$114.99/mo. View plans

Read DISH review
Fubo $32.99–$99.99/mo. View plans

Read Fubo review
Hulu + Live TV $76.99–$89.99/mo. View plans

Read Hulu + Live TV review
Optimum $35.00–$125.00/mo. View plans

Read Optimum review
Philo $28.00/mo. View plans

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

Read Sling TV review
Spectrum $69.99–$74.99/mo. View plans

Read Spectrum review
Verizon Fios $85.00–$129.00/mo. View plans

Read Verizon Fios review
Vidgo $69.99–$99.99/mo. View plans

Read Vidgo review
Xfinity $20.00–$80.00/mo.
Check Availability
Please enter a valid zip code.
View Plans forXfinity
Available in


Read Xfinity review
YouTube TV $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.

Find TV and internet providers near you

Enter your zip code to browse the best providers in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

How to watch the NBA In-Season Tournament for free

You can watch the NBA In-Season Tournament Championship on ABC for free using an over-the-air antenna. However, the only other way to watch tournament games for free is by taking advantage of free trial offers from live TV streaming services. DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, and YouTube TV typically provide trial periods of varying lengths.

No free trial will cover the entire length of the competition. Therefore, you’re better off waiting until the semifinals before activating a trial subscription.

How to watch the NBA In-Season Tournament FAQ

Can you watch the NBA In-Season Tournament online?

Yes, you can watch the NBA In-Season Tournament online through any live TV streaming service that offers ESPN, NBA TV, TNT, and your local team’s regional affiliate. Out-of-market games are also available to stream via NBA League Pass.

Does NBA League Pass have the NBA In-Season Tournament?

Yes, NBA League Pass shows every live out-of-market game during the NBA In-Season Tournament’s group stage. Similar to the regular season, games televised locally and nationally are accessible on demand via NBA League Pass after the conclusion of each matchup.

How does the NBA In-Season Tournament work?

The NBA In-Season Tournament features group play and knockout rounds. All games contribute to the NBA regular-season standings, except the championship match. As the tournament progresses, the top performing teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals—vying for the inaugural NBA Cup.

Methodology

Our sports experts spent over eight hours researching and testing the best services for watching the NBA In-Season Tournament. After compiling a list of tournament channels, we compared the network lineups of popular providers. We determined our viewing recommendations based on channel availability, pricing, and additional features.

Check out our How We Rank page to learn more about our methods.

Don't miss an update

Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.