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How To Watch the NBA on Christmas Day 2023

There’s no better way for basketball fans to celebrate the holidays than watching the NBA’s five back-to-back games on Christmas Day.

This year, the NBA continues its long-running tradition of playing games on Christmas Day with another round of festive basketball on December 25. You can watch all five NBA on Christmas Day games across ABC and ESPN—meaning there are multiple options for tuning in.

Holiday matchups are one of the best parts about sports that run from fall to spring, so keep scrolling to learn how to watch this season’s most joyous NBA fixtures. Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

Don’t miss the holiday season’s biggest games!

Beyond the NBA, many leagues are active in late December and early January—including the NFL, NHL, and Premier League. It’s also when several top college football bowl games are taking place.

Avoid holiday sports FOMO and enter your zip code below to see your area’s best TV and internet providers.

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What channels show NBA on Christmas Day games?

The 2023 slate of NBA Christmas games will air across ABC and ESPN. ABC will show two matchups, while ESPN will broadcast all five.

Pro tip: NBA League Pass users won’t be able to watch NBA on Christmas Day games live because they air nationally. Luckily, you can still tune in with a separate TV plan or a digital antenna.

NBA on Christmas Day schedule

The NBA on Christmas Day schedule begins at noon eastern on December 25, with the Milwaukee Bucks visiting the New York Knicks. From then on, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, as four more games play throughout the day.

Game Date Time (ET) Channels
Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks Sunday, December 25 Noon ESPN
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Sunday, December 25 2:30 p.m. ABC, ESPN
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, December 25 5:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN
Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Sunday, December 25 8:00 p.m. ESPN
Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Sunday, December 25 10:30 p.m. ESPN

Data effective as of post date.

Best TV plans for watching the NBA on Christmas Day

The great thing about the NBA’s Christmas Day games is that all five matchups air on ESPN. Most NBA fans should already have access to the channel because it nationally televises games throughout the season—including the NBA Playoffs. But don’t worry if you’ve been skating by without national coverage.

For those needing an inexpensive TV plan with a quick sign-up process, we recommend Sling TV. Its Sling Orange plan is $40 a month and is the cheapest way to get ESPN and other national NBA channels like TNT, ESPN2, and TBS. Sling TV even offers NBA TV through its Sports Extra add-on for $11 a month.

You can also avoid a TV plan altogether by catching the Christmas games on ABC with an OTA antenna. We discuss using an antenna to watch live basketball in our free NBA viewing options section.

Which TV providers show the NBA on Christmas Day?

You can watch the NBA on Christmas Day through most cable, satellite, and live TV streaming providers. Our table below highlights some of the most popular providers and whether they carry ABC and ESPN.

Provider Price ABC ESPN Details
Cox $61.00–$152.00/mo.

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

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

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 $25.00/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. View plans

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.

*Available only in select markets. Without ABC, Sling TV subscribers can watch ESPN on ABC broadcasts via ESPN3.

Find TV providers in your area

Unlike Santa, traditional TV services aren’t omnipresent—that’s to say they’re not all available nationwide. But you can enter your zip code below to see what options are in your neck of the woods.

Please enter a valid zip code.

How to watch the NBA on Christmas Day for free

Get free local channels
Recommended antenna:
Mohu Leaf 50 ($57.99, one-time purchase)
NBA channels:
All local broadcast channels utilizes paid Amazon links. Price; $57.99 (as of 11/17/23 1:00 p.m. CT). Read full disclaimer.

If you’re looking to watch NBA games only on Christmas Day, you can sign up for a free streaming trial. Fubo and YouTube TV usually offer trials that last at least seven days, so you can activate one on Christmas morning and cancel later in the week without paying a cent.

A more reliable way to watch NBA games for free without subscribing to a TV service is by using an over-the-air (OTA) antenna to pick up ABC. It’s not an entirely free viewing method because you’ll have to pay for the antenna. But once it’s connected to your TV, you’ll get free access to all local channels within range. That might even include CBS, FOX, and NBC, which show NFL games on Christmas Day.

Pro tip: Before buying an antenna, you’ll want to check the signal distance of your local ABC affiliate. You can do this by running your zip code through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Reception Map Tool.

We often recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 for those who live in non-rural areas because its 60-mile range is usually adequate for getting key local channels. But you can browse our Best OTA Antennas page for more antenna options.

How to watch the NBA on Christmas Day FAQ

Where can I watch Christmas Day NBA games?

You can watch the 2023 Christmas Day NBA games on ABC and ESPN. Both channels are available through most TV providers, though you can also access ABC with an OTA antenna.

What NBA teams will play on Christmas Day?

In 2023, 10 NBA teams will play on Christmas Day: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Phoenix Suns.

Which NBA player has scored the most points on Christmas?

LeBron James holds the NBA record for points scored on Christmas Day—netting 460 points across 17 Christmas game appearances. He might add to his tally again this season when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Boston Celtics.


Our sports experts compiled the best ways to watch the NBA’s Christmas Day games after comparing popular TV providers’ pricing and channel offerings. We chose our viewing recommendations based on overall convenience, so you have one less thing to worry about this holiday season.

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


Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. price as of 11/17/23 1:00 p.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.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

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