Following an unusual ‘Play-In Tournament’ to decide the 7th and 8th teams, the NBA Playoffs is finally here, and you can watch the basketball from the UK. Check our guide to find out what games are being live streamed, what TV channels and how to watch online.
The Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors didn’t quite make it, but 16 teams are ready to dual it out for a place in the NBA Finals. Round 1 has begun with best-of-seven series with teams including the Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and defending champions, the LA Lakers.
Watch NBA Playoffs 2021 in the UK
You two main options for watching the NBA Playoffs in the UK, with Sky Sports having the rights to broadcast live games – some of which will be in the middle of the night in Blighty. You can also watch via the official streaming service so here’s how to watch the live streams and prices.
NBA on Sky
If you already have Sky Sports as part of your Sky Q package then things are simple, just tune into the games you want to watch that are on the Sky Sports Area (see below for which games are being shown).
If you don’t have Sky TV, then don’t panic as you can use Now (formerly Now TV) which has a Sports Membership (previously called passes). This gives you access to 11 Sky Sports channels on your TV, mobile or desktop – the app is available on a wide range of smart TVs, consoles, streaming boxes and more.
A Sports Day membership for 24-hours access costs £9.98 and currently includes five months of mobile access. If you’re happy to watch on your phone, then this is a cheap option but note you’ll “receive your Mobile Month Membership within 10 working days.”
But if you prefer the big screen and want to watch more than a couple of games, then you’re better off getting the full Sports Membership + Boost.
This option costs £33.99 per month with no commitment and a 7-day trial of Boost, which upgrades you to Full HD quality along with the ability to stream on three devices at once rather than two. After the trial, Boost costs £3 per month and will offer a 4K HDR eventually.
NBA League Pass
If the Sky options don’t suit you then the official streaming service of the NBA is likely a better choice, especially if you want to watch all the playoffs without spending too much money.
You can buy it for a one-off fee of £24.99 and this will cover you for the entire playoffs including the Finals. If you want to try it out, there’s a 7-day free trial you can take advantage of and a Day Pass is £5.99 for 24-hours access.
The League Pass includes everything you need but is restricted to streaming on one device, although desktop mode lets you select up to four streams at once. If you want to add another then you need to add Premium for an extra £5.
Along with the 2021 Playoffs you can also get replays, watch every game on-demand from 2012 season to current and every Finals game from the past 20 years, plus other features.
The NBA League Pass is available on “smartphone, tablet, PC, or any connected device on the NBA App.”
Watch the NBA Playoffs from abroad
If you’re going abroad or happen to live outside the UK or US, then you can still watch the NBA Playoffs. The official League Pass is available in Australia, for example.
Should it not be available where you are then you can access it, along with Sky, using a VPN (virtual private network). This allows you to change the IP address of your device to browse the web from a different country to where you are.
So, if you’re somewhere without Sky or the NBA League Pass you can use a VPN to set your location as the UK and still watch the live stream. We recommend NordVPN or Surfshark but you can also look at our list of the best VPNs for other options.
Also find out how to watch NHL in the UK.
Here are the upcoming NBA games being shown on Sky Sports with UK dates and times. The channel you need is Sky Sports Arena. We’ll update this as more games are added.
26 May – 3am – LA Lakers at Phoenix Suns
28 May – 12:30am – Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat
29 May – 7pm – Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat
29 May – 9:30pm – Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers
30 May – 6pm – New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks
30 May – 8:30pm – Phoenix Suns at LA Lakers
Which teams are in the NBA Playoffs 2021?
Here are the 16 teams that have made the NBA Playoffs this season, split into the two conferences.
- Utah Jazz
- Memphis Grizzlies
- LA Clippers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Denver Nuggets
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Phoenix Suns
- Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Eastern Conference
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Washington Wizards
- New York Knicks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Miami Heat
- Brooklyn Nets
- Boston Celtics