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Tips for Watching the 2024 NBA Finals for Free

The NBA Finals are right around the corner but don’t have cable or streaming services to watch? Don’t worry, there are still several ways to catch all the action without spending a dime. From free trials to public viewings, you can enjoy the biggest games of the year with a little creativity without breaking the bank.

The 2024 Finals are scheduled for June 6 between the top teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences. In a league with so much parity, upsets are always possible.

But one thing is for certain: the hardwood excitement will be in full effect in June. So whether your team is playing or not, read on for some sneaky strategies to watch the NBA finals for free.

1. Free Trials of Streaming Services

Streaming services have made it easier than ever to watch from anywhere. While regular subscriptions come with fees, many platforms entice new users with extended free trial periods. You could potentially sign up, binge every NBA finals games online, and then cancel before being charged. Just be certain to note trial expiration dates on your calendar.

Some providers allow multiple free trials, too, by clearing site data or using another email. Do your homework to maximize these temporary free access windows.

Trials introduce you to streaming quality without commitment, as well. You may decide the convenience is worth becoming a long-time member after all. Still, it’s worth a shot if you’re only seeking to catch a game or two without digging too deep into your pockets.

2. Free Local Broadcasts

All Finals games that air on ABC can also be viewed for free through an HD antenna. If you live in or near a major market, you may be able to pick up your local ABC affiliate with a basic indoor antenna.

Nowadays, affordable indoor antennas can cost less than $30 and offer crisp HD pictures. You don’t need cable or a streaming subscription to get games on ABC using an antenna.

An inexpensive one-time investment could unlock a third or more of the Finals for you at no ongoing cost. At the minimum, try it out for the handful of ABC games, and you may be pleasantly surprised at the quality and channels you can get.

Young basketball player against dark background

3. Bars and Restaurants

Gathering with other basketball diehards at your favorite local watering hole is a time-honored way to enjoy big games without commercials interrupting the flow. Any establishment with a cable subscription can legally display public broadcasts like NBA finals battles.

So barhop to spots advertising watch parties or scout which restaurants showcase sports. The atmosphere truly makes the experience while softening the financial blow of viewing in public.

4. Friends and Family Accounts

If you know someone with a live TV streaming subscription, see if they’ll let you use their login to watch on the NBA’s site or app. Services like YouTube TV allow three concurrent streams, so your friend might not notice you’re signed in elsewhere.

Additionally, many cable and satellite subs now include online streaming via provider sites or apps, which you can access with a trusting friend’s credentials. Just get explicit permission first, so no one gets in trouble for account sharing down the road. With some smooth talking, you can watch the whole series without paying a dime.

5. Public Places with Free Wi-Fi

Fast and free public WiFi hotspots provide another opportunity to stream games without using your data. Places like libraries, municipal buildings, and parks often boast strong signals that are available to all. Once connected, you can try accessing games through provider apps with someone else’s credentials, as discussed above.

Additionally, some major cities run programs offering free citywide WiFi coverage in downtown areas, providing another no-cost access point if signals in parks need to be sufficiently strong. With a fully charged device, find a seat and enjoy the games from a local hotspot, staying connected without draining your data plan.

6. An Outdoor Viewing Party

If watching as part of a group sounds appealing but no one has cable, host an old-fashioned block party-style outdoor viewing ‘shindig’. Depending on where you live, related city permits and noise ordinances may need observing.

However, a backyard, driveway or local park could easily accommodate folding chairs and a large projector or TV for all to see. Assign people to bring snacks, drinks and camp chairs for maximum comfort.

The event brings neighbors together around basketball and barbecues without a cable subscription in sight. Just be sure to get permission and keep the volume reasonable for all to enjoy.


Don’t rule out any option until you explore it fully. With some creativity, there are usually ways fans are determined to watch the finals for free. Take advantage of viewing parties, free streams, shared credentials or bar promotions to enjoy all the action without breaking the bank.

The games will go by in a flash, so have backup plans to ensure nothing stops you from following the final chapter of the NBA season unfold.

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