Of the many networks that offer access to the NBA games, and in particular the playoffs, ESPN is by far one of the best. This is regarding content quality, pricing, a variety of content and the reliability of the streams. The question then becomes how to watch ESPN online to stream the NBA playoffs and similar content?
Where to watch ESPN online: ESPN Player
ESPN Player is an online portal that provides access to content from all the ESPN networks and affiliates. You can stream your favorite content both live and on demand. ESPN has been an official broadcaster of NBA games for well over a decade. Therefore, you can rest assured of the guarantee of content availability, covering all the playoff games. You can access ESPN player through browsers, Smart TVs, iOS, Android, and Windows. The content is made available to you depending on your subscription.
ESPN is made available around the world from various networks. These affiliate networks also provide access to the NBA games, and you can watch them by logging onto the particular network and accessing the content. The affiliates differ depending on the country of origin and include BT Sport for the UK, and Kwese Sports Network for Africa, among others.
You can still access ESPN without dealing directly with ESPN or any of its affiliate networks by going through third-party providers. Third-party providers are streaming networks that provide access to other networks as in the case of ESPN. Since you won’t be dealing with the ESPN network, you need to pay the subscription fee for the third-party provider and not ESPN. Third-party networks with access to the ESPN network include YouTube TV, Sling TV and Direct TV Now.
Factors to consider: Your location
For those within the US, location isn’t much of a factor to consider unless you’re thinking about NBA blackouts. Most of the content on ESPN is unavailable to people outside the US, especially the NBA. In such case, you have to consider using either the affiliate or third-party providers. If these still don’t provide content in your country, then your best option is using a VPN to bypass geo-blocking.
Your device influences both content quality and availability. For instance, ESPN Player is not accessible to all Smart TVs. As such, you have to check whether your device is supported before you download the app. More importantly, if your phone or tablet doesn’t provide quality resolution, you should consider switching devices.
The streaming service that you decide to use will determine the cost of your subscription. Keep in mind that for third-party providers, you can skip paying the subscription fee and make use of the free trial. However, if you want content for more than the duration of the NBA playoffs, you should consider a subscription.
The Bottom Line
There are many avenues to watch ESPN online, so you don’t need to be restricted to the official route. Factors such as cost, location, and device support also need consideration to avoid inconveniences. Once your network of choice has been made and all factors considered, then all you need is to log in and enjoy the NBA playoffs at your convenience.