The 2019 NBA playoffs have begun, with the quarterfinals, semi-finals and the NBA finals series all broadcast live into Australian homes. Here is how you can stream NBA live online in Australia.
Update: The teams for the NBA conference finals series have been decided. In the Eastern Conference, it's the Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors. While in the Western Conference, we'll enjoy the Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers. We've updated the schedule to represent the next run of games as the NBA conference finals are decided.
NBA basketball is one of the biggest sports in the world, make no mistake. While it's immense popularity in the USA is a given, there is a huge base of basketball fans here in Australia and in other countries around the world. After the regular season is done, the NBA playoffs begin, narrowing down the best teams from the two conferences (and multiple divisions) until the NBA finals series crowns a champion.
Now, onto the good news; you can watch the NBA playoffs, including the NBA finals series, live and on-demand in Australia through a number of services. The rights to broadcast the NBA into Australia lie primarily with ESPN, but it doesn't show every game of the NBA playoffs. It chops and changes what it broadcasts right down to the last minute depending on what other live sports are on at the same time. This is what ESPN has promised fans:
- NBA Playoffs - The best of the first round NBA Playoffs LIVE on ESPN
- NBA Conference Semi-Finals - The best of the NBA Conference Semi-Finals LIVE on ESPN
- NBA Conference Finals - Every game from both the Eastern & Western Conference Finals LIVE on ESPN
- NBA Finals - Every game of the NBA Finals LIVE on ESPN
ESPN itself is aired through big name services like Foxtel, Fetch and Kayo Sports. However, fans can also access the NBA League Pass to catch those games that fall through the gaps on ESPN.
Below we will compare your five best broadcast options, so you can decide how you want to enjoy the NBA playoffs, and cheer on the NBA finals series.
2019 NBA playoffs schedule – May NBA Schedule
Here are the NBA playoffs games to look out for in May 2019.
|Date||Game||Home Team||Away Team||AEST Start Time||Watch Live Stream|
|Wednesday, 15 May||Western Final - Game 1||Golden State Warriors||Portland Trail Blazers||11:00 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Thursday, 16 May||Eastern Final - Game 1||Milwaukee Bucks||Toronto Raptors||10:30 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Friday, 17 May||Western Final - Game 2||Golden State Warriors||Portland Trail Blazers||11:00 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Saturday, 18 May||Eastern Final - Game 2||Milwaukee Bucks||Toronto Raptors||10:30 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Sunday, 19 May||Western Final - Game 3||Portland Trail Blazers||Golden State Warriors||11:00 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Monday, 20 May||Eastern Final - Game 3||Toronto Raptors||Milwaukee Bucks||10:30 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Tuesday, 21 May||Western Final - Game 4||Portland Trail Blazers||Golden State Warriors||11:00 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Wednesday, 22 May||Eastern Final - Game 4||Toronto Raptors||Milwaukee Bucks||10:30 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Thursday, 23 May||Western Final - Game 5||Golden State Warriors||Portland Trail Blazers||11:00 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Friday, 24 May||Eastern Final - Game 5||Milwaukee Bucks||Toronto Raptors||10:30 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Saturday 25 May||Western Final - Game 6||Portland Trail Blazers||Golden State Warriors||11:00 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Sunday, 26 May||Eastern Final - Game 6||Toronto Raptors||Milwaukee Bucks||10:30 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Monday, 27 May||Western Final - Game 7||Golden State Warriors||Portland Trail Blazers||11:00 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
|Tuesday, 28 May||Eastern Final - Game 7||Milwaukee Bucks||Toronto Raptors||10:30 am||Kayo Sports, Foxtel|
5 Best ways to watch NBA playoffs and NBA finals series in Australia
You may not have heard of Kayo Sports before, but its Australia's newest live sports streaming service and it's been a big win for fans of all codes. Kayo Sports can be accessed through its website, as an app (on iOS or android) or on your TV (via Android TV, Apple TV, Telstra TV or ChromeCast).
It lives streams all the content from the 13 best channels offered in the Foxtel premium sports pack. This includes the eight Fox Sports channels, three beIN Sports channels and, more pertinently, the two ESPN channels. Kayo Sports also offers some truly unique - and even revolutionary - viewing features, such as Splitscreen (four channels at once), jump to key moments, a futuristic UI, choose your camera, hide scores and more.
There is a 14-day free trial, which will get you through a good portion of the NBA playoffs if not the NBA finals series without paying a cent. Then it is $25 per month with no contract on-going from there. We highly recommend it, and you can read up on it in more detail via our full review.
The traditional Foxtel IQ service also shows the NBA playoffs and the NBA finals series through the ESPN channels. The benefits of Foxtel IQ are that it allows you to record content (if you don't like using on-demand) and, where it's available, watch sport in 4K resolution. Where Kayo only shows sport, you also get lots of other entertainment programming with Foxtel IQ, such as Selling Houses Australia, Game of Thrones and Gogglebox.
However, that comes at a significant cost of $68 per month (assuming you want your sport in HD). It also isn't an instant proposition, as you need to have the cable installed in your house, as well as a set-top box placed under your TV. So, it's very much the premium option.
It's worth noting that a Foxtel IQ subscription comes with the Foxtel GO app, which will allow you to stream the NBA playoffs and NBA finals series to an iOS or Android device without any additional cost.
Sitting between Foxtel IQ and Kayo Sports is Foxtel Now. It's a streaming version of the larger cable TV service, so if you have purchased the Sports pack you can stream the NBA playoffs to almost any device.
The benefits include the fact that FOX SHOWCASE is part of the base Foxtel Now package, which means as well as the NBA playoffs and NBA finals series, you will also get Game of Thrones and other HBO content (like True Detective and Westworld). It's also currently on special for $40 per month, with a 10-day free trial period. Although it's usually $54 per month.
When compared to Kayo Sports, however, it loses out on price point, it doesn't any of the unique viewing features, and you have to pay for non-sport content even if you don't want it.
You can also access the ESPN channels through Fetch TV. If you already have that service, the ESPN channels are part of the Vibe Pack, an add-on that only costs an additional $6 per month. However, the price of your base Fetch TV pack will differ depending on who you got it through.
Thankfully you can also live stream the NBA playoffs and NBA finals series through the Fetch TV app, available on iOS and Android. We have a much more detailed analysis of Fetch TV on its hub page.
NBA League Pass:
If you want to go the full-hog, you can get every single NBA game live through the NBA League Pass. It has all the regular season rounds, the NBA playoffs and the NBA finals series. However, it costs $299.99 per season, or $109.99 for eight games in a month.
Given we're at the very end of the season, this really isn't the ideal option when compared to those above. Even when you consider that there is – at the time of writing – a 30% discount NBA playoffs special. But if you can, at the very least, check it out with the NBA League Pass free trial. The NBA League Pass works on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, ChromeCast, PS4 and Xbox One.
Get to know Kayo with our guides
How do the NBA playoffs work?
After the regular season, the top eight teams from the Eastern Conference, and the top eight teams from the Western Conference, make it to the NBA playoffs. They are seeded in order of their finishing position in their respective conference.
In the first round of the playoffs, the conferences remain separate. In it Team 1 plays Team 8, Team 2 plays Team 7, Team 3 plays Team 6, and Team 4 plays Team 5 in a best of seven series of games. Only the four winners progress.
In the conference semi-finals, again the two conferences remain separated. The top-placed winner of the first round plays the bottom-placed loser, and then the second and third-placed teams compete. Again, this is in a best-of-seven series of games.
In the conference finals, yet again the two conferences remain separated. The two winners of the semi-finals compete against each other in a best of seven series. The winner from each conference then moves forward to the NBA Finals series; it is only now that East and West. The two conference finals winners face off against each other in a seven-game series that decides the ultimate champion.
Assuming every game in the NBA playoffs and NBA finals series goes the distance, a whopping 105 games could potentially be played. That's a lot of sport!