CLEVELAND, Ohio — With newly acquired Caris LeVert set to make his Cleveland Cavaliers debut, you might be wondering how you can watch them on television. The team, led by Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, is the surprise of the East and in the thick of the playoff race within striking distance of the top seed.
RELATED: How to order DirecTV Stream to be able to watch Cavaliers — and Guardians — games
Cavs games are broadcast locally on Bally Sports Ohio, formerly known as Fox Sports Ohio. The network is available on many cable and satellite systems across the state including Spectrum, AT&T U-verse, DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Cox and WOW. But what about fans who have cut the cord and rely on streaming services instead? Their options are much more limited.
Let’s talk about it.
How we got here
Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased 21 Fox Sports regional sports networks, including what is now Bally Sports Ohio, from Disney for $9.6 billion in 2019. But holding the broadcast rights of 42 professional sports teams across the nation is an expensive endeavor and since then Sinclair and virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPD) like YouTube TV, FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling have been at odds over what that price should be and who should pay it. As the result, none of those services carry Bally Sports Ohio nor Bally Sports Great Lakes, the television home of the Cleveland Guardians, any longer. Sinclair has instead focused its efforts on launching a direct-to-consumer product that will allow fans to sidestep third-party providers and subscribe directly to their local RSN and watch games on an app. That process, however, has turned out to be long and complicated.
And then there was one: DirecTV Stream
Not every streaming service has dropped Bally Sports. DirecTV Stream, formerly known as AT&T TV Now and DirecTV Now, still offers the region’s two Sinclair-owned regional sports networks. But it comes at a price. Bally Sports Ohio and Bally Sports Great Lakes are available as part of DirecTV Stream’s Choice plan, which costs $89.99 a month. The price is comparable to cable, but doesn’t come with equipment costs or require a contract.
Not interested in DirecTV Stream? You can still stream Cavaliers games on the NBA’s national broadcast partners ESPN, ABC and TNT, which are available on most of the major streaming services– the big exception is FuboTV, which doesn’t carry TNT. Unfortunately, until the playoffs start, the only remaining Cavaliers game on national TV is the March 6 contest against Toronto on ESPN.
RELATED: Get ESPN and 100+ more channels on FuboTV
What about League Pass or NBA TV?
Hard to believe, but it’s actually easier and cheaper to stream Cavaliers games if you live outside of Ohio. NBA TV, available on FuboTV, Sling and YouTube TV, broadcasts Cavs games more frequently than ESPN, ABC or TNT, though there are none left on the schedule. League Pass lets you stream the remainder of the team’s regular-season games for a flat rate at $39.99. But, again, Cavaliers games on both NBA TV and League Pass are blacked out locally.
RELATED: Subscribe to League Pass starting at $13.99 per month or $39.99 for the rest of the season (one team)