The Sixers kick off their preseason against the Toronto Raptors Monday, but good luck finding the game on television.
NBC Sports Philadelphia is only airing the Sixers two home preseason games — Thursday against the Raptors, and Oct. 11 against the Brooklyn Nets. TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV aren’t planning on airing any Sixers preseason games, either.
So if you want to tune into Monday’s game, the only option is NBA League Pass, which starts at $17.99 a month. Unlike regular-season games, the two preseason match-ups will be available on NBA League Pass to viewers in Philadelphia because the games won’t also air on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
It’ll be the first time the team takes the court together since disgruntled point guard Ben Simmons has refused to report to training camp and demanded he be traded to another team. The Sixers withheld an $8.25 million payment from his $33 million salary last week, and the three-time All-Star has now missed three practices.
Seventy-three of the Sixers’ regular-season games will air on either NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBC Sports Philadelphia+, beginning with the season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 20. The team’s home opener on Oct. 22 against the Brooklyn Nets will air exclusively on ESPN. The Sixers currently have seven games scheduled on TNT, including the team’s Jan. 27 match-up against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Calling Sixers games on NBC Sports Philadelphia this year will be Kate Scott, taking over the reigns from longtime voice Marc Zumoff, who retired at the end of last season. Joining Scott on broadcasts will be analyst Alaa Abdelnaby, who is entering his sixth season calling Sixers games.
NBC Sports Philadelphia is also expected to once again have no sideline reporter during Sixers broadcasts, a network-wide trend that began when Serena Winters was among those laid off in August 2020. The network also didn’t use a field reporter during Phillies games this year after laying off Gregg Murphy following the 2020 season.
Tom McGinnis will once again call Sixers games on the radio solo on 97.5 The Fanatic. McGinnis, who also serves as the team’s director of radio broadcasting, has been calling Sixers games since the 1994-95 season, and is probably best known for his trademark call, “Are you kidding me?!?”
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the Sixers preseason games:
Can I stream Sixers games?
NBC Sports Philadelphia will stream every Sixers game it airs on both the NBC Sports app and the MyTeams app, but a subscription to a cable service is required. Fans in the Philadelphia metro area can also get NBC Sports Philadelphia on fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, and DirecTV Stream (though you have to subscribe to their more expensive “choice” package).
The Sixers two away preseason games will only be available to watch or stream on NBA League Pass, which starts at $17.99 a month. Only out-of-market games are available through the service, meaning games that air on NBC Sports Philadelphia won’t be available to fans in Philadelphia.
When is the Sixers’ season opener?
The Sixers will open their regular season on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m.
The team’s home opener is two days later against the Brooklyn Nets, on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center, which will be allowed to have full capacity for the first time since the 2019 season (though fans will be required to wear masks to comply with Philadelphia’s indoor mask mandate).
In addition, Wells Fargo Center parking lots will no longer accept cash payments. Parking can be purchased in advance at the Wells Fargo Center website, or fans can use Apple Pay, Google Pay, or any major credit card.
2021 Sixers preseason schedule
Monday, Oct. 4: Sixers at Raptors, 7 p.m. (NBA League Pass, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Thursday, Oct. 7: Raptors at Sixers, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Monday, Oct. 11: Nets at Sixers, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Friday, Oct. 15: Sixers at Pistons, 7 p.m. (NBA League Pass, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Sixers first five regular season games
Wednesday, Oct. 20: Sixers at Pelicans, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Friday, Oct. 22: Nets at Sixers, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Sunday, Oct. 24: Sixers at Thunder, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Tuesday, Oct. 26: Sixers at Knicks (TNT, 97.5 The Fanatic)
Thursday, Oct. 28: Pistons at Sixers (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic)