How to Watch March Madness without cable

march madness

Watch March Madness: Live Stream all 67 NCAA games without cable

It’s never been easier to live stream March Madness and Final Four games without a cable subscription.

You don’t even need to be a cord cutting expert. This year there are more players in the streaming game like YouTube TV and Hulu With Live TV, and older ones like Sling TV.

But here’s the deal. 

What’s the best way to watch March Madness live?

The cheapest route to live streaming all 67 games of March Madness is using the Sling Blue plan ($25 per month) for TBS, TNT and truTV.

Try out Sling TV with a free week-long trial. Use an antenna to get CBS for free. The March Madness Live app will show CBS games free, but only on your PC or mobile device if you’re not a cable subscriber. CBS All Access is available for another $6.99 per month. 

Don’t want to deal with all that? Then DirecTV Now is truly your best bet for a low priced option. It gives you all the channels you need for $35 per month. That includes roughly 42 local CBS stations across the U.S.

Check DirecTV Now’s channel search engine to make sure CBS is available in your area. Then check out their service with a free 7-day trial. You can also get an Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV included in a subscription when you prepay.

Below are all your options for live streaming the 2018 NCAA Tournament and Final Four on a Roku, Apple TV, iPhone, Amazon Fire TV or other favorite streaming devices.

You’ll also learn how to tap into the March Madness Live app.

With March Madness about to tip off, you won’t want to miss Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton proving his mettle. Same goes for the coaching chops of Virginia’s Tony Bennett.

March Madness 2018: Channel Guide

Usually, I recommend an antenna-first approach to watching TV, but March Madness is different. The majority of games are being shown on TBS, with the remainder being sprinkled among TNT, truTV and CBS.

  • March 15–18: First-Second Rounds on TBS, CBS, truTV, TNT
  • March 22 – 23: Sweet 16 on TBS, CBS
  • March 24–25: Elite 8 on TBS, CBS
  • March 31: Final Four on TBS
  • April 2: NCAA Championship on  TBS

First-Round Schedule Thursday: 2018 N.C.A.A. Men’s Tournament

  • 2 p.m. — No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Pennsylvania (TBS)
  • After URI-Oklahoma — No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Iona (CBS)
  • After Tenn.-Wright St. — No. 6 Miami vs. No. 11 Loyola (Ill.) (truTV)
  • After Gonzaga-UNCG — No. 5 Ohio St. vs. No. 12 South Dakota State (TNT)
  • After Kansas-Penn — No. 8 Seton Hall vs. No. 9 NC State (TBS)
  • 6:50 p.m. — No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Radford (TNT)
  • 7:10 p.m. — No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Davidson (CBS)
  • 7:20 p.m. — No. 6 Houston vs. No. 11 San Diego St. (TBS)
  • 7:27 p.m. — No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Stephen F. Austin (truTV)
  • After Villanova-Radford — No. 8 Virginia Tech vs. No. 9 Alabama (TNT)
  • After UK-Davidson — No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 13 Buffalo (CBS)
  • After Houston-San Diego St. — No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 14 Montana (TBS)
  • After Texas Tech-SFA — No. 6 Florida vs. No. 11 St. Bonaventure (truTV)

So you’re going to want a live TV streaming service that’s going to give you the most bang for your buck. I picked the two cheapest. But for a variety of reasons, those picks won’t be ideal for everyone.

You might want to watch multiple games on a split screen, which PlayStation Vue subscribers can do when using a PS4. Or you might want to use Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV to authenticate the March Madness Live app.

The March Madness Live app has a split screen option, too. Have at it.

You may have wanted to use DirecTV Now only to find out they don’t carry CBS in your neck of the woods.

So it may come down to picking a live TV streaming service that has CBS included for you locally. I’ve done some research for you on that front. Nobody has done more drill down on tracking local CBS stations than Scott Blanchard, the founder of Streambuzz.net. I’m including his data into this 2018 March Madness streaming guide so you can make the best choice for a live TV streaming service no matter where you live in the U.S.

DirecTV Now: Watch March Madness live without cable

I recommend DirecTV Now because you can be watching a game at home using a Roku, then walk out your door and keep watching on your iPhone. It’s one of the cheapest ways to get all TBS, TNT, truTV, and CBS all in one place.

And there’s ESPN for game highlights. The one drawback of DirecTV Now is that there’s no Cloud DVR option yet.

DirecTV Now carries 41 local CBS stations across the country. So you have a pretty good shot at hitting the jackpot with getting all your channels. Just do a quick check with your zip code. If CBS is available in your area, then you’ll be able to watch every game in the tournament and easily keep track of the teams you picked for your bracket.  

The cheapest subscription to DirecTV Now gives you 60+ channels for $35 per month. If you want a break from the games, there’s A&E for some Live PD. Investigation Discovery is there for your true crime fix. You’ll get AXS TV, which has great concerts.

DirecTV Now supports live streaming on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV (4th generation), Chromecast and Chrome and Safari web browsers.

If you prepay for a month, DirecTV Now will give you an Amazon Fire TV. Prepay for three months, and you’ll get an Apple TV. Or you can just go with a free 7-day trial. Cancel it online if you don’t like the service. Unlike cable, there’s no contract or obscure fees attached to the service.

Sling TV: Watch March Madness online or live stream

While you’ll have to find an alternative way to watch NCAA games airing on CBS, Sling TV is a good budget option. A Sling Blue subscription gets you 45 channels, including Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, IFC, A&E and Comedy Central.

Like I said earlier, Sling TV has no deal with CBS. So you might just want to get a reliable antenna like the ClearStream Eclipse. Look over my guide: How to Choose the Best TV antenna & DVR for more tips on that front.

Sling TV is supported by pretty much every streaming device, including Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Chromecast. It offers 50 hours of Cloud DVR for an extra $5 per month. You can try out Sling TV free for 7-days, or look over their streaming device offers if you prepay.

YouTube TV: March Madness Live Stream without cable

If DirecTV Now doesn’t have your CBS coverage, then YouTube TV is a reliable choice for live streaming March Madness games at home or on the go. YouTube TV has been aggressive with adding local channels to its lineup. There are currently 87 local CBS stations on YouTube TV. I was impressed with YouTube TV when I reviewed the platform.

You’ll get Cloud DVR included in your subscription. The 50+ channel lineup includes AMC, Cartoon Network, ESPN, FS1, FS2, Sundance TV and USA.

YouTube TV supports live streaming on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and all Xbox One models. The mobile app lets you watch NCAA games when you’re not at home. And you can use your YouTube account to sign in to the March Madness Live app.

Just be aware that YouTube is on the brink of a $5 per month price hike. With the recent addition of new channels, you’ll pay $40 per month if you don’t signup before March 13. You can try out YouTube TV free for 7-days.

Hulu with Live TV: Watch March Madness 2018 without cable

Hulu with Live TV offers 50+ live channels, including History, Food Network, Smithsonian Channel and Oxygen for $40 per month. The live streaming platform has 135 CBS stations nationally. You can watch all the NCAA action you want either using the lives streams from TNT, TBS and truTV.

Or you can authenticate the March Madness Live app with your Hulu credentials. Hulu with Live TV supports Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Xbox One

Check out Hulu with Live TV through a free 7-day trial.

PlayStation Vue: Live Stream March Madness Multiscreen

PlayStation Vue offers about 48 live channels for $40 per month. The live streaming platform carries 109 CBS stations nationally, and TBS, TNT and truTV. Subscribers get Cloud DVR included in the subscription.

Animal Planet, BBC America, Discovery ID and National Geographic are in the entry-level channel lineup. If you’re watching Vue on a PlayStation 4, then you can use the split screen option to watch up to three live channels on one screen. You can also use your PS Vue to sign on to the March Madness Live app. PlayStation Vue supports Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV and mobile devices. PlayStation Vue offers a free 5-day trial.

Watch March Madness 2018 without Cable

So I hope all that helped. Remember, DirecTV Now is the least expensive route that includes CBS in many places around the U.S. Check out their free 7-day trial or offers that include an Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV.

On a budget? Then Sling TV’s Blue channel bundle is the way to go. Look over their free 7-day trial, and offers to get a streaming device.

How are you going to watch March Madness live this year? What are your favorite picks for your NCAA bracket? Tell fellow readers in the comments below.


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How to watch March Madness without cable
Article Name
How to watch March Madness without cable
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You can live stream all March Madness games with live TV streaming services like DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV.
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The Cord Cutting Report

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