Watching March Madness without cable TV isn’t complicated.
Cord-cutters don’t need some grand strategy involving multiple free trials of streaming services to watch every game.
Table of Contents
- How to Watch Every NCAA Game in 2022
- What if I can’t use a TV antenna for CBS?
- Other Streaming Options for March Madness 2022
- What’s the best way to stream March Madness without Cable?
How to Watch Every NCAA Game in 2022
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is back this year without most of the restrictions caused by COVID-19. Selection Sunday is on March 13. The national championship game is on April 4. There is a whole lot of basketball in between.
CBSSports.com is maintaining a full schedule of games and what channel each matchup appears on.
March Madness app
The March Madness app will once again will stream all games airing on CBS for free.
You can download the app to popular streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and even Google Chromecast with Google TV.
You will need to activate the app with a streaming or cable TV provider to watch games that air on TBS, TNT or TruTV. WarnerMedia announced that the app will have a new multi-game feature.
TV subscribers who use their pay-TV credentials to activate the app can watch two games at once. Multi-game viewing is available on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google TV and XBox One.
Sling TV’s Blue plan carries TNT, TBS and TruTV, which airs games throughout the NCAA tournament.
A subscription costs $35 per month. It’s the cheapest streaming option for these channels. Sling doesn’t carry CBS. But you can start watching with a free 3-day trial. Pay for a two-month subscription, and you’ll get a free streaming device or TV antenna.
Free CBS broadcasts with a TV antenna
A TV antenna is my go-to way to watch all NCAA games airing on CBS for free.
Pick the right TV antenna, and you can get CBS and other broadcast networks such as NBC, ABC and FOX free for life. If you have an antenna handy, plug it into your television’s coax port and scan for channels.
No internet connection or streaming hardware required. You can use a free online tool on the AntennasDirect site to find local broadcast towers in your area.
The transmitter tool requires you to type in your zip code, and recommends TV antennas based on your proximity to broadcast towers.
If you are new to TV antennas, here is a list of resources that I have written to get you started.
- How to Choose the Best TV Antenna and OTA DVR
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
What if I can’t use a TV antenna for CBS?
If a TV antenna or the March Madness app isn’t going to work for you, the cheapest way to get a local CBS station is through Paramount+.
You can still live stream all NCAA games broadcast on local CBS stations with the Paramount+ app.
A subscription is $4.99 per month. New subscribers can sign up for a free 7-day trial. Paramount+ already has movies and TV shows from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Smithsonian.
Other Streaming Options for March Madness 2022
Here is a breakdown of other live TV streaming services that also carry sports, news and entertainment channels.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu with Live TV has 75 channels, including all four channels you’ll need for March Madness in one place.
A Hulu + Live TV subscription costs $69.99 per month. Subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR. The service now includes subscriptions to Disney+ and ESPN+.
You can watch live TV on two screens at once. Hulu currently does not offer a free trial for live TV.
If you already subscribe to any Disney-owned streaming service, bundling your subscriptions may be your most economical option. You can look over Hulu’s channel lineup for live TV.
YouTube TV has 85 channels, including CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV for $64.99 per month.
Local ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS stations are available across the U.S. Big Ten Network, FS1, FS2 and four different ESPN channels round out sports.
Subscribers get unlimited Cloud DVR. You can stream live TV on up to three screens at once.
YouTube TV is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast with Google TV and Apple TV. You can also watch games on your mobile app or a PC.
YouTube TV offers a free 7-day trial.
DIRECTV STREAM carries 65 channels in the Entertainment bundle. The channel lineup includes local CBS stations, TNT, TruTV and TBS, covering you for all things March Madness.
The Entertainment bundle costs $69.99 per month. Subscribers get unlimited Cloud DVR and 40,000 on-demand shows. You can watch live TV on up to 20 screens at once.
Subscribers can get three months of Showtime, STARZ, Cinemax and EPIX for free before the monthly rates kick in.
You can sign up for a free 5-day trial without any obligations.
You can watch DIRECTV STREAM on Smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
Subscriptions run month to month. There are no contracts or obligations.
What’s the best way to stream March Madness without Cable?
If you want the cheapest approach possible for watching March Madness this year, I recommend using a TV antenna for CBS, and Sling Blue plan for the remaining channels.
You can get a free 3-day trial of Sling Blue.
Paramount+ is a way you can watch a local CBS station if the March Madness app doesn’t work well. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of Paramount+.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble