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There are a lot of options for cordcutters to watch March Madness this year – so many; it’s hard to make a comprehensive list. The 67 tournament games of NCAA Division I men's basketball air live on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV channels. The easiest, most portable, or cheapest solution depends on your current entertainment subscriptions and setup. Here are some tried and true ways to see every game without a cable subscription.
The good news is that TBS, TNT, and truTV are available through many streaming services. CBS may not be available based on your location and streaming service, but it’s always available with a digital antenna. Games are scheduled on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until the Final Four, with the National Championship falling on April 8th. Grab your bracket and get ready for the madness.
Although full access to the March Madness Live app is restricted to pay TV subscribers with credentials (including streaming providers), there are other options available to view without having to sign in. Without a pay TV subscription, March Madness Live app users can watch all games broadcast on CBS without a login on a handheld device or on broadcast TV with a digital antenna. Due to licensing restrictions, you can’t stream games live with an Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox One, AirPlay, or Chromecast – that makes it hard to watch the championship game with friends. For the games on other channels, visitors get a three-hour video pass before sign-in is required.
fuboTV offer TBS, TNT, TruTV nationwide and CBS in most local markets. If your local CBS affiliate isn’t carried, a digital antenna allows free access to the live broadcast on CBS. If you’re not already a subscriber, take advantage of the seven-day free trial. If you keep it, it’s $44.99/month. Supported on iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Chromecast devices.
Hulu + Live TV is a skinny bundle streaming service that carries TBS, TNT, TruTV nationwide and CBS in most local markets. If your local CBS affiliate isn’t carried, a digital antenna allows free access to the live broadcast on CBS. Supported on iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Chromecast devices. After a one-week free trial, the service costs $39.99/month.
You’ll get access to live TV streams of your CBS local affiliate, CBS News, and CBS Sports HQ for sports coverage, as well as complete access to a streaming library of classic and current CBS shows. You can sign up for the one-week free trial before the ad-supported version kicks in at $5.99/month with no contract. The app also makes it easy to watch your favorite CBS programs, whether live or on-demand, on any device no matter where you are. Read more about CBS All Access.
This service from Google provides access to TBS, TNT, and TruTV for $40 per month. CBS isn’t available as part of the streaming package in all parts of the country, but it is available over-the-air with an antenna. YouTube TV is available on Roku, Android, iOS, and Chromecast.
DirecTV Now provides live access to TBS, TNT, and TruTV but they also provide live access to your local CBS affiliate in many parts of the country. You will find all these channels on their “Plus” package for $50 per month.
Cordcutting will leave you spoiled for choice on how to watch the March Madness games. The key is finding the right service, combination, or free trials to piece together a winning strategy. An HD antenna and whatever service you use is likely to deliver the CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV channels. Enjoy the big dance!
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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