UPDATE: On March 12th, the NCAA announced that 2020’s March Madness NCAA Tournament is cancelled. The NCAA said the following in a statement:
“This decision is based on the evolving Covid-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities”
Original article below
We are less than a week away from the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with “Selection Sunday” starting on March 15th. The First Round begins on March 19th. However, the first four teams square off on March 17th and 18th, ushering in what many consider the official start to March Madness.
The NCAA Tournament is one of those sporting events you can catch without paying a dime for cable or satellite TV. Nearly every game of the tournament is available through streaming or a TV antenna.
Watch Every NCAA Tournament Game Online
This year’s games air on four different networks, CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. At first, this may make you recoil but fear not. All these channels are available in most areas on a few streaming services. TBS, TNT, and TruTV are available on many services, but CBS may or may not be available based on your location and the streaming service you choose.
March Madness On FuboTV
FuboTV is one of my favorites among Streaming services because it’s a startup specifically geared toward cord-cutters. They offer TBS, TNT, TruTV nationwide and CBS is most local markets. You can check here to see which channels are available in your zip code.
The following streaming devices support FuboTV:
- Android smartphones
- Android tablets
- Apple TV (4th Generation only)
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
If you aren’t in or close to one of these markets, you can still stream TBS, TNT, and TruTV while using a TV antenna to catch your local CBS broadcast. You can also check out our full review of FuboTV for more details.
March Madness on Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV offers CBS is most markets in the country. They also provide TBS, TNT, and TruTV. To see if Hulu Live TV offers CBS in your area, you can use this tool: Hulu Live TV Channels by Zipcode.
If you aren’t in or close to one of these markets, you can still stream TBS, TNT, and TruTV while using a TV antenna to catch your local CBS broadcast. Also, be sure to check out our full review of Hulu Live TV.
Hulu is supported on the following devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- iOS, Android, and Windows Smartphones and Tablets
- Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and 4
- and much more
You can 1-week sign up for Hulu here. The cost is $54.99 per month.
Other Ways to Stream March Madness
While FuboTV and Hulu are excellent options for cord-cutters to watch March Madness, there are some other options to try.
Sling TV and CBS All Access – Sling TV provides access to TBS, TNT, and TruTV through its blue package. The best thing about the service is there is no contract, so that you can drop it at any time. You can get their service free for 1-week. Since Sling TV doesn’t offer CBS, you can still catch those games with CBS All Access or by using a TV Antenna. While Sling’s blue package normally costs $30 per month, you can get your first month for $20.
YouTube TV – This service from Google provides access to your local CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV for $49.99 per month. Check out my review of YouTube TV for information on availability.
YouTube TV is available on Roku, Android, iOS (includes AirPlay to Apple TV), and Chromecasts/Chromecast-compatible TVs.
AT&T TV Now – AT&T TV NOW provides live access to TBS, TNT, and TruTV. They also provide live access to your local CBS affiliate in many parts of the country. However, it is the most expensive streaming service to watch the tournament this year. You will find all these channels on their “Plus” package for $65 per month. Be sure to check out our full review of AT&T TV NOW for more information.
DIRECTV NOW is supported on the following devices:
- 4th Gen Apple TV
- Google Chromecast, 2nd gen and higher
- Amazon Fire TV
- Fire TV Stick
- iOS devices
- Chrome and Safari browsers
Watch March Madness Online for Free
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament lasts three weeks, with the First Round of the starting on March 19th and wrapping up with the National Championship game on Monday, April 8th. This means you can take advantage of 1-week free trials from three of the services I mentioned above and watch the whole tournament for free. Just be sure to cancel each service before your free trial ends.
March Madness Live App
The NCAA does offer an app available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TVs, and Roku. However, the app requires a TV provider login. The app does accept streaming services as a valid provider, but there is a major drawback. The March Madness Live app won’t stream games airing on CBS live if you are using a TV-connected device like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, etc. Consider the finals are on CBS, this is a major deal breaker for cord cutters. I recommend just watching through your streaming service.
You can download the app below on various platforms.
2020 March Madness TV Schedule
- Selection Sunday will air March 15th on CBS
- The First Four Coverage starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17th, and Wednesday, March 18th and will air on – truTV
- The First Round is played on March 19th and 20th and airs on on CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV
- The Second Round starts on Saturday, March 21st and concludes on Sunday, March 22nd with games aired on truTV, CBS, TNT and TBS
- Thursday, March 26th kicks off the Sweet Sixteen and plays into Friday, March 27th with games airing on CBS and TBS.
- The Elite Eight start playing the next day on Saturday the 28th. They continue to play on Sunday, March 29th.
- Saturday’s Elite Eight games start at 6 p.m. on TBS
- Sunday’s Elite Eight games start at 2 p.m. on CBS
- The Final Four is played on Saturday, April 4th at 6 pm and 8:30 pm ET. The games will air on TBS.
- The National Championship is on Monday, April 6th at 9:00 PM ET on TBS
TBS is also set to air team-specific telecasts of the Final Four semifinals and title game in “TeamCast” presentations. These will be on TNT and truTV. TeamCasts will be tailored for a specific team and will have separate announcing teams.
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