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How To Watch March Madness without Cable


We are a little over a week outside the start of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament with “Selection Sunday” starting on March 12th. The First Round starts on March 16th. However, the first 4 teams square off on March 14th and 15th, ushering in what I 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

This years games will be aired on 4 different networks, CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. This may make you recoil at first, but fear not. You can catch every game with just 2 solutions. The first is Sling TV.

Sling TV provides access to TBS, TNT, and TruTV. Live TBS and TNT is available through the base package, while TruTV is accessible through their “Lifestyle Package” for an additional $5 per month. The best think about the service is there is no contract, so you can drop it at any time.

Sling TV offers 2 great promotions for those picking up the service.  You can either  try out Sling TV with a 7 day free trial, or you can sign up for three months and get your choice of a free Roku 2 or 50% off a Roku 3.

Both offers make Sling TV extremely attractive to try, and the service gives you three of the four channels you need to catch every game of the Tournament.

So that just leaves CBS, and that’s easy.  If you live in proximity to broadcast TV you can watch CBS for free using an antenna.  Check out my guide on getting digital TV with an antenna. It’s easier than one would think.

If you don’t have access to over the air TV signals, then all hope is not lost. The NCAA March Madness Live service will be live streaming every game on various platforms including Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. While games broadcast on TBS, TNT, and TruTV require login from a cable provider, games on CBS will not require a login. This provides cord cutters access to those games.

It’s yet to be seen, but hopefully CBS will make games being available on their CBS sports App. This would be ideal as it would make the CBS games available on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One, and major mobile platforms.

They haven’t announced it, but CBS aired the Super Bowl on this platform this year, so hopefully they will do the same for March Madness. You can check their website for updates on this closer to tip off, but I’ll update this post as soon as I have more information.

To be on the safe side, I would make sure you have an antenna in place if possible or use the March Madness Live service. CBS will be carry many big games throughout the tournament and the Finals, so you want to be sure you have access.

I have the current schedule posted below so you can plan ahead.  I’ll try to stay ahead of any updates.

2017 March Madness TV Schedule

If this article did not answer your specific question, check out the Cord Cutting Guide. It provides links to the most important articles in our over 200 pages of content to help you ditch pay TV.

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Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter