How to Watch March Madness Online without a Cable Subscription

March is the biggest month of the year for college basketball. If you’re looking to catch all the March Madness action, but don’t have an active cable subscription, here are the best ways to stream all 67 games. That’s a lotta ball.

To make sure you can catch every game, you’ll need four key channels: CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV. Between those, you won’t miss a single jam, clutch three, or questionable call. You’ll get it all.

When is March Madness?

It’s mostly in March.

But seriously, there are a few dates you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • March 11: Selection Sunday
  • March 13-14: First Four
  • March 15-16: First Round
  • March 17-18: Second Round
  • March 22-23: Sweet 16
  • March 24-25: Elite Eight
  • March 31: Final Four
  • April 2: Championship

Now, here’s where (and how) to watch all of that.

The Official March Madness Live App

The March Madness Live app—which is available for iOS, Android, Fire TV, Windows 10, Xbox One, Roku, and the web—is going to be your starting point for every game. If you have an Apple TV, you can even watch three games at the same time with this app. Neat.

The biggest downer here is that you only get three hours free—after that, you’ll need to log in with your cable provider. And since we’re talking about doing this without a cable subscription, the odds are that this won’t work for you.

It is, however, worth mentioning that even after that three hours runs out, you’ll still be able to catch all the games that are on CBS without logging in to a cable provider. Those are legitimately free. At least that’s something.

Streaming TV Package Options

So you don’t have (nor want) cable. I respect that, but there’s nothing wrong with hitting up a streaming TV package to catch March Madness. The beautiful thing about this that you can buy it for a month, and then just cancel. Since it’s all streaming, there’s basically no set up. Here’s the breakdown of which package you’ll need for the major streaming platforms:

  • Sling: You’ll need the Blue package, which is $25/mo. CBS is missing, however.
  • YouTube TVFor $35 a month, you’ll get everything you need. However, it’s worth noting that this isn’t available in all locations yet.
  • DirecTV Now: You’ll need the Live A Little package for $35/mo. This gives you access to all the required channels.
  • PlayStation Vue: The Core package for $40 will get you all four channels you need.
  • Hulu TVFor $40 a month, you’ll be ready to go with all the channels.

If you’re looking to save a little coin, you could just go with the $25 Sling package and then watch the CBS games through the March Madness Live app. If that seems like too much hassle, we recommend just using YouTube TV for its simplicity—no need to sort through packages or anything. Just a flat fee, and you get all the channels you need. If YouTubeTV is not available in your area, DirecTV Now is the next best choice.

How to Watch Outside of the US: Use a VPN

All these methods work great if you’re in the US, but what if you’re…well, not? There’s a solution for you too: VPN.

You’ll need to find a good VPN service—we generally recommend StrongVPN for its reliable connection, ease of use, and reasonable price tag—though if you already have a preferred client, go for that.

If you’re familiar with VPN at all, then you already know the methodology here: connect to a server within the United States, and then use your streaming platform as normal.

Of course, some of these options may not work well with a VPN. For example, since YouTube TV is still geo-restricted even within the US, it’s probably not a great choice for this system. Instead, we recommend starting with Sling TV and the March Madness Live app.

Godspeed.

Image Credit: Al Sermeno Photography / Shutterstock.com

Cameron Summerson is a die-hard Android fan, Chicago Bulls fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at HTG, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, spinning legs on the bike, chugging away on the 6-string, or being disappointed in the Bulls.