No cable, no problem!

By Alex Warner
March 06, 2019 01:25 PM
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Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty

It’s March, so let the madness begin! Basketball fans, the 2019 NCAA tournament kicks off soon, but if you cut the cord on cable, don’t worry — you can still catch all the March Madness games thanks to TV streaming services like Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, ESPN+, Sling TV, and more.

Of course, you can always test out the streaming services’ seven-day free trials, but considering March Madness runs for three weeks, you might want (and need) a monthly subscription. To help you choose, we rounded up the best TV streaming services to watch the tournament and beyond.

When is March Madness?

The madness all begins March 17 with Selection Sunday, followed by the First Four tournament, the first and second rounds — which will eliminate 32 of the 64 teams in a span of three days — the regional semifinals, the final four, and finally, the championship game. It’s all airing on several different channels (see below for where to stream):

  • Selection Sunday: Will air on CBS on March 17
  • First Four: Will air on truTV on March 19
  • First and Second Rounds: Will air on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV from March 21–24
  • Regional Semifinals and Finals: Will air on CBS and TBS from March 28–31
  • Final Four: Will air on CBS on April 6
  • Championship: Will air on CBS on April 8

How to Stream March Madness Online

Diehard basketball fans, CBS All Access is one of the cheapest options for streaming all the games during the month-long event. With a subscription to CBS All Access, you’ll get live TV 24/7, which includes all the CBS-broadcasted games (see above for which games will air on CBS), exclusive access to CBS originals, and 10,000 episodes on-demand. You can get a basic plan for as little as $5.99 per month if you don’t mind commercials, or go commercial-free for $9.99 per month.

You’ll get the most bang for your buck with Hulu Live TV! The price for a Hulu Live TV subscription slightly increased to $44.99 per month (while Hulu’s basic subscription cost just went down to $5.99!), but it’s worth it when you can stream all of March Madness with your newly-gained access to 60+ channels and Hulu’s massive streaming library, which will include season three of The Handmaid’s Tale in June!

Sports fans, you’re definitely going to want more than a seven-day free trial when you hear what fuboTV has to offer. What’s great about purchasing a subscription to fuboTV is that it has an entire sports section, which includes local broadcast stations, top regional sports networks, and national entertainment, news, and sports channels (including CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV). Beyond streaming the NCAA tournament, fuboTV subscribers will get access to thousands of TV shows and movies, including episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which we know you’ll want to do after all the Jordyn Woods/Tristan Thompson drama.

Sling TV is one of the best customizable streaming service platforms, and of course, it offers its subscribers the ability to catch March Madness. The best subscription plan in our books is the Sling Orange and Blue subscription plan, which offers access to 50+ channels including TBS, TNT, and truTV. The package normally costs $40 per month, but for a limited time, Sling TV is offering its Orange and Blue plan for $25 per month for the first three months (that’s a whole 40 percent off!). For an additional $5 per month, you can add on channel bundles like the Comedy Extra package, Sports Extra package, and the ability to DVR live TV.

If you love all things sports, you’ll love ESPN+. With a subscription to ESPN+, you can watch games from MLB, MLS, NHL, and tons of other college sports in real time (so, yes, this includes March Madness).You’ll also get exclusive access to studio programs and original shows like Detail with Peyton Manning and LeBron’s More Than An Athlete. Best of all, a subscription is only $4.99 per month, and you can stream on all your devices, including your smartphone, tablet, TV streaming device (see below), smart TV, PlayStation, and Xbox.

Invest in a Streaming TV Device

Since most of March Madness will air on CBS, we suggest investing in a Fire TV Stick, Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast — all of which you can get in two days if you’re an Amazon Prime Member. All you have to do is hook it up to your TV and download the CBS sports app to watch, which you can also do on any Amazon Fire TV, like this 49-Inch Toshiba Smart TV (Fire Edition) that’s $50 off.