How to watch March Madness online

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

March Madness is arguably the most popular college sporting event on TV, raking in money commensurate with the Super Bowl or World Cup. The high stakes of the tournament inevitably create some serious drama, turning even the most apathetic alumni into crazed fanatics for their alma mater.

This year, the games begin on March 19 with the First Four, a series of games between the lowest-ranked automatic-bid teams and lowest-ranked at-large teams. The first round (Round of 64) begins Thursday, March 21, and from there it’s a nonstop barrage of basketball up through the championship game on April 8.

March Madness 2019 is particularly exciting, with a number of mid-seeded teams that look like they can stage an upset. Perhaps the biggest attraction in this year’s tournament is Duke, the perennial powerhouse that currently features the most exciting player in college basketball, forward/living dunk compilation Zion Williamson. Whether you’re a massive college hoops fan, an NBA devotee looking for the next crop of superstars, or simply a person who randomly filled out a bracket in hopes of winning your office’s pool, March Madness has plenty of excitement and entertainment for everybody. Follow our list below to find all the best ways to catch the madness yourself.

Watching the games on TV

The 2019 March Madness games will be carried on CBS, except the First Four, which will be on TruTV. The first and second rounds will be available on those two networks as well as TNT and TBS. The regional matches will be on CBS and TBS, while the Final Four will be on CBS only. If you want to watch every game on broadcast TV, your subscription package must include at least CBS and TruTV. In many areas, CBS is available over the air, which requires only an over-the-air antenna connected to your TV.

Alternatively, you can watch one of the streaming services listed below.

Streaming options

March Madness Live

Ready for the madness,March Madness Live but don’t have a TV at home? All you need to do is visit NCAA’s March Madness Live website for access to streaming games, up-to-the-second stats, and a quick look at the current bracket. CBS and Turner Broadcasting once again team up with the NCAA to offer comprehensive online coverage of all March Madness games, assuring even the most casual fans have the ability to keep up with all the action. Turner’s TNT, TBS, and TruTV join in on the streaming fun again this year, helping bring every Big Dance matchup to viewers across the globe.

Click here to check your local channel listings and availability.

March Madness Live app

March Madness Live App LogoThe NCAA also offers March Madness Live as an app capable of streaming each and every March Madness contest. The app, available for a litany of different devices (see below), is free.

Compatible Devices
iOS devices Android devices
Apple TV Apple Watch
Amazon Echo devices Amazon Fire tablets
Amazon Fire TV Google Daydream
Mac/PC Chromecast
Roku Samsung Gear VR
Xbox One Select smart TVs

Streaming services

If you want to watch the full slate of games without a pay-TV subscription, your best bet is one of these streaming services, nominally known as the “big five.” Ideally, you want CBS plus all the Turner networks — TNT, TBS, and TruTV — if possible.

Each of these services will cost you some cash for a monthly subscription, but there are two important caveats: First, they are all cheaper than similar cable or satellite packages, and second (and most importantly) each of them has a free trial of varying lengths, so if you’re new to the service you may not have to pay a dime. Follow below for details.

Sling TV

how to watch the nba finals online sling logo p

If you use Sling TV, you need a Sling Blue subscription ($25 per month), which gives you access to TNT, TBS, and TruTV. With that (in addition to the free CBS broadcasts), you will be able to watch every single tournament game. Sling Blue offers a seven-day free trial, so you won’t get the whole tournament for free, but frugal shoppers can always jump to another service once the trial expires.

The Sling TV app is available on the following devices:

Compatible Devices
iOS devices Android devices
Android TV Roku devices
AirTV Player Amazon Fire devices
Apple TV Azulle
Xiaomi Select smart TVs
Apple TV Google Chromecast
Google Chrome Windows 10 (app)
Xbox One

DirecTV Now

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To get all the Turner networks on DirecTV Now, you just need to sign up for the $40 “Live a Little” package, which is the cheapest package available. Like Sling TV, the service offers a seven-day free trial. DirecTV Now is available on the following devices:

Compatible Devices
Apple iPad Amazon Fire devices
Apple iPhone Roku devices
Apple iPod Touch Android phones
Apple TV Android tablets
Safari Google Chromecast
Google Chrome Select smart TVs

PlayStation Vue

how to watch the oscars online playstation vue logo

With PlayStation Vue, you need to verify that the Turner networks are available in your area (just click the little pin icon next to the Start Streaming button in the upper-right corner). If so, you only need the $45 Access plan (the cheapest Vue plan) to watch, and Vue offers a free five-day trial. PlayStation Vue is available on the following devices:

Compatible Devices
PlayStation 3/4 Google Chromecast
Android devices Android TV
iOS devices Apple TV
Roku devices Amazon Fire devices
Google Chrome Safari
Firefox Microsoft Edge

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu logo

Hulu’s Live TV streaming program, launched in mid-2017, just offers one package with live TV channels for a $45 monthly fee. The Turner networks are available in most — if not all — markets, but head here and enter your ZIP code to see if you qualify. Hulu with Live TV offers a seven-day free trial, and is available on the following devices:

Compatible Devices
iOS devices Amazon Fire TV devices
Android devices Roku devices
Mac PC
Apple TV Google Chromecast
Xbox One Xbox 360
Select smart TVs Nintendo Switch

YouTube TV

Youtube TV logo

YouTube’s fairly new TV platform is only available in select supported locations. The service costs $40 per month after a free five-day trial, and it includes all three Turner channels. If your area isn’t listed, simply start the signup process and it will prompt you to enter your ZIP code.

YouTube TV is available on the following devices:

Compatible Devices
iOS devices Apple TV
Android devices Roku devices
Android TV Google Chrome
Google Chromecast Select smart TVs
Xbox One Xbox One S/X

Other resources

NCAA March Madness YouTube channel

The NCAA March Madness YouTube channel provides fans with highlight clips and game updates throughout the entire championship tournament. Visitors have access to pre- and postgame interviews, expert analysis, and plenty of in-game highlights and features. If watching every second of the game doesn’t fit into your evening schedule, periodically checking in via YouTube is a great way to keep up with the action.

The college basketball subreddit

An incredible resource for NCAA fans, Reddit’s dedicated college basketball forum has a constant stream of content submitted by fans. With tournament coverage on tap for the next several weeks, expect a bevy of content related to the Big Dance, such as team interviews, expert analysis, historical facts, and outrageous memes. Reddit’s loyal user base generates the site’s wealth of content, which is both a blessing and a curse.

You will find a slew of NCAA-themed pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites on game days, but again, we caution users to stay away from unsanctioned third-party sites. Disclaimer: While Reddit is an excellent resource for anything and everything March Madness, it’s incredibly easy to waste hours poking around the rest of the site. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

ESPN’s Gamecast

Though not a video option, ESPN offers its signature play-by-play Gamecast presentation for all March Madness matchups. Just navigate to the NCAA scoreboard page via the ESPN website, click the game you want to follow, and the related Gamecast window opens. This feature shows real-time events including every made dunk, every foul, and every buzzer-beating three. Gamecast also lists each team’s stats, highlight videos, and what is trending on Twitter.

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