How to watch March Madness online

Games will be streamed through the NCAA March Madness Live app. There's even a way to watch some games without a cable subscription.

Dan Graziano Associate Editor / How To
Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.
Dan Graziano
2 min read
Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET

It's March Madness time. Millions of people will tune in online and through cable or satellite providers over the next three weeks to watch the best college basketball teams in the nation face off.

There's a total of 67 games, all of which will be streamed online and broadcast across CBS (the parent company of CNET), TNT, TBS and TruTV starting on Thursday, March 17. The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 6, and will air on TBS.

Here's how you can tune in on all of your devices:

Don't have time to sit on the couch and enjoy the games? Head over to the NCAA's March Madness Live website where you can catch all of the action live.

Unfortunately, you will be required to enter credentials from a participating cable or satellite provider to watch games that are being broadcast on TNT, TBS and TruTV. The NCAA is offering a three hour preview for people without a cable subscription, although you may want to save it for the championship game or two Final Four games.

Meanwhile, games being broadcast on CBS will be available to all for free, but will only be viewable on the Web and through the NCAA March Madness app unless you log in. Once logged in, however, you will be able to watch all games through apps on Windows 10, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku players.


All hope isn't lost if you aren't a cable or satellite subscriber. As mentioned above, CBS games are streamed on the Web and through the mobile app for free. If you rather watch them on your TV, you can pick up a digital TV antenna to access CBS over the air. The hottest clips and highlights from the tournament will also be posted on the official NCAA March Madness YouTube channel.

Another option is to subscribe to a streaming service such as Sling TV or PlayStation Vue, both of which include access to TBS, TNT and TruTV (Vue also has access to CBS in select markets). Both services offer a 7-day free trial that you could sign up for prior to tip off and use to watch the first week of games. Alternately, you may want to wait to begin the trial until later in the tournament to see potentially better match-ups, such as the two Final Four games or championship game.

There is also no commitment with both services, so you can sign up for a month of access and enjoy all the games on your TV before canceling. Sling TV is available for $20, while PlayStation Vue starts at $30 a month (or $40 depending on your market).