Basketball fans, March Madness is almost upon us! But don’t fret if you’ve canceled cable because you can still watch the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament thanks to online TV streaming services. There are plenty of options available — like Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, ESPN+, Sling TV, and more — which is why it can be tough to decide which one offers the best subscription plan for your needs.
So, we did all the hard work for you and compared streaming service subscription plans so you can choose the right one to watch all the NCAA basketball action and beyond. Don’t forget, you can always test out the streaming services’ seven-day free trials, but considering March Madness runs for three weeks, you might want a monthly subscription.
When is March Madness?
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament kicks off March 17 with Selection Sunday, followed by the First Four tournament, the first and second rounds, 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: 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
If you’re looking for one of the cheapest streaming service options to get your March Madness fix, CBS All Access is your winner. With a subscription to CBS All Access, you’ll be able to stream your local CBS broadcast live 24/7, which includes all of the CBS-broadcasted games. Plus, there are over 10,000 episodes on-demand at your disposal to binge watch and a subscription gives you exclusive access to CBS originals like Big Brother. A commercial-free plan costs $9.99 per month, or if you don’t mind a few minor interruptions, you can get a basic plan for only $5.99 per month.
With 60+ channels and access to Hulu’s massive streaming library, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with a Hulu Live TV subscription. The price just slightly increased to $44.99 per month (while Hulu’s basic subscription cost went down to $5.99), but it’s worth it when you can stream all of March Madness and gain access to watch season three of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale in June!
Sports fans, fuboTV offers one of the best ways to watch the entire month-long event. With a subscription to fuboTV, you can easily access tons of sports channels, including CBS, TNT, TBS, truTV, and more. Beyond streaming March Madness, fuboTV subscribers will get access to thousands of movies and TV shows, including some of your favorites like This Is Us, The Walking Dead, and Shameless.
Want to customize your streaming subscription plan? Sling TV has you covered! There’s several options to choose from — Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange and Blue — but you can customize your plan with one of its add-on packages, like the Comedy Extra or Sports Extra, for an extra $5 per month. Right now Sling TV is offering its Orange and Blue plan for $25 per month (down from $40) for the first three months. With the combination plan, you’ll get 50+ channels, including TBS, TNT, and truTV.
Diehard basketball fans, you’ll love ESPN+ because you can watch all your favorite sports teams live with access to MLB, MLS, NHL, and tons of other sports channels. Plus, with an ESPN+ subscription, 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
Most of March Madness will air on CBS, so we suggest using this as your excuse to buy a TV streaming device, like 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. It’s as easy as hooking it up to your TV and downloading the CBS sports app to watch, which you can also do on any Amazon Fire TV, like this Toshiba Smart TV that’s $50 off.