March Madness 2019: How to watch the games for free without cable TV


Are you ready for some March Madness? If you want to watch the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament but don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you can stream the games for free!

Many people who no longer have a pay TV subscription still love to watch college basketball, so here’s a step-by-step game plan…

3 ways to watch March Madness 2019 for free 

The NCAA Tournament starts on March 19 and ends on April 8, with 67 games over those 19 days. Four networks will provide coverage of the action: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.

How can you watch them all for free? Here are three ways…

1. Digital antenna

Most cord cutters have probably already invested in a $40 digital antenna such as the Mohu Leaf to get local channels like CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS and independent stations.

With an antenna alone, you can watch the games that air on CBS, including the Final Four and National Championship.

If your antenna doesn’t pick up CBS, another option is to stream the games using the CBS All Access app, which has a one-week free trial and costs $6/month afterward.

2. Free trials of live TV streaming services

A digital antenna will only help you with the games that are broadcast on CBS, so you may want to sign up for a free trial of a live TV streaming service to catch the March Madness games on the Turner networks.

Depending on where you live, your local CBS may also be included with these streaming options — so this may be your best choice.

Team Clark has reviewed the channel lineups and can confirm that DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV all carry TBS, TNT and truTV.


PlayStation Vue has a 5-day free trial, but the others give you seven full days to try them out.

For a limited time, DirecTV Now’s free trial offer has been extended to a full month if you use the promo code MARCH2019 to sign up.

Important note: AT&T recently raised the starting price of DirecTV Now to $50/month and trimmed the channel lineup, but the service now includes HBO. Learn more here.

If you don’t want to continue beyond the free month, you can always cancel before the trial expires.

DirecTV Now's free month trial offer - March 2019
DirecTV Now’s free month trial offer – March 2019

Looking for a cable or satellite TV alternative beyond just March Madness? Money expert Clark Howard has tried several of the leading options and says YouTube TV is his #1 favorite.

Here’s our comparison of the best live TV streaming plans and deals!

3. NCAA March Madness Live

If you don’t plan to watch more than one game, you could take advantage of the free 3-hour preview of the NCAA March Madness Live app, which gives pay TV subscribers access to all 67 live games.

Keep in mind that after the free 3-hour preview ends, a paid TV subscription is required to continue watching.

You can easily access NCAA March Madness Live from your Roku and other popular streaming devices to view games across TBS, TNT and truTV — but not CBS.

To watch live CBS games with March Madness Live, you must use either a mobile device or computer.

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