March Madness 2017 Guide for Cord Cutters

March 06, 2017

Want the simplest and most affordable solution possible for watching every tournament game without traditional cable or satellite? Visit for your March Madness cord-cutting solution.

March 14th marks the beginning of one of the most popular events in all of sports: the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament a.k.a. March Madness. The tournament spans the entire second half of the month and culminates with the Final Four and Championship at the beginning of April.

For cord cutters, it’s never been easier to watch all the action. Here are the most important details.

A Quick Look at the March Madness Schedule

While the exact schedule hasn’t been released yet, here’s an overview of dates for each round, as well as which networks will be broadcasting.

  • Selection Sunday – March 12, CBS
  • First Four – March 14-15, TruTV
  • Round One – March 16-17, CBS, TBS, TNT, or TruTV
  • Round Two – March 18-19, CBS, TBS, or TNT
  • Sweet Sixteen – March 23-24, CBS or TBS
  • Elite Eight – March 25-26, CBS or TBS
  • Final Four – April 1, CBS
  • Championship – April 3, CBS

Watch the Most Important Action on CBS for Free

Last year, CBS broadcast 21 games throughout the March Madness tournament, but TNT had the most important matchups, including the Final Four and the Championship game. This year, CBS will carry plenty of action in nearly every round with one major difference—the Final Four and the Championship will be broadcast on CBS. Not only that, CBS will also broadcast Selection Sunday on March 12th, which will kick off the tournament festivities.

What does that mean for cord cutters? You can watch the most important action for free without even subscribing to a streaming service. And of course, if you want to record the action, skip commercials, or even stream on-the-go, simply pair your antenna with an over-the-air DVR like the Tablo. That way you ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action.

Not sure which antenna is right for you? Plug in your zip code for a recommendation.

What About Games Not on CBS?

CBS shares March Madness broadcast rights with Turner for all rounds of the tournament leading up to the Final Four. Turner divides its share of games among TNT, TBS, and TruTV. Unfortunately, none of these networks are available using your antenna. However, cord cutters can receive these channels on one of the following streaming services:

Sling TV

For $25 per month, Sling Blue will get you TBS, TruTV and TNT live streaming. If you have the Sling Orange, TruTV is available on the Comedy Plus Extra add-on package.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is the second cheapest way to watch the Turner-owned stations at $29.99 per month. You’ll also find that in some markets, Vue allows you to stream the CBS affiliate, which could be pretty enticing for some people.


DIRECTV NOW features all three Turner-owned stations you need in its $35 per month package. It’s worth noting that the service is not currently live on Roku devices.

The great thing about the services above is that each comes with a 7-day free trial. Theoretically, you could switch between free trials and catch all the rounds with TNT, TBS, and TruTV match-ups.

What About the March Madness Live App?

The NCAA does have its own official app for the tournament, the March Madness Live app. The app is available on most major streaming players and mobile devices. You can also access the web-based version here.

The bad part about the app is that it requires a cable login for all TNT, TBS, and TruTV games. However, it doesn’t require a login for CBS games, as long as you watch on your computer or mobile device. CBS games won’t be streamed for free on streaming players like Roku or Apple TV.

If You Can’t Get it with an Antenna, Stream CBS with CBS All Access

CBS does have its own streaming service, CBS All Access. The service is available in the majority of markets across the US with a live stream of the local affiliate, starting at $5.99 per month.

The post March Madness 2017 Guide for Cord Cutters appeared first on Mohu.

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