March Madness 2019: Live Streaming without Cable on Apple TV

The March Madness 2019 schedule was recently released, so with less than a month until the First Four games, it's time to talk about how to live stream the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament! Maybe you caught March Madness 2018 via cable last year, but want to cut the cord this year and live stream March Madness 2019 cheaply, or even for free. Possibly you've been streaming national championship basketball games for some time but are searching for a new way to watch NCAA basketball online or on your Apple TV. There are lots of options you can use to stream the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games. Let's get started learning how to live stream the whole tournament, and especially the Final Four games, to our Apple TVs.

Related: Apple TV: Your Complete Guide to Setting Up & Streaming On-Demand Content

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NCAA Basketball Championship 2019: Live Streaming without Cable on Apple TV

Live Streaming Schedule: NCAA Bracket 2019

We'll find out which teams have made the cut for this year's championships on Selection Sunday, March 17, followed by the First Four on March 19 and 20. 

ncaa madness

Thanks to for this chart

Now that you know which days to anticipate live streaming, you can decide which games you'd like to catch as soon as Selection Sunday announcements happen. Here's the official bracket for 2019 so you can fill it in as the 67 games are announced. Remember, you can't catch every game live, but the beauty of many of the streaming services we'll learn about is their ability to archive games to watch another time. This is perfect if you have work or other obligations, if there is more than one game you'd like to see are happening simultaneously, or if you just want to record a favorite team playing so you can watch again later! 

How to Watch March Madness: Which Channels Are Broadcasting the Tournament?

The key to discovering whether or not you'll be able to watch March Madness is to know which games will be on which channels. This year the games will be split between TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV. Now that you know where to catch the games check with each cable alternative to see if these channels are offered in your area so you can discover whether the games you'd like to see will be streaming. If you're unfamiliar with truTV, it's a live-streaming website that is free, but only as long as you're subscribed to cable through one of their affiliates. Another way to access truTV is to subscribe to a streaming service that includes it in their offerings.

ncaa tournament 2019


Stream March Madness 2019 with OTA TV Antenna

Compatibility: Varies between manufacturers. 

Cost: Prices vary from company to company; I've seen anywhere from $17.99 - $149.99. 

Pros: Free content from local broadcasters.

Cons: Some companies charge a monthly fee to use the app associated with their antenna. 

watch ncaa basketball online free streaming

OTA stands for over the air, in other words, an antenna! Yes, it's true, you can legally pick up locally broadcasted channels and stream them to your Apple TV with an antenna. While you might be envisioning the old-fashioned version that looks like a laundry rack attached to your roof, there are now lots of OTA options that stay right inside your house. Some can boost signals, as well, which is really helpful if you live in a rural area. Just remember you won't be able to catch any games that are streaming on truTV. If it's really important for you to catch all of the March Madness games, OTA isn't your best choice. If you don't mind missing some of the games, some OTA options include AirTVHD HomeRun, and Mohu, but there are lots more out there!

Stream 2019 NCAA Tournament with the NCAA March Madness App

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: Free 

Pros: Play the March Madness Bracket Challenge while watching games.

Cons: After the three-hour free trial, you'll only see live content from CBS unless you have a cable subscription. 

ncaa madness

This free app includes three free hours of live streaming on whichever network you'd like, but when your free trial is over, you'll only be able to catch games broadcast by CBS. Although limited, this is a free, fun way to catch at least some of the March Madness games.

2019 NCAA Games with fuboTV

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: $44.99 a month.

Pros: Seven-day free trial period with no commitment. 

Con: Channel availability varies by region.

watch ncaa basketball online

FuboTV is a TV streaming service with a heavy focus on live sports. The basic package, fubo Premier, offers more than 70 channels of content. If you live in the right area,  FuboTV includes TBS, TNT, and Tru TV, so you'll be ready to live stream the entire tournament with the exception of CBS games, which you can catch on the NCAA March Madness app.

For directions on using Fubo with your Apple TV, click here.

Streaming on DirecTV Now

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV. 

Cost: $40 per month for the lowest cost package.

Pros: Seven-day free trial period. Streaming included for AT&T Wireless Customers.
Cons: Coverage varies by region.
ncaa final four live streaming.
DirecTV Now is DirecTV's streaming offering, and I was happy to find that its lowest cost plan includes TBS, TNT, CBS, and truTV in many areas. Check with DirecTV Now to see which channels are streaming in your area.

Stream With Sling TV 

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: Sling TV Orange Plan, $25 per month; Blue Plan, $25 per month; Orange and Blue, $40 per month. 

Pros:  First three months of Orange + Blue for $25 per month (limited-time offer).

Con: Channel availability varies by region.

ncaa final four

Sling TV is an à la carte, streaming tv service that allows viewers to pay far less than a cable subscription would cost. Customers can choose Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or both. As an added bonus, Sling offers a Cloud DVR option for $5 a month. This way you can record the NCAA championship games and watch them later if you have work or family plans to accommodate. If you live in the right area, Sling offers TBS, TNT, and Tru TV, but not CBS. Once again, offerings vary from region to region; make sure the  NCAA broadcasts are available in your area.

Here are step-by-step instructions to help you install Sling TV on your Apple TV. 

Stream 2019 March Madness on Apple TV with PlayStation Vue

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: Five-day free trial, then $49.99 per month.

Pros: Stream on up to five devices at once. 

Cons: Some channels are restricted outside of your home network, not all games are available to view on your iPhone.

live ncaa basketball streaming

You don't need a PlayStation to subscribe to PlayStation Vue, a live-streaming TV service that includes cloud DVR and the ability to stream on five devices at once. The least expensive package, Access, includes TNT and truTV in my area; other channels, including TBS, are available if you live in the right service area—check with PlayStation Vue to be sure. Even if you live in the right service area to get TNT, truTV, and TBS, you'll need to also subscribe to CBS All Access or use OTA tv as described above to tune in to CBS so you can watch all the NCAA Championship games this year.

Click here to learn all about setting PlayStation Vue up on your Apple TV.

Watch the 2019 NCAA Championship with Hulu Live on your Apple TV

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: Seven-day free trial, then $44.99 a month

Pros: Watch on two screens at once.

Cons: Channels vary depending on your location.

ncaa live

Hulu makes the jump and joins the live-streaming TV game with their Hulu Live offering, which includes access to the entire Hulu streaming library. If you live in the right area, $44.99 a month will get you NBC, TBS, TNT, and even truTV! All the championship games, one live streaming service.
If you live in an area where Hulu Live provides all the channels you're looking for, you can learn how to set it up on your Apple TV here

Watch the NCAA Final Four with CBS All Access

Compatibility: Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth-Generation Apple TV.

Cost: Seven-day free trial, $5.99 plus tax per month thereafter with some commercials, $9.99 a month for commercial free.

Pros: Live stream sports content as well as popular shows - commercial free available for recorded events.

Cons: Available in limited markets.

cbs live

Some of the NCAA Championship games will run only on CBS this year, which means that if you don't have cable, you need to either have a method to stream CBS or get CBS over the air with an OTA antenna as described at the beginning of the article. If you need to subscribe to CBS All Access to watch some of the games, here's a link explaining how to get the app for your Apple TV.

Watch March Madness with YouTube TV

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: $40 per month.

Pros: Six accounts per household includes personal DVR.

Cons: Includes ads.

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CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV are all offered if you live in the right market, so you'll be able to catch all the tournament games. Cloud DVR with unlimited storage means you'll be able to record games you can't watch live!

2019 March Madness Live on Apple TV

I hope that one of these options will help you live stream all the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship games you'd like to see to your Apple TV!

Top image credit: Aspen Photo /

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Leanne Hays's picture

Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.