Live Stream March Madness 2020 without Cable on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad

The 2020 NCAA Tournament is less than two months away, so it's time to talk about how to live stream the games! Maybe you caught the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament via cable last year, but want to cut the cord this year and live stream March Madness 2020 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, iPhone, or iPad. 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.

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

NCAA Basketball Championship 2020: Live Stream without Cable on Apple TV

Live Streaming Schedule: NCAA Bracket 2020

We'll find out which teams have made the cut for this year's championships on Selection Sunday, March 15, followed by the First Four on March 17 and 18. You can find the complete 2020 March Madness schedule at

Once 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 2020 so you can fill it in as the 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! 

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How to Watch March Madness: NCAA Tournament TV Schedule

The key to discovering whether or not you'll be able to watch the NCAA Tournament 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 2020 with a 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

Yes, it's true, you can legally pick up locally broadcasted channels and stream them to your Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad 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 over the air 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 AirTV, SiliconDust, and Mohu, but there are lots more out there!

Stream 2020 NCAA Tournament with the NCAA March Madness App

Compatibility: Fourth-generation Apple TV and later, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch running iOS 12 or later

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.

2020 NCAA Games with fubo

Compatibility: Fourth-generation Apple TV and later, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch running iOS 10 and later

Cost: Seven-day free trial period, then $54.99/month

Pros: 30 hours of free DVR Cloud storage

Con: Channel availability varies by region

FuboTV is a TV streaming service with a heavy focus on live sports. The basic package, fubo Premier, offers more than 100 channels. 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 AT&T TV Now

Compatibility: Fourth-generation Apple TV and later

Cost: $80/month for the lowest-cost package

Pros: Seven-day free trial period
Cons: Coverage varies by region
at&t watch tv
AT&T TV Now, formerly DirecTV, happily includes TBS, TNT, CBS, and truTV in many areas its Max package. Check with AT&T TV Now to see which channels are streaming in your area.

Stream With Sling TV 

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch with iOS 11 or later 

Cost: $35 for your first month, then $45/month for Sling Blue and Orange

Pros: 10 hours free Cloud DVR storage

Cons: Does not include CBS

sling tv
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 ten hours of free Cloud DVR. 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. 

Watch the 2020 NCAA Championship with Hulu on your Apple TV

Compatibility: Fourth-generation Apple TV and later can run the new Hulu app

Cost: Hulu + Live TV is $54.99/month with commercials and $60.99/month with no commercials

Pros: Personalized profiles for each family member, record and save up to 50 hours of content with Cloud DVR

Cons: not broadcast in all areas

ncaa live
If you live in the right area, $54.99 a month will get you NBC, TBS, TNT, and even truTV! Hulu cautions that you need to have a local CBS affiliate to catch games broadcast by CBS, but even if you don't, you can use the NCAA March Madness app to fill that gap. Learn how to set it up on your Apple TV here

Watch the NCAA Final Four with CBS All Access

Compatibility: Third-Generation Apple TV and later, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch running iOS 11 and later

Cost: Seven-day free trial, $5.99/month thereafter with some commercials, $9.99/month for commercial free

Pros: 25 percent Student Discount

Cons: Live TV Available in limited markets

cbs live

Some of the NCAA Championship games run only on CBS, 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 2020 with YouTube TV

Compatibility: Fourth-generation and later Apple TV, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch with iOS 11 or later, stream to your TV using AirPlay

Cost: Free trial, then $49.99/month

Pros: Free recording with unlimited storage


youtube tv

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!

2020 March Madness Live on Apple TV

I hope that one of these options will help you live stream all the 2020 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship games you'd like to see to your Apple TV!

Top image credit: Aspen Photo /

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.