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How to stream all March Madness games from CBS and TNT Sports

A close-up image of a basketball.
(Stock image)

Every spring, college basketball explodes in a frenzy known as March Madness. This single-elimination tournament crowns the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Champion, but it’s become much more than just a game. It’s a cultural phenomenon, gripping the nation with its thrilling upsets, Cinderella stories, and buzzer-beaters.

For years, the March Madness tournament was split between broadcast television (CBS) and cable (TBS, TNT and Tru TV) — and college basketball fans who wanted to watch the entire tournament had no choice but to buy cable or satellite TV if they wanted to catch all the action.

These days, things are much simpler: The March Madness basketball tournament is widely available on streaming services that replicate the cable experience — but choosing which service to buy (or, in some cases, try out for free) is incredibly important if you want to watch all the action.

Read on to learn more about the March Madness tournament and how to watch all the games via streaming TV:

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(Stock image via Pexels, Graphic by The Desk)

What is the March Madness tournament?

The madness begins with Selection Sunday, where 68 teams are chosen for the tournament. These include champions from 32 conferences who receive automatic bids, and 36 at-large selections meticulously chosen by a committee. Selection Sunday is a day filled with anticipation, with fans eagerly awaiting their team’s fate and hoping for a favorable matchup.

The teams are divided into four regions – East, West, South, and Midwest – and seeded 1 through 16 within each region. This sets the stage for seven rounds of thrilling matchups, with the higher seeds facing lower seeds in the first round. The beauty of March Madness lies in its unpredictability. Lower-seeded teams, often referred to as “Cinderellas,” can pull off stunning upsets against the favorites, injecting excitement and heartbreak into the competition.

The tension builds with each round, culminating in the Final Four, where the remaining four teams battle it out for a spot in the National Championship game. This championship game, held on the first Sunday in April, is a spectacle of athleticism and drama, watched by millions across the country. Whether it’s a last-second shot or a dominant performance, the champion is etched in history, adding another chapter to the ever-growing legend of March Madness.

Beyond the games themselves, March Madness is a social event. People gather at watch parties, filling out brackets in hopes of predicting the champions, and workplaces transform into cheering sections. The contagious energy and shared experience create a sense of community, uniting fans in their love for the game.

The logo of streaming service Paramount Plus. (Graphic by Bolivia Inteligente via Unsplash)
The logo of streaming service Paramount Plus. (Graphic by Bolivia Inteligente via Unsplash)

How do I stream March Madness games that are on CBS?

The cheapest way to watch the CBS games of the NCAA March Madness tournament is to sign up for Paramount Plus with Showtime, which costs $12 per month or $120 per year and includes live access to local CBS stations and affiliates.

Paramount Plus with Showtime doesn’t just offer streaming access to CBS: Subscribers will also get the East Coast and West Coast feeds of Showtime, plus access to hundreds of TV shows and movies from Paramount Pictures, Showtime, CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Comedy Central, BET and more — all from within the Paramount Plus app on streaming TVs, phones, tablets and the Paramount Plus website.

Paramount Plus with Showtime offers a seven-day free trial, so streamers can try out the service before they commit to buying it. To try out Paramount Plus with Showtime for free, click or tap here. Paramount Plus with Showtime is available on many streaming TV platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV (Google TV) and Roku, along with some smart TV platforms made by Sony, LG, Samsung and Vizio.

The unnamed "sweat mop guy" is the face of Sling TV's latest national advertising campaign. (Courtesy image, Graphic by The Desk)
The unnamed “sweat mop guy” is the face of Sling TV’s latest national advertising campaign. (Courtesy image, Graphic by The Desk)

How do I stream March Madness games that are on TNT Sports?

CBS isn’t the only channel that will offer March Madness games: Some of the tournament will air on TNT Sports, which is owned by Warner Bros Discovery (WBD). TNT Sports programming is split across three WBD-owned cable channels: TNT, TBS and Tru TV. Games from the NCAA March Madness tournament that aren’t airing on CBS will air on the three TNT Sports channels.

The easiest way to watch all three channels from a single platform is to sign up for Dish Network’s Sling TV, which offers two base programming packages: Sling Orange (includes Disney-owned channels like ESPN) and Sling Blue (includes Fox and NBC channels like Fox News, Fox Sports 1, Bravo, USA and E!). Both Sling Orange and Sling Blue offer the three TNT Sports channels, so it doesn’t matter which you sign up for.

Even better: New customers can grab their first month of Sling TV for just $20 when they sign up by clicking or tapping here. Sling TV is widely available on streaming TV platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV (Google TV) and smart TVs made by Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony.

How do I stream March Madness games on CBS and TNT Sports from a single app?

The easiest way to watch the NCAA March Madness tournament is to sign up for a cable-like streaming service that offers all three TNT Sports channels — TNT, TBS and Tru TV — along with local CBS stations and affiliates from across the country.

DirecTV Stream is one of the few streaming cable TV alternatives that offer live access to CBS plus national networks like TBS, TNT, Tru TV and others. While DirecTV Stream is not cheap — the Entertainment package starts at $70 per month — it offers several channels of live sports programming, including college basketball and professional baseball, hockey and soccer, from a single platform. That means no switching apps or signing up for multiple services just to watch the games you want to watch.

DirecTV Stream’s Entertainment package includes live access to ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC stations in nearly all parts of the country, along with live access to TBS, TNT, Tru TV, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN 2 and more, starting at $70 per month. A free trial is available to new customers who sign up by clicking or tapping here.

Can I watch the March Madness tournament on Max?

Yes, but you won’t get all NCAA March Madness tournament games through Max. The Bleacher Report add-on is currently free to Max subscribers who pay at least $10 per month for the ad-supported version of the service (or $16 per month for ad-free, on-demand streaming), but the Bleacher Report add-on only offers live sports from TBS, TNT and Tru TV — and it isn’t clear if the add-on will remain free throughout the tournament.

That said, new customers who sign up for Max by clicking or tapping this link can score a discount on an annual subscription, one that lowers the price by over 40 percent across all plans (including the ad-supported one). The deal is available to new, former and existing customers who access the deal by clicking or tapping this link.

Max subscribers who want access to NCAA March Madness games aired on CBS should sign up for Paramount Plus with Showtime. A free trial of Paramount Plus with Showtime is available by clicking or tapping here.

Can I watch the March Madness tournament on Fubo?

While Fubo offers a large amount of sports programming, it won’t offer all games from the NCAA March Madness tournament. The reason? It doesn’t offer the Turner portfolio of WBD-owned channels — meaning channels like TBS, TNT and Tru TV aren’t offered on Fubo.

For this reason, Fubo subscribers who want to watch NCAA March Madness games aired on those channels should consider switching to DirecTV Stream’s Entertainment package, which costs $70 per month (cheaper than Fubo!) and offers CBS, TNT, TBS and Tru TV. New customers can sign up for a free trial of DirecTV Stream by clicking or tapping here.

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