How to watch March Madness games on your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

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How to watch March Madness on iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
Here's how to watch March Madness games on iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
Photo: Amir Fazlic/Unsplash CC

By Chris Brantner, guest blogger

March Madness is upon us. For the next month, college basketball will take over the sports world, and fans can catch all the action on their Apple devices. Whether you’re a cable subscriber or a cord cutter, here’s how to watch March Madness games on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

The majority of the games, running from Tuesday’s First Four through the championship game early next month, will air on CBS. Alternatively, games will also air on TBS, TNT and truTV. If you pay for cable service, you’re all set because you can watch on your TV or possibly through your cable provider’s app. If you don’t have cable, we have some great options for cord cutters.

Either way, cable or not, you’ll be able to watch March Madness games on your iPhone or iPad.

The March Madness Live app

The NCAA March Madness Live app works on iOS devices, allowing you to stream every single game throughout the tournament. The catch is that you need a cable login to view any of the matchups on TNT, TBS or TruTV. CBS games will stream for free on iPads and iPhones, but will require cable credentials to watch on your TV using an Apple TV.

Not only will you be able to watch all 67 live games on the March Madness Live app, you’ll also get the chance to make picks and watch the bracket play out in real time. You can also check out scores, stats and video highlights. You can even watch more than one game at a time using the app’s cool split-screen feature.

Apps for cord cutters

Looking to watch the entire tournament but don’t have cable? Here are a few options that could work for you on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.

PlayStation Vue: With the PlayStation Vue app, you can watch games from truTV, TNT and TBS. CBS is also available in 80 markets. You will need to subscribe to the Access Slim package, which costs $30 per month.

You can use Vue’s cloud-based DVR to record any games you won’t be able to watch in real time. While Vue works on Apple devices including Apple TV, mobile restrictions could keep you from watching if you’re not on your home network. You can try it free for seven days to see if it works well for you.

Sling TV: Sling TV doesn’t offer CBS in any of its plans, but you can watch TNT, TBS and truTV with Sling Blue. The middle tier of Sling TV’s three packages, it packs 40 channels, including the three that will air March Madness Games.

You can watch Sling TV on Apple TV as well as iPhones and iPads without mobile restrictions. Sling Blue costs $25 per month and includes a free seven-day trial. (You can learn more about Sling TV in this in-depth overview.)

DirecTV Now: DirecTV Now does not include CBS, either (although that could change). However, you get the other three crucial March Madness channels in DirecTV Now’s $35-per-month “Live a Little” package. You’ll find TBS, TNT and truTV among the package’s 60 channels, which also offers multiple sports channels.

Even better, if you prepay for three months of the DirecTV Now service, you can get a free Apple TV. Like with the other services mentioned, DirecTV Now gives you seven free days to kick off your membership.

Chris Brantner founded Cut Cable Today, a website for cord cutters.