The goal of this article is twofold. The first is to show everyone the cheapest possible method for watching NCAA March Madness this year. The second one is to show the best way to stream it live while outside the US, which involves using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). So without further ado, let’s score both goals!

How to get the cheapest NCAA live stream

The best choice for this year’s March Madness depends on the number of games you want to watch. While CBS All Access covers the vast majority, the First Four (March 19-20) requires truTV.

TBS and TNT are a bad choice because they’re good only for the period of the First Round, ending with the Elite Eight

CBS All Access for all but the First Four games

CBS All Access ($5.99/month) gives you all March Madness games save for the First Four. What is more, only CBS will show the Final Four and the Championship game, meaning you’ll probably need this channel one way or another.

CBS All Access supports a number of devices:

  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android TV
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Roku
  • PlayStation 4 & Xbox One
  • Chromecast

CBS All Access also allows multiple devices on one account.

CBS all access pricing plans

Those allergic to commercial breaks and keen on downloading the shows or playing them offline can choose a $9.99/month Commercial Free plan, but we must warn that Live TV, including March Madness, will still have them. In any case, there’s a 7-day free trial period that should be enough for you to see if you need to upgrade your plan. Payment options include credit cards, gift cards, and PayPal.

Be aware that the access to CBS All Access is limited to the US. If you want to buy or use it outside the country, you will need a VPN to avoid geo-restriction by spoofing your IP address. More on that in the dedicated section below.

CBS All Access and AT&T WatchTV for all games

CBS All Access ($5.99) and AT&T WatchTV ($15) for all games

The cheapest package for the biggest NCAA fans is $20.99/month, but it can be only $5.99/month if you’re the customer of AT&T with the Unlimited &MoreSM wireless plan. Then you get Watch TV for free. This new streaming service includes not only truTV, but also TBS and TV among the 35+ channel selection. AT&T WatchTV also offers a 7-day free trial.

The limitations of AT&T WatchTV

  • Geo-restricted outside the US, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
  • Works only on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Allows one device per account
  • Supports Chrome and Safari browsers only

The first limitation can be overcome with a VPN that can hide your real IP address and make it look like you’re connecting from the US. More on that – in the dedicated section below.

CBS All Access and Sling Blue limited offer for all games

CBS All Access ($5.99) and Sling Blue ($15) limited offer for all games

This option used to be the second-best for streaming March Madness in 2019, but a limited 40% off for three months reduced the cost of Sling TV’s Blue plan to $15/month. It comes with a 7-day free trial and can be canceled.

The first advantage that Sling Blue has over AT&T is the vast number of supported devices, adding Chromecast, AirTV Player, Xiaomi Mi TV, LG WebOS, Amazon Fire Tablets, Xfinity X1, and Azulle.

The second advantage is the number of devices per account – Sling Blue allows three, while AT&T WatchTV gives only one.

The limitations of Sling Blue

  • Geo-restricted outside the US
  • Doesn’t support PlayStation game consoles

The first limitation can be overcome with a VPN that can hide your real IP address and make it look like you’re connecting from the US. More on that – in the dedicated section below.

ESPN Player for non-US residents

NCAA acknowledged the existence of March Madness fans outside the US and Canada and delegated foreign broadcasting rights to ESPN. This means that for about $13.5/month you can see all the games from outside the US. Also, you can see some games for free with a 7-day free trial.

If you’re not into streaming NCAA via the website, you can download an app for Android and iOS devices. AirPlay and ChromeCast are also supported.

ESPN, ESPN3, and ESPN+ are not available on the ESPN Player

The limitations of the ESPN Player

  • Geo-restricted for the US and Canada
  • Limited device support
  • Payments only via Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Two simultaneous connections

While we cannot make ESPN increase the number of simultaneous connections, we can help you use this service in the US or Canada. Read on to learn how.

Streaming services with all four networks

Most sports fans know that there are services that combine all four channels. But because you need only two this year, there’s no point in spending more on DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu with live TV, fuboTV, or PlayStation VUE, which all cost $40-45/month. And it’s not only about the price – CBS All Access supports a plethora of devices, including gaming consoles and smart home devices.

How to stream NCAA March Madness live from outside the US MAP

How to stream NCAA March Madness live from outside the US

A VPN can help you with watching NCAA March Madness and registering for the Bracket Challenge game in three scenarios:

  1. You live in the US but will not be around during the March Madness. With a VPN you will be able to connect to your streaming platform instead of buying ESPN Player.
  2. You live inside the US, but would rather not use two services for one March Madness. This calls for buying an ESPN Player subscription that has it all but is available only outside the US.
  3. You live outside the US and cannot subscribe to CBS, TBS, TNT, or truTV because of geo-restrictions.

All three scenarios include one of the two options:

  1. You are in the US but would like to use ESPN Player
  2. You’re outside the US but would like to use one of the US-only services

And for both options, you will need one VPN. Read on to see how to choose the right one for streaming March Madness anywhere.

Which VPN is the best for watching March Madness 2019 online?

The first rule when choosing a VPN for streaming the NCAA tournament is to cross-out all free VPNs. Apart from having security issues, they often get overcrowded, reducing the connection speed which already slows down due to the VPN.

Streaming NCAA in HD requires 5 Mbps

You can check your connection speed with and without the VPN by using Ookla’s tool. If your speed with a VPN is below 5 Mbps, consider switching to another server. If that doesn’t help, cancel your account and try another VPN from the list below.

Another factor is the money-back guarantee. If you’re not planning to use a VPN after March Madness (although we don’t recommend that), you should look for a VPN that offers a long-enough money-back guarantee. The standard is 30 days, but there are some with only seven or even less.

Last but not least is the number of simultaneous connections allowed. While your streaming service might have unlimited devices allowed per account, that’s not the case with most VPNs, where three is below-average, and six is good.

ExpressVPN logo


ExpressVPN is considered the fastest service and one of the top two overall. If you need a VPN just for streaming March Madness, think no further and take its monthly plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Three simultaneous connections.

NordVPN logo


NordVPN is the most secure service and the only other competitor for the #1 spot. It has 5,300+ servers in 60+ countries and allows six simultaneous connections. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Not sure what to think? Read our review of NordVPN

Astrill VPN logo

Astrill VPN

Astrill is the best VPN for users in Asia, Oceania, and restricted internet access countries. It’s also one of the fastest overall. Doesn’t have a money-back guarantee, but gives five simultaneous connections.

CyberGhost logo

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN means good speeds and security, but the best part is the snake-long 45-day money-back guarantee. Another perk is the 24-hour free trial that should be enough to see if this VPN is right for you. Seven simultaneous devices allowed.

Still scratching your head? Wash away the uncertainty with CyberGhost VPN review

Finally, if you’re up for the Final Four only and really don’t feel like giving away your credit card details or other personal info, choose a good VPN with a free trial that should be long enough to see the most important games of the NCAA tournament.

How to watch March Madness online for free?

There’s no legal way to watch all March Madness online for free. You can use the free trials and money-back guarantees of each broadcaster to get limited access, but forgetting to cancel one deal would mean your whole plan goes through the roof.

NCAA’s March Madness Live website or app gives a three-hour preview, after which you need to log in with your pay TV provider account. CBS doesn’t require pay TV credentials, allowing to stream all but the First Four games for free. The reason why we buried this option at the bottom of this article is that March Madness Live won’t show CBS games on Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, and Xbox. It also allows to stream CBS live games on one device only.

NCAA March Madness 2019 schedule

NCAA March Madness 2019 schedule

Below is the list of all March Madness games with the channels that’ll broadcast them:

  • March 17: Selection Sunday on CBS
  • March 19-20: First Four on truTV
  • March 21-24: First and Second Rounds on CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV
  • March 28-29: Sweet Sixteen on CBS, TBS
  • March 30-31: Elite Eight on CBS, TBS
  • April 6: Final Four on CBS
  • April 8: National Championship Game on CBS

NCAA March Madness matchups and predictions

On March 17 we’ll know how to fill our brackets for the NCAA Bracket Challenge. We will update this section accordingly as soon as we know the matchups and when the first results come in.

In the meantime, we can give our predictions on the outcome of the tournament because the Vegas odds will be published after March 17.

One knee can change the fate of many, if, for example, someone takes an arrow to it. Or if it recovers from the sprain before March Madness and happens to belong to Duke’s Zion Williamson. In the latter scenario, we see no team that could beat them. Otherwise, the contenders are North Carolina, Virginia, Tenessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, and Gonzaga.