Entertainment

How to watch the 2019 NCAA Tournament: Schedules, TV channels and streaming options

The coaches and players on the 68 basketball teams headed to the 2019 NCAA tournament are ready for action, so it’s time for you to figure out your game plan for March Madness watching.

Games are once again spread across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Last year’s Final Four and Championship game were on TBS, but this year all that goes back to CBS (Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games are divided between CBS and TBS).

We’ve got the schedule here, courtesy of CBS sports (to be updated regularly), along with TV times, channels and how to find them. We also have cord-cutter options for streaming. (Note: We’ll be removing rounds of games after they occur to make the schedule easier to navigate.)

Final Four - Saturday, April 6

6:09 p.m. on CBS: (5) Auburn vs. (1) Virginia

8:49 p.m. on CBS: (3) Texas Tech vs. (2) Michigan State

National Championship - Monday, April 8

9 p.m. on CBS: University of Virginia vs. Texas Tech

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WHERE’S THAT CHANNEL?

“What the heck is truTV!?” Come on, truTV is great — it’s the home of “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” featuring Raleigh’s own Amy Sedaris. But if you only watch some of these channels during March Madness, here’s some help.

CBS — Locally, that’s WNCN. You can get that channel without cable with an over-the-air antenna (channel 17). If you have cable: channels 6 and 1203 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 6 on Google Fiber TV; channel 6466 on DISH; channel 390 on DirecTV; and channel 17 and 1017 on AT&T U-verse.

TBS — Channels 34 and 104 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 284 on Google Fiber TV; channel 139 on DISH; channel 247 on DirecTV; and channel 112 and 1112 on AT&T U-verse.

TNT — Channels 26 and 103 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 285 on Google Fiber TV; channel 138 on DISH; channel 245 on DirecTV; and channel 108 and 1108 on AT&T U-verse.

truTV — Channels 44 and 112 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 297 on Google Fiber TV; channel 242 on DISH; channel 246 on DirecTV; and channel 164 and 1164 on AT&T U-verse.

HOW CAN I STREAM GAMES?

You’re not going to get everything you want in one place — one of the costs of cord-cutting.

Your best shot for one-stop shopping in this area is a streaming service like Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV, which include CBS live (be sure to enter your ZIP code to see what’s available in your market). If you have an antenna you can at least get the CBS games (or add CBS All-Access to whatever situation you have going).

Here’s a rundown of popular streaming services if you don’t already have one, and please note that all of these allow for free trials. Check the websites to compare costs. Most of these services are available to stream through Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire devices (meaning you can watch them on your TV), as well as Android and iOS apps, so you can watch on your phone or tablet.

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YouTube TV: YouTube TV includes CBS live. The service also has TBS, TNT and truTV. Info: tv.youtube.com .

Hulu + Live TV: Hulu Live TV (not the same as regular Hulu) has CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Info: hulu.com/live-tv.

DirecTV Now: Great news — CBS live has been added to our market since our last March Madness. This service also has TBS, TNT and truTV all available. Info: directvnow.com.

Playstation Vue: Another improvement over last March — Vue is showing CBS17 as a live local channel. Vue also has TBS, TNT and truTV. Info: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue.

Sling: CBS is not available on Sling, but you can get TBS, TNT and truTV depending on the package level. Info: sling.com.

CBS All Access: This is another way way to stream CBS in this market. Info: cbs.com/all-access.

March Madness Live: You can watch all of the games online at the NCAA site, but you’ll need authentication — which means you’ll have to sign in with your cable or satellite password (it looks like they’ll give you a couple hours before you have to sign in). If you’re watching from work, there’s a handy “Boss Button” in the upper right corner that will quickly switch your screen to a power point presentation. Info: ncaa.com/march-madness-live/watch.

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Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.
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