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How To Watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament 2024

Catch all the thrills of March Madness with’s complete NCAA Tournament viewing guide—including channel listings and tournament schedules.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is a time to celebrate the season’s best college basketball teams. From March to April, national championships are on the line as the men’s and women’s tournaments take over TV screens nationwide.

You can watch men’s March Madness games on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV. Meanwhile, ABC and ESPN networks will televise the women’s tournament.

Keep reading for more details on how to watch the NCAA Tournament—including ways to watch select games for free. Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

Find the best TV plan for college basketball

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What channels show the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

The men’s 2024 NCAA Tournament will appear on CBS Sports and TNT Sports channels, while women’s March Madness action will air across ESPN platforms.

Men’s tournament channels:

Women’s tournament channels:

Pro tip: Every CBS game will stream on Paramount+ with SHOWTIME, while B/R Sports on Max will carry the TBS, TNT, and truTV matches. Some ABC and ESPN coverage may appear on ESPN+ during the women’s tournament.

NCAA Basketball Tournament schedules

Get ready for a March Madness marathon of over 130 NCAA Tournament games. Sure, it’s a lot to monitor. But we created helpful round-by-round channel guides below. And if you want the full scoop, hit the buttons after each table for the complete men’s and women’s TV schedules.

You can also visit the NCAA’s official Men’s Basketball Bracket and Women’s Basketball Bracket for up-to-date stats and scores.

Men’s NCAA Tournament schedule

Event Start date Channels
Selection Sunday Sunday, March 17 CBS
First Four Tuesday, March 19 truTV
First Round Thursday, March 21 CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV
Second Round Saturday, March 23 CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV
Sweet 16 Thursday, March 28 CBS, TBS, truTV
Elite Eight Saturday, March 30 CBS, TBS
Final Four Saturday, April 6 TBS
NCAA Championship Game Monday, April 8 TBS

Data effective as of post date.

Women’s NCAA Tournament schedule

Event Start date Channels
Selection Sunday Sunday, March 17 ESPN
First Four Wednesday, March 20 ESPN2, ESPNU
First Round Friday, March 22 ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU
Second Round Sunday, March 24 ABC, ESPN, ESPN2
Sweet 16 Friday, March 29 ESPN, ESPN2
Elite Eight Sunday, March 31 ESPN
Final Four Friday, April 5 ESPN
NCAA Championship Game Sunday, April 7 ABC

Data effective as of post date.

Best TV plans for watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament

You can watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament through most TV providers, but Hulu + Live TV offers our favorite March Madness TV plan. Starting at $76.99 a month, you’ll get every channel of the men’s and women’s tournaments. The live TV streaming service also includes ESPN+ at no extra cost and an unlimited cloud DVR.

On its own, ESPN+ ($10.99 a month) is a cheap way to watch parts of the women’s tournament—offering select ABC and ESPN game simulcasts—and the men’s National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Paramount+ is also an inexpensive option for watching the men’s NCAA Tournament. Its $11.99-a-month Premium plan includes live CBS games and additional CBS Sports coverage.

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to tune in, a one-time TV antenna purchase can give you those same ABC and CBS games. But we’ll explain more about that in our free March Madness viewing options section further down.

Pro tip: Sling TV is the cheapest live TV service with TBS, TNT, and truTV coverage—available for $40.00 a month in its Sling Blue plan. However, you can stream live sports from those channels via Max’s B/R Sports Add-On for as low as $9.99 a month.

Which TV providers carry March Madness games?

Many popular TV services carry March Madness channels. But because the men’s competition airs between CBS Sports and TNT Sports networks, some providers show only a fraction of the tournament.

The following table highlights the TV providers that have men’s tournament channels. Apart from Philo, every provider listed below also offers the ESPN networks that show the women’s tournament—though you may need a higher-tiered plan to get ESPNews and ESPNU.

Provider Price CBS TBS TNT truTV Details
Cox $61.00–$152.00/mo.

Read Cox review
DIRECTV $69.99–$159.99/mo. View plans

Read DIRECTV review
DIRECTV STREAM $69.99–$159.99/mo. View plans

DISH $84.99–$114.99/mo. View plans

Read DISH review
Fubo $32.99–$99.99/mo. View plans

Read Fubo review
Hulu + Live TV $76.99–$89.99/mo. View plans

Read Hulu + Live TV review
Optimum $35.00–$125.00/mo. View plans

Read Optimum review
Philo $25.00/mo. View plans

Read Philo review
Sling TV $40.00–$55.00/mo. View plans

Read Sling TV review
Spectrum $69.99–$74.99/mo. View plans

Read Spectrum review
Verizon Fios $69.00–$129.00/mo. View plans

Read Verizon Fios review
Vidgo $69.99–$99.99/mo. View plans

Read Vidgo review
Xfinity $20.00–$80.00/mo. View plans

Read Xfinity review
YouTube TV $72.99/mo. View plans

Read YouTube TV review

Data effective as of post date.

Don’t miss out on the madness

Not sure which TV providers are available in your area? Enter your zip code to find out.

Please enter a valid zip code.

How to watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament for free

Get free local channels
Recommended antenna:
Mohu Leaf 50 ($39.99, one-time purchase*)
Tournament channels:
All local broadcast channels

* utilizes paid Amazon links. Price; $39.99 (as of 3/15/24 4:00 p.m. CT). Read full disclaimer.

During March Madness, you can watch a handful of games for free using an over-the-air (OTA) antenna.

Every women’s game on ABC and men’s game on CBS is available over the air. Though, not everyone lives within range of each channel. You can verify OTA channel availability by entering your zip code into the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Reception Map Tool.

If you need an antenna, most cost anywhere between $20 to $60. We prefer the Mohu Leaf 50 because its 60-mile range and multidirectional design are ideal for suburban areas. But you can visit our Best OTA Antennas page to check out other antenna options.

Best ways to watch March Madness

The 2024 NCAA Basketball Tournament will air on CBS Sports, TNT Sports, and ESPN channels. Specifically, men’s games are on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV, while women’s games are on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPNU.

Hulu + Live TV is the best TV provider for watching March Madness because it has every tournament channel and includes ESPN+ for extra college basketball coverage. Sling TV offers a cheaper alternative to watching NCAA basketball, but you’ll need an OTA antenna to watch games that air on ABC and CBS.

Speaking of antennas, you can avoid a monthly TV subscription and watch select matchups games over the air. All you need is an antenna strong enough to pick up your local ABC and CBS stations.

Watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament FAQ

Can I watch March Madness for free?

Yes, you can watch select March Madness games for free using a digital antenna. Some games in the men’s tournament will air on CBS, while ABC will broadcast parts of the women’s tournament.

Where can I watch the NCAA Final?

CBS and TBS alternate annually as the exclusive broadcasters of the men’s Final Four and NCAA Championship Game. TBS gets the even years while CBS has the odd ones—meaning TBS will air this season’s final rounds in April 2024. The Women’s National Championship Game will air on ABC in 2024.

Is there an app to watch March Madness?

Yes, the NCAA March Madness Live app has every tournament game plus replays. But after a free three-hour preview, you’ll need to log in with your cable, satellite, or live TV streaming provider info. The app is available on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, and Roku devices.

Can you watch March Madness on HBO Max?

Yes, Max (formerly HBO Max) streams all March Madness games that air on TBS, TNT, and truTV through its B/R Sports Add-On.

Are there fantasy leagues for March Madness?

Yes, many fantasy sports outlets offer bracket challenges during the men’s and women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments. ESPN Fantasy Sports, DraftKings, and Yahoo Fantasy Sports are the more popular fantasy platforms, but you can also sign up for different challenges and pick’em games on the NCAA’s website.

Why you should trust us

Our sports experts spent over eight hours researching and testing the best ways to watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Like the single-elimination tournament, we put TV providers head to head to determine the ideal viewing options. We based our provider recommendations on channel availability, pricing, and ease of use.

Check out our How We Rank page to learn more about our methods.


Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

* price as of 3/15/24 4:00 p.m. CT. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

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