This is the best way for cord-cutters to watch March Madness

March Madness games on YouTube TV using multiview
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Tom's Guide)

If you're looking for the best way to watch March Madness this year there are a lot of options. You could use cable TV of course, but cable is the worst

So that means you'll need to go with either streaming services or cable TV alternatives to watch all 67 games of the 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament.  These games are spread across four channels: TruTV, TBS, TNT and CBS. You could use one of the best TV antennas to pick up the CBS games over the air for free, and it would ensure you suffer the lowest lag time possible, but you'd still need a solution for the other three channels.

For me, as someone who watches a ton of sports, there's a clear answer — YouTube TV. I watch a ton of sports and YouTube TV is what I use to watch everything except for the select Premier League live streams that require Peacock. It gives me all the channels I need at a relatively affordable price and has some killer features for watching March Madness that you just can't find elsewhere. It's what I used to watch all the games last year, so I've even put it to the test for this tournament specifically.

Let's get into why YouTube TV is the best way to watch March Madness 2024 — and how you can get it for free.

YouTube TV multiview is a must for March Madness

As I mentioned before, the 67 games that makeup March Madness are shown on TruTV, TBS, TNT and CBS. The first three are owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and shown on Max. CBS, meanwhile, lives on Paramount Plus, though you need Paramount Plus with Showtime to watch March Madness games.

You'd need both streaming services to watch all the games, or at least you'd need Max for TruTV, TBS and TNT games and an antenna for the CBS games. It's the cheapest option, but it's not seamless. You'd need to jump between apps and possibly even set up additional equipment. That makes a live TV service, also known as a cable TV alternative a better user experience for watching every game.

Unfortunately, our top pick here at Tom's Guide, Sling TV, doesn't get CBS. That leaves YouTube TV as the cheapest way to watch every single game in one app. 

Not only can you watch every game in one app, you can watch four games at the same time. YouTube TV's multiview feature allows you to watch up to four curated games in a split-screen experience. Select users can even pick which four games to watch through multiview's build feature, which has been rolling out since January. It's the only surefire way to make sure you don't miss a moment.

But if you do miss a moment, you can still catch up thanks to YouTube TV's key plays feature.

I use this feature all the time. Mostly for NBA games, but it works great for catching up on March Madness games too. The way catching up through key plays works is by showing you a highlight reel of all the key moments in a game, and then once it's over you're automatically watching the live broadcast. It genuinely feels like you never missed a moment.

You don't even need to watch the whole playlist. If you're watching the live broadcast of a game and realize you missed a viral moment, you can hop over to the key plays menu within the broadcast and watch individual key plays.

New users can get YouTube TV for free right now

If you're now sold on YouTube TV for watching March Madness, I have good news. Right now, you can get YouTube TV free for 10 days. Then, once that extended free trial is over, you can get your next three months at a $10 per month discount — $62.99 a month. Even if this promotion disappears, typically YouTube TV offers at least a 7-day free trial to new users.

YouTube TV: First 10 days free!
$10 a month off your next three months

YouTube TV: First 10 days free!
Right now you can get one of our favorite cable alternatives for free for your first 10 days. Then, you still get $10 a month off your next three months. With killer features like multiview and key plays, YouTube TV is the best way to watch every second of March Madness this year. Don't miss out on this incredible deal.

There is some fine print here. The offer is limited to new users, so if you've had YouTube TV before you'll need to set up a new account, and that means setting up a new Google account too. But that's a small price to pay for free basketball.

The other catch? We don't know how long this offer will last. If you sign up right now, you'll get the first four games and the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament for free, but you'll be paying for the rest of March Madness. Wait until next week though? That'll get you through the second round or even Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.

But again, we can't promise this deal will stick around that long. We already saw a free 3-week free trial disappear after only a few days. So if you want to play it safe, sign up now and get 10 days of YouTube TV and then a $10 per month discount on your next three months. Even if your team loses, you'll still feel like a winner.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.