The final of the NCAA men's basketball tournament is set. Here's how to catch the culmination of March Madness.
The channel lineups vary, and some are more limited than others. What's more, the television rights for college sports, especially football, are tied to the conference, so you'll need to find out which channels have the deal covering your favorite schools.
From there, it's a matter of making sure the service you choose has all the channels you need so you don't miss a game.
|Chicago Tribune||The only thing you need is a reliable internet connection. Once college football season ends, you can cancel your streaming subscription fee-free.|
|Where to Watch the Tournament||But more on that below.|
|How to Live Stream March Madness Watch the Championship Game||Comment Just over two weeks after beating Maryland in Ann Arbor, Michigan will now head to College Park to try and complete a season sweep of the Terrapins.|
Lucky for you, we can help. A word about college sports TV rights Thankfully, there are a lot of college games -- primarily football and basketball -- on major television networks. The downside is most channels require a TV log-in to stream through any apps, even if the game is one of the main networks you can access over the air for free.
Of course, if you're a college student, chances are you're using your parents' log-in. Well, at least until you have a place of your own where you have to worry about paying for television.
Like other sports, the league negotiates television deals every few years, and in the case of college sports, "the league" is the school's conference. Big 12, Big Ten and Pac also have a deal with Fox, which includes the championship game for the latter two conferences.
I'll stop there because it's confusing, and it can be hard to keep up with. But you'll probably need even more if you want to catch everything.
Otherwise, you'll likely miss some games. To make things more convoluted, Notre Dame is independent for football, so it has a solo deal with NBC, but it's only for home games. In fact, most scheduling is done according to the home team. This is easy to follow during the conference schedule, but for any non-conference games, it can be difficult to know where to look.
A good rule of thumb is to find the channel that the home team's conference has a TV deal with. There are also neutral-site games, typically played in NFL stadiums or other venues that aren't on campus.
That throws in another wrinkle, but most of the time these matchups are big enough that they'll be on one of the major networks. To add further confusion, some conferences have their own networks.
Ditto for the University of Texas' Longhorn Network. Fox oversees the Big Ten Network, and the Pac Network is owned and run by its member universities.
These channels are more supplemental to the major networks and the likes of ESPN. There will be some games on these channels, but the big matchups will be on a major network -- especially during football season.
However, if you follow college sports besides football and basketball, you'll want to consider adding them to your streaming budget. The Big Ten Network, for example, shows a lot of wrestling and is typically the place to watch the B1G conference tournament for that particular sport.
To summarize, since college sports are big money football and basketball in particular , all the networks want a piece.
If you only care to watch your favorite team, you'll need a few channels to keep up with every game. If you're a die-hard fan who likes to watch as much as possible, you'll need several channels for that all-you-can-stream buffet.
The interface is simple and easy to use, and there are a lot of handy features -- especially for sports fans. For starters, you can tell it your favorite teams, and every time they're on TV, the service will record the game for you.
Speaking of DVR, that's included for free, and you get unlimited storage space too.
YouTube TV also allows up to six accounts per household, so you don't have to worry about someone else's sports loyalties popping up in your list. The service will also let you have three streams going simultaneously, just in case your family couldn't care less about 'Bama v.
I'm sure you saw the commercials at some point. Hulu covers the major channels you'll need for most of the marquee games, but its full roster isn't as extensive as YouTube TV's. Hulu will recommend games based on your favorite teams, and 50 hours of cloud DVR is included in the monthly fee.
Hulu is a solid option, especially if you subscribe to its on-demand service. And its channel lineup has all you need to follow the more notable games on the big networks. And that's especially true when it comes to sports. This means you'll have to get an antenna to watch these over the air -- something Sling is happy to help with.
Plus, you'll also need Sling Blue and Orange to get everything you need. You only save money on Sling when you can survive with one or the other. Access to conferences for football that might not otherwise be on TV in your area, plus coverage of other college sports is quite comprehensive.
Cons: You won't get the big-name teams when it comes to college football and basketball, but you will get a lot from other conferences. That's mostly because it doesn't offer access to the main ESPN broadcast networks.
And when it comes to college sports, the options are also robust.
This means if you're a fan of a team that isn't in one of the bigger read: more popular conferences, this is likely your best bet for streaming or watching live. There's also a ton of other college sports on the service.
You get so much for so little, it's almost silly for a die-hard sports fan not to have this. It's game time I'm all for cutting the cord, but it's difficult to live without live television if you're a sports fan.
Cable companies still have a foothold thanks to sports, but you don't have to saddle yourself with that headache in order to follow your team s.
The games you want to watch likely won't be on the same channel every week, so you need several channels if you want to save yourself some headaches down the road.