Cord-cutting college basketball fans that want to watch the NCAA Elite Eight face a tough choice. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship games are carried by four over-the-air and cable channels: CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. Streaming services are great ways to get rid of the cable bill, but not all services include these channels in their lineups. That complicates the choice between Sling TV, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and Paramount+. We’ll help you find the best streaming service for watching the NCAA Elite Eight — and much, much more!
Watch the NCAA Elite Eight for Free
Although you can watch your local CBS station for free with a TV antenna, you need a pay-TV provider to watch the rest. As long as you are a new subscriber, you can access free trials from most streaming services. The only exception in our list is Hulu with Live TV. They stopped offering free trials in 2021.
- Sling TV: 3 days for free.
- fuboTV: 7 days for free.
- DirecTV Stream: 5 days for free.
- YouTube TV: 7 days for free.
- Paramount+: 7 days for free.
In every case, you do have to provide a credit card. However, the trials are completely zero risk. Watch free basketball during the trial and cancel before the free trial expires. You won’t be charged for the service. But if you want to keep it, you don’t have to do anything. The streaming service will charge you for the next month and you can keep on streaming.
Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Sling TV
Stream Live TV at the Best PriceTry Sling
Sling TV is an attractive option for cord-cutters thanks to its affordable pricing. But is it perfect for watching college hoops? Here’s the channel coverage for each subscription plan:
- Sling Orange: TBS, TNT
- Sling Blue: TBS, TNT, TruTV
- Sling Orange+Blue: TBS, TNT, TruTV
- Sling Orange + Comedy Extra: TBS, TNT, TruTV
Obviously, something is missing from the list. Sling TV does not let you stream CBS directly. Instead, you have to get an HDTV antenna and the company’s AirTV Anywhere set-top box. Even though it’s a little more complicated, this approach lets you stream every local channel — even those that other streaming services do not carry.
However, there is another option if you think dealing with antennas and set-top boxes is too much of a hassle. Get Sling Blue’s low-cost $35 per month subscription to get TBS, TNT and TruTV. And then pay as little as $6 to get the CBS content on Paramount+. (We go into more detail about Paramount+ later on in this article).
Going beyond affordability, Sling TV makes it easy to configure its channel lineup for your taste in content. Their “Extras” are bundles of channels that you can add for small monthly fees. For example, the Sports Extra lets you add channels like NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network for more sports content.
Check out our Sling TV Review to get the full picture.
Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on fuboTV
Free 7-day TrialSubscribe Now
For a streaming service that pitches itself as the home for sports-loving cord-cutters, there are some notable gaps in fuboTV’s channel lineup. None of the cable channels you need to watch NCAA basketball are included. On the other hand, almost every local CBS station is streamable through fuboTV.
Still, take a look at what fuboTV does well. It may not be the best choice for watching the tournament, but it is the best value for just about anything else sports fans want to watch. ESPN and the other major sports networks let you watch the major US sports. And dozens of other channels give you access to international soccer and more.
FuboTV’s features vary by plan. For a slight step-up from the entry-level Starter plan, you get 1,000 hours of DVR recording capacity and the ability to stream to as many as 10 devices at the same time.
Here’s our fuboTV Review for you to explore further.
Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on DirecTV Stream
DirecTV Stream has bounced between owners, but that shouldn’t affect your opinion. Thanks to its satellite TV business, this streaming service has the most channels in its lineup — including everything you need to watch your favorite college basketball teams.
At the same time, DirecTV Stream’s pricing is not the cheapest. You aren’t locked into a contract and can cancel at any time, but prices range from $70 to $150. Having said that, you can get your favorite cable channels, your local stations as well as regional sports networks.
Every plan includes “unlimited” recording capacity in DirecTV Stream’s cloud DVR (the recordings expire after 90 days). Most plans include access to regional sports networks. And if you’re a new subscriber, you get zero risk access to premium channels like Showtime or HBO Max for 3 months.
You can get more details in our DirecTV Stream Review.
Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Hulu with Live TV
Now With Disney+ and ESPN+Subscribe Now
On-demand content is what sets Hulu with Live TV apart from its competitors. Besides watching every channel that carries NCAA basketball, you can catch up on the latest episodes from most broadcast and cable channels.
Another benefit is Hulu with Live TV’s role as the home for Disney content that doesn’t fit in the family-friendly Disney+. Content from ABC, FX and Disney’s various movie studios are streamable. To get the best value, sign up for the bundled subscription of Hulu with Live TV, Disney+ and ESPN+.
The standard features of Hulu with Live TV’s subscription plan aren’t that great compared to the competition. You get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and can only stream to 2 devices at a time. An upgrade will let you stream simultaneously to as many devices as your home network can handle. But the DVR upgrade only takes you to 200 hours of storage space.
Find out more in our Hulu with Live TV Review.
Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on YouTube TV
$54.99 for 3 monthsSubscribe Now
Although it is not the price leader it used to be, YouTube TV is still a popular option with cord-cutters. As far as the Elite Eight goes, every channel that’s broadcasting the basketball tournament is part of YouTube TV’s lineup.
Sports fans will like the fact that networks from the NFL, MLB and NBA are standard. You can also upgrade some channels to YouTube TV’s 4K ultra-high-definition streams. The rest of the family will like news, entertainment and lifestyle channels. A bonus for some people: YouTube TV is the only service that streams your local PBS station.
YouTube TV’s feature set makes it a compelling choice. The “unlimited” cloud DVR lets you keep your recordings for 9 months — no other streaming service can beat that. To keep things straight, you can create as many as 6 profiles so everyone gets their own DVR library, watch lists and recommendations.
Our YouTube TV Review will give you more details.
Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Paramount+
What do you do if the right streaming service for you is Sling TV? You still need to get the games on CBS, but you don’t want to deal with antennas and set-top boxes. That’s where a subscription to Paramount+ can help. You may think it’s an on-demand streaming service like Netflix or HBO Max. But that isn’t quite true.
Paramount+ and CBS are owned by the same company, so you get to stream your local CBS station as well as the various CBS cable channels. With plans starting at $5 a month, it’s an affordable way to fill the holes in other services’ channel lineups. Besides the CBS content, you also get movies and TV shows from Paramount and other ViacomCBS studios. Interstellar, Reno 911, and originals like Star Trek Discovery are included in the subscription.
The only issue you need to consider is the lack of a cloud DVR. Most TV shows are pre-recorded so you can always watch them on-demand. But you can’t record live events like the basketball tournament.
How to Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Amazon Fire TV
You can watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Amazon Fire TV using apps from Sling TV, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and Paramount+.
How to Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Roku
You can watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Roku using apps from Sling TV, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and Paramount+.
How to Watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Apple TV
You can watch the NCAA Elite Eight on Apple TV using apps from Sling TV, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and Paramount+.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.