March Madness: Is Sling TV a Wise Choice?

TV Answer Man, I’m a cord-cutter and I’m trying to decide what would be the best way to watch March Madness without spending too much money. Do you have any tips? My coworker said Sling TV is supposed to be the best way, meaning cheapest way! Is that true? — Carrie, Chicago.

Carrie, March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament, starts tonight with a ‘First Four’ doubleheader from Dayton, Ohio. Tonight’s games will air on the Turner-owned truTV while future games will air on CBS and three Turner-owned networks, truTV, TNT and TBS.

The games will be available via streaming on the March Madness Live app and the March Madness Live web site. But to access a game stream, you will need a user name and password from a pay TV service that carries the channel airing the game. For example, FuboTV does not carry the Turner channels so if you have FuboTV, you will be out of luck. The Turner broadcasts will not be available on FuboTV or March Madness Live.

But what about Sling TV, you ask?

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The best part of Sling is that its Blue plan, which costs just $35 a month, includes all three Turner networks. (The Blue and Orange combo plan, which costs $50 a month, also includes TBS, TNT and truTV.). However, Sling TV does not carry CBS which will carry 18 of the 67 tournament games. So while you’re saving money with Sling, you’re losing games.

DIRECTV Stream, which carries CBS and all three Turner channels in all packages, is now running a $59.99 a month promotional offer for its base Entertainment package. That’s $25 more than Sling, but you’ll get all the games.

But there is a way to patch together a bundle of services that can keep your cost below DIRECTV Stream and still watch all 67 games. If you get Sling, which has the three Turner channels, add the Paramount+ Premium plan for another $9.99 a month. The Paramount Premium plan will stream all the CBS games and the two combined services will come to $45 a month.

Carrie, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann
@tvanswerman

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