The NCAA First Four is the official kickoff to March Madness each season. Eight teams will face off in four games to make it into the round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament. The first round has featured the four-game format since 2011 and has led to some exciting storylines and games each year. For example, VCU won its matchup in the first round in 2011 and ultimately advanced to the Final Four. This year, if you’re looking for the NCAA First Four live stream, this is the guide for you!
Whether you are an avid or casual college basketball fan, if you have cut cable you’ll want to make sure to watch as much of March Madness and the First Four live stream. Thankfully, there are great options out there and we go into all of the detail you’ll need in our below guide to watch the First Four online.
Use DIRECTV NOW for First Four Streaming
DIRECTV NOW is a newly launched and rapidly growing online streaming service. It provides an excellent way to watch TV online, and to watch First Four online. The service starts from $35 per month for 60+ channels, so there is tons to watch! No contract is required, and you can cancel at any time.
In DIRECTV NOW’s basic package, TruTV is included – which means access to the First Four stream. Also included are ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TNT, TBS, FOX News, CNN, Comedy Central and much more. The service will be very useful for March Madness streaming throughout the whole tournament. Take a look at our DIRECTV NOW review for further info.
DIRECTV NOW is very easy to use, and works on most of your favorite devices – use a streaming device, like Apple TV or Chromecast, a mobile device on iOS or Android, or even your computer or laptop. You can watch from wherever you go, so long as you have an internet connection.
DIRECTV NOW currently offers a free 7-day trial for new customers!
Sling TV Gives You the First Four Live Stream
Dish Network’s subscription streaming service Sling TV will be one of the best resources out there to watch the First Four online. Also, it will be one of the best options for watching March Madness without cable. You subscribe to the service on a monthly basis and no contract is required, so it is easier to cancel if you change your mind than the difficult cable subscriptions. For the introductory package, the cost is only $20 per month. That means for just $20, you can watch the NCAA First Four live stream and the majority of the NCAA Tournament live.
The basic Sling TV (review) package includes channels like ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT, truTV, and ESPN3 (accessible via WatchESPN by logging in with Sling TV credentials), and more. truTV, where all of the NCAA First Four games will be broadcast, is available in the basic package only during the NCAA Tournament, but can normally be added by paying an additional $5 per month for the Lifestyle Extra package. You can also add the Sports Extra Package, featuring channels like ESPNews, ESPNU, and ESPN Goal Line, for the same additional $5 per month.
TBS, TNT, and truTV will broadcast 46 of the 67 March Madness games live, and are all included with Sling TV. This includes the entirety of the First Four, the Final Four, and the National Championship game for the first time. Games will be broadcast in all other round as well, but will be split with CBS. Learn more about watching the NCAA Tournament without cable in our March Madness guide. Sling TV can be watched online on your computer, streaming on your phone or tablet, or directly on your TV with a device like Roku or Chromecast.
You can actually watch the NCAA First Four live stream for free with Sling TV. If you time it right, you can start Sling TV’s free 7-day trial before the First Four games and also watch some of the full March Madness tournament online free.
If you are considering Sling TV, the ultimate deciding factor might be Sling TV’s new limited-time offer. All you need to do is subscribe to Sling TV for three months (a cost of $60) and you can choose to get a free Roku streaming device.
Watch The First Four Online with PlayStation Vue
In 2015, Sony launched a subscription streaming service, PlayStation Vue, which has been marketed as a full cable alternative. It is structured similar to Sling TV where you pay on a monthly basis with no contract, gain access to popular cable channels, and can stream the channels on multiple devices. truTV is included in PlayStation Vue’s starting package, so it will be another great way to watch a NCAA First Four live stream.
The starting package has more than 45 cable channels including ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT, truTV, and CNN. The Access package now costs $29.99 per month, not too bad of a price to watch the First Four online and tons of other TV shows and live sports. In addition, there are package options for higher prices that include additional channels and even premium options. With PlayStation Vue, you can watch a First Four live stream on PlayStation Consoles, iPads, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. Check our detailed review on PlayStation Vue for more info.
NCAA First Four Schedule
All games available nationwide on DIRECTV NOW
All times listed in Eastern Time (ET)
If you want to learn even more about how easy it is to watch sports without cable, check out our full guide on watching college basketball online after you cut the cord. Read more March Madness news at NCAA.com.