There has been plenty of confusion over the $3.99 fee to watch the NCAA Tournament online, whether it be through NCAA.com or the March Madness Live app for Android, iPhone and the iPad. First, the original press release promoted the fee and did not clearly explain how you could avoid paying it.
Well after fiddling around with the app this week, I’ve finally figured this out. First download the app for free either from the Android Marketplace or the Apple App Store. Once you’ve downloaded the app, go to the settings button on upper left of the iPad app or hit “Settings” on the mobile app. Touch “My Channels” and put in your zip code, hit “go” and then choose your cable or satellite provider.
Then in “My Account” or “Login” put in your e-mail and set up your password, confirm it and you should be all set to watch all the games. One password will work for the online login at NCAA.com, the iPhone app as well as the iPad app.
You can also watch games through truTV.com, TNT.tv and TBS.com and all you have to do is put in your zip and choose your provider as well as putting in your password. Games at CBSSports.com can be viewed for free, no login is required.
And having seen the video on the March Madness Live mobile and iPad apps, the quality is excellent, however, video did not work for the early game between Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State. It was up for the BYU-Iona game.
I also watched at truTV.com and again, the video stream was very good. The online ads are different from what’s shown on TV, but that’s expected.
I do expect the demand on Thursday to cause the video to lag on all online platforms, but should be rectified as the wears on.
So there is the way to watch games on the March Madness Live app without having to pay. As long as your cable or satellite company has an agreement with Turner for streaming, you should be all set.
UPDATE, 03/15/12 — 7:20 p.m.: Turner Sports says if you’re still having trouble authenticating, call 855-566-5483 and techies will walk you through it.