Sling TV

Starting Today HBO Will Be FREE On Sling TV All Weekend Long

Starting Today HBO Will Be FREE On Sling TV All Weekend Long

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As part of Sling TV’s second birthday celebration, they are giving an extended FREE preview of HBO to all Sling customers. Beginning today, February 16th through Sunday, February 20th, new and existing Sling TV Orange and Blue customers will receive access to live and on-demand premium content from HBO at no additional cost. Continue reading →

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Unboxing, Setup & First Impressions of the All New AirTV Player & Adapter by Sling TV

Unboxing, Setup & First Impressions of the All New AirTV Player & Adapter by Sling TV

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Last week I got in the mail the all new AirTV Player & Adapter by Sling TV. I’m really excited to test this device out over the next week or two and share my full review with you. In the meantime, I wanted to give you a look at what comes with the AirTV Player and Adapter and what the setup process looks like. This is a really innovative product for cord cutters because it brings together Sling TV streaming channels and free Over-The-Air local channels right in the same interface on the same TV input. If you want to read more about why I think this is going to be the most user-friendly cord cutting device yet, read my full article here. If you have any questions about the AirTV Player or Adapter or want me to try anything out during my testing, just leave a comment below.

 

 

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Sling TV AirTV Player: The Most User-friendly Cord Cutting Device Yet

Sling TV AirTV Player: The Most User-friendly Cord Cutting Device Yet

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The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up last week and one of my favorite new cord cutting products released during the show was the AirTV Player by Sling TV. This is the first time Sling TV has released their own branded streaming device, and I must say they did a phenomenal job. With AirTV they really focused on solving one of the most difficult hurdles with cord cutting, the separation between local Over-The-Air (OTA) channels and streaming channels. The main purpose of the device is to incorporate your local OTA channels, received through an antenna, into the Sling TV app without increasing your monthly Sling subscription. I really feel like they hit a big pain point with would-be cord cutters with the AirTV Player. That’s why I think it’s the most user-friendly cord cutting device yet! Here are some of the features that I think will make this the #1 recommended device for new cord cutters.

Easy Setup

When you get your AirTV there are only a few connections you have to make before you are up and running. Plug in the power cord, HDMI cable to an available port on your TV, the USB OTA tuner card, and finally your antenna to the USB OTA tuner card…that’s it! Once you power it on the app and channel setup process starts automatically. The remote can even program itself to your TV and sound system through the HDMI connection so you can start controlling your entire setup right out of the gate.
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Sling TV AirTV Player | Photo Credit: airtv.net

Everything On One Screen

After the initial setup, every time you turn the AirTV on it boots straight into the Sling TV app and the new app on AirTV now contains all your TV channels. You no longer have to change inputs on your TV and sound bar and fumble around with 3 different remotes to bounce between OTA and streaming. Even better, you don’t even have to switch between different apps. Using the Sling TV App on AirTV you can watch Sling streaming channels, OTA channels, and even Netflix shows all in the same beautiful user interface.
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Sling TV app on AirTV | Photo Credit: airtv.net

Simple Powerful Remote

The remote that comes with the AirTV also has the ability to control your TV and sound bar. The remote has Voice Search and Voice commands so you can find content and control your AirTV just by talking to it. There are dedicated Sling and Netflix buttons right on the remote that allow you to access these apps in one click without having to scroll through long confusing menus.
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AirTV Player remote | Photo Credit: airtv.net

Versatility and Performance

The AirTV Player by Sling TV runs the Android TV operating system. The big advantage with running Android TV is that you have a large preexisting library of apps that have already been developed for players such as this. Another great feature is that with Android TV you can install virtually any Android app available in the Google Play Store. The AirTV Player also supports 4K Ultra HD video so you are getting the latest and greatest technology built into this device. The AirTV Player also includes a handy over the air programming guide that will show you upcoming programs with show data.

If you’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger on cutting the cord in your house because of the complexity of multiple devices, an abundance of apps, or the pains of switching between OTA channels and streaming channels, then your wait is over. I really think that the AirTV Player from Sling TV is the answer you’ve been waiting for. With this device, you get the traditional TV watching experience with the freedom and savings of cord cutting.

To top it all off, Sling TV is running a special introductory offer. Right now, when you buy an AirTV, Sling will give you a $50 credit to use toward your Sling TV subscription!

You can get the AirTV Player with OTA AirTV Adapter for $129.99 at www.airtv.net/store.

 

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Watch Local and National News as a Cord Cutter

Watch Local and National News as a Cord Cutter

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With the Presidential Election right around the corner, the end to what surely has been a circus of an election season, you may be looking for the best way to watch the news as a cord cutter. Here are some of my favorite ways to help stay glued to your TV this November without missing a thing. Whether you want to tune into local election coverage or national news, you can watch it all on TV without cable.

You can use an HD antenna to watch the News at no monthly cost.

If you don’t have an antenna yet then you’ve got to pick up a Mohu Leaf 30 (click here to get it on Amazon.com). This thing is as simple as it gets, plug it in, hang it on the wall with a thumbtack, and watch free broadcasts on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX. You’ll be able to tune into local and national broadcasts all throughout the day. Whether you like waking up with the Today show, tuning into your local afternoon newscast, or catching 60 Minutes every evening, all this great news coverage can be pulled up on your TV with just a simple antenna.

Cord Cutters have a ton of options to stream the news to your TV.

If you don’t have a streaming device yet then I recommend you get a Roku Streaming Stick, its super easy to use and pretty affordable (click here to get it on Amazon.com). With a device like a Roku, this is will give you access to national 24-hour news coverage. You may be familiar with some of the traditional paid news channels, but through your streaming device you have access to some pretty good free news channels and apps. The most popular one that you’ve got to check out is the CBS News app (watch on Roku / watch on Fire TV) which provides a live 24-hour national news broadcast that covers everything from breaking news to what’s happening with our favorite celebrities. My favorite way to watch free streaming news as a cord cutter is on the various news channels in the Pluto TV app (watch on Roku / watch on Fire TV). These channels carry aggregated video clips and live streams from the most popular news sources in national news, business and finance news, and even tech news.

As a cord cutter, my favorite way to watch premium news channels is through Sling TV.

If you’re a fan of CNN, MSNBC or HLN then you’ve gotta try out Sling TV. Sling TV is the most reasonable option for people that like to stay up-to-date on the news, with plans starting at just $20 per month. With the most basic Sling Blue package, you can watch all the news you can handle on CNN. If you want to expand your news options then Sling offers various addon combinations that will give you access to more channels including MSNBC and HLN.

If you haven’t tried Sling TV yet, you definitely should! They offer a free 7-day trial with no strings attached. If you only want to try it out for the next week to watch election coverage then sign up today and cancel next week and don’t pay a dime. You can’t beat that!

The most comprehensive news coverage can be found on PlayStation Vue.

If you’re a news junkie then your best option is PlayStation Vue. In their most basic package, Access, you get all the most popular news stations: CNN, HLN, Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, and CNBC. Playstation Vue is a little more expensive than Sling TV, but if you can’t live without having all the premium news channels I would recommend checking it out. They also offer a free 7-day trial with no strings attached.

How do you plan to tune into all the excitement of the Presidential election? Do you have other ways that you like to stay up to date on breaking news?

 

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Posted by Dan in Antenna, Free, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Streaming, 2 comments
Our Cord Cutting Setup That Saves Us Over $100 Each Month

Our Cord Cutting Setup That Saves Us Over $100 Each Month

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When we cut our cable in 2014, we weren’t sure exactly where to start. We had heard some things about it and did a little research, but we were nervous. Would it work? Could we figure it out? What if we really miss all those channels that are included in our cable bundle?

It came to the point where there were no more excuses.

We had to bite the bullet, jump right in, and try it. We could figure things out as we go and we really had nothing to loose. In reality, we had only everything to gain with all the money we would be able to save and put towards student loan debt.

Our monthly bill to the cable company had climbed to an astronomical $165. If we could reduce that and still enjoy our favorite TV shows we would be happy campers. We could concur our ultimate goal to reduce our monthly spending to help pay off debt and ultimately build wealth. We could do it and still enjoy some relaxing couch time in the evenings.

Below are the steps that we took to become a cableless household.

We started simple and added things as we felt we needed them. Looking back it was much easier to make the switch then either of us thought. The devices and apps were actually very user-friendly and with a little patience we figured them out in no time.

The first thing we did was buy some HD antennas to test things out. We chose the Mohu Leaf 30 Paper-Thin Antenna to put in our guest room because it was super easy to install and is easily hidden on the wall behind the TV. For the remainder of our TV’s we got the Winegard Freevision HDTV Antenna, hung it in our attic and connected it to the existing coax cable lines that run inside the walls to our other TVs. Once we found out we could get tons of crystal clear stations for free, we were convinced. This cord cutting thing was actually going to work! With these antennas, we could watch live TV on the major networks for $0 each month! Here are the antennas we bought and still use today:

     

Live TV was great and let us watch a ton of stuff, but we needed something to complement the live local channels.

We wanted to stream stuff on demand, so we bought an Amazon Fire TV for the family room and a Roku Stick for the bedroom. Since we watch the most TV in our family room the Fire TV is the perfect solution because it is super powerful. In our bedroom, the Roku Stick was a great choice because it was low cost and has the right amount power to support our occasional streaming needs. With these streaming devices, we were able to install apps like YouTube and Netflix that let us binge watch shows and movies whenever we wanted. Here are the streaming boxes we have:

     

YouTube had a lot of great free stuff to watch and we already had a Netflix subscription so we were familiar with the things we could watch in the app, but we still were missing a few things. If we couldn’t watch a new episode of a show when it aired live, we didn’t have a way to view it on-demand. This had been where our DVR would have come in handy in the past, but it went out the door with our overpriced cable. Luckily for cord cutters, there are plenty of alternatives to a traditional DVR. After some research, we settled on the service PlayOn. We bought the Lifetime license and installed their companion apps on our laptop and the Fire TV and Roku. Now we could stream shows from the NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox websites directly on our TV’s after they become available for free viewing. This worked surprisingly well, was pretty easy to setup, and we still use it to this day.

playon-logo

After about a month of living the cord cutting life, we were hooked! We didn’t miss cable one bit. The picture from the antennas was fantastic, the streaming boxes and apps were working great, and we loved all the freedom we had to try new services without being held down by contracts. There was just one thing left to do, cancel our cable bundle and switch to an internet-only plan. For this, we went with Comcast because they are one of two service providers in our area and offer the best speeds. To help with the monthly cost and to avoid signing a contract we purchased our own cable modem and WiFi router. We could have used the ones provided by Comcast, but they would charge us a rental fee. The modem and router had very clear setup instructions and they paid for themselves after a couple months. Here are the two devices we got that give use wireless internet all throughout our house:

     

After a year of using our cord cutting setup, it was 2015 and more cableless services had made their way to the market. The one that caught our eye was Sling TV. This was a service that Dish Network came out with to provide cord cutters the ability to stream premium TV channels at an affordable price. This was pretty ground breaking because in the past most of these channels were only available with a cable subscription. For as little as $20 each month, Sling TV would let us watch channels like ESPN, HGTV and CNN using their apps on our Fire TV and Roku. Best of all…NO CONTRACT! We were able to sign up and cancel whenever we wanted. For us, this was a great solution that rounds out our cord cutting setup.


 

The last monthly cable bill we paid in 2014 was $165! After the upfront costs of getting things setup, we now spend only $55 each month. We pay $25 for Internet service, $20 for Sling TV and $10 for Netflix. That’s $110 back in our pockets every month!

This is the cord cutting setup that we put together to fit our needs. It has been working out great and we love the financial freedom it has provided us over the past few years. With such a great experience, we can’t ever imagine switching back to cable.

 

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The Best Ways to Watch NFL Games without Cable

The Best Ways to Watch NFL Games without Cable

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

The 2016 NFL season has officially kicked off! As a cord cutter, you have several options to cheer on your favorite team while watching on your big screen. The NFL schedules 4 different times each week when games are played, Thursday Night, Sunday Afternoon, Sunday Night, and Monday Night. To help you see which ways you can tune into these games each week, I’ve broken this guide down accordingly. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to catch all the NFL action on TV this season without cable.

All but 4 of the Thursday Night Football games this season will be broadcast, for free, nationwide on NBC or CBS.

The Thursday Night games that are on NBC or CBS will be best watched through an HD antenna connected directly to your TV. I suggest the Mohu Leaf 30 HD antenna for most people. For more info on antennas check out my post here. If you don’t want to miss those 4 TNF games not shown on NBC or CBS, you’ll have to tune into the NFL Network. You can sign up for either the Sling TV Blue package ($25 per month) or the PlayStation Vue Core package ($34.99 per month), both of which include a live stream of NFL Network. Sling and PlayStation Vue can be streamed using apps on your Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

The best way to figure out which channels will be broadcasting the different games each week is to check the schedule on NFL.com.

For the Sunday afternoon games, CBS and Fox are still the stations to tune into. Just like on Thursday Night, plan to use your HD antenna to catch the games being shown in your local market. Pro tip: I like to check the broadcast maps on 506 Sports to see what games are going to air each Sunday in my area. That way I know if I’ll be able to cheer my team on at home through my antenna or if I need to plan an afternoon visit to my local sports pub.

NBC has the broadcasting rights for all Sunday Night Football games of the 2016 season. This is great news for cord cutters because we can use our HD antennas once again to catch every Sunday Night game live!

Monday Night Football, the main event that closes out every football weekend, will be broadcast on ESPN this season.

The most affordable way to catch all the MNF games on ESPN is through a Sling TV Orange subscription ($20 per month). You can use the Sling TV app on your Roku or Amazon Fire TV to watch all these games in crystal clear HD. Alternatively, you could opt for the PlayStation Vue Access package instead, which also includes ESPN, ($29.99 per month).

Finally, if you’re one of those diehard fans that loves to watch the bonus coverage on NFL RedZone every Sunday, you’re in luck! NFL Redzone is now available without cable! For an extra $10 per month, you can add the Sports Extra add-on, which includes NFL RedZone, to a Sling Blue subscription. Or, for PlayStation Vue Core subscribers, you have the option to pay an additional $39.99 per year to add the channel all season long to your package.

As you can see, for cord cutters, just an HD antenna will allow you to watch the majority of NFL games this season. Couple that with a Sling TV Orange subscription for $20 and you won’t miss a thing!

There you go, the best ways to watch NFL games this season without a pricey cable contract. Are you excited to start cheering on your favorite team? I know I am!

 

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How can I watch premium, dare I say “cable”, channels as a cord cutter?

How can I watch premium, dare I say “cable”, channels as a cord cutter?

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So what about those premium channels that are traditionally referred to as “cable channels”? Can I get those? I can’t go without my daily fix of SportsCenter or House Hunters. Well, lucky for you, as a cord cutter, you’ve got options and that’s what cord cutting is all about. Over the past two years, a few internet television services have come to the market offering small packages of premium channels that can be streamed directly to your TV. All of these services are available for a small monthly fee without any sort of contract, meaning you can sign up today and cancel tomorrow. This gives you the flexibility to only sign up for months that you will actually be watching these channels and then cancel during the other months so you aren’t wasting your money on something you’re not using. If you love football and only need ESPN to watch Monday Night Football, then you have the option to only sign up from September through December. Or, if you are a teacher and you love watching HGTV in the summer time when you are on break, then only sign up for the summer months. This kind of flexibility is what makes cord cutting so attractive and saves you tons of money! The way that you watch these services is through apps available on streaming media devices like Roku or Amazon Fire TV. If you haven’t picked one of those up yet then check out my guide to help you make the decision. The best part is that all of these services offer free trials so you can try them all out to see which works best for you at no cost! When was the last time a cable company offered you a free trial?? I’ll go ahead and answer that one for you…NEVER!

Live TV. $20 a month. No Cable Company. Sling TV.

Sling TV – Sling is the pioneer in affordable internet TV packages. This is actually a product of Dish Network that was released back in February of 2015. Sling TV’s mission is to “Take Back TV” and that’s exactly what they’re doing with their packages. You start by signing up for a base package of either $20 or $25 a month and then you have the option of purchasing “add-ons” of additional channels in a particular category for an extra $5 to $15 a piece. The channel selection varies slightly depending on the base package that you go with. Check them out at the Sling TV website to see what suits your needs best and to signup. You can download the Sling TV app on either your Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

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Sling TV Orange Package | Photo Credit: sling.com/service

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Sling TV Blue Package | Photo Credit: sling.com/service

 

PlayStation Vue – PlayStation Vue is Sony’s answer to Sling TV. They were the second major player to enter the internet TV game, launching nation-wide in March of 2016. Despite its name, you do not need to own a PlayStation in order to signup and use this service. There are 3 tiers to choose from with Vue: Access, Core, and Elite. The Access package starts at $29.99 and Elite goes all the way up to $44.99. It may seem like a lot, but you get a heck of a lot of channels bundled up for that price. Another bonus feature included in all 3 tiers is a 28-day cloud DVR. You can record shows on any of your channels and watch them up to 28 days later.  The PlayStation Vue app is available for both Roku and Amazon Fire TV. For the latest package and pricing info check out www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/.

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PlayStation Vue Access Package | Photo Credit: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

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PlayStation Vue Core Package | Photo Credit: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

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PlayStation Vue Elite Package | Photo Credit: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

 

Updated: SFN TV Now has discontinued their nationwide streaming option. Reports are that they will resume this service in the future at which time this guide will be updated.

SFN TV Now – Sothern Fibernet is the latest provider to enter the game with their SFN TV Now service. They pride themselves on offering the most affordable entry level packages starting at just $5! For this price range, you will only get access to the Faith channels, or at the $10 level to Atlanta’s local stations. Most of you will be interested in their Popular or Max packages starting at $34. These packages include the nationwide premium stations you are most familiar with. To sweeten the deal they have included a 7 Day Cloud DVR with their packages. To get more information on SNF TV Now head over to their website southernfibernet.com/index.php/television. Currently, SNF TV Now is only available on Roku (3 and 4 only), but they plan to add additional device support in the future.

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SFN TV Now Popular Package | Photo Credit: southernfibernet.com

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SFN TV Now Max Package | Photo Credit: southernfibernet.com

 

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Posted by Dan in Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation Vue, Roku, SFN TV Now, Sling TV, Streaming, 0 comments
The Cord Cutter’s Ultimate Guide to March Madness

The Cord Cutter’s Ultimate Guide to March Madness

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Updated 3/17/2016 – Apparently the NCAA March Madness smartphone app doesn’t support Sling TV logins. So in order to watch games on TBS, TNT and TruTV while you are out and about you will have to use the Sling TV app for iPhone or Android.

Ahhhh…March. You have finally arrived. With your longer days, warmer temps and, most importantly, college basketball tournaments! That’s right everyone, March Madness is officially upon us. Here’s how you Cord Cutters out there can catch all the action from conference tournaments, such as the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Big East and SEC to the NCAA Basketball Tournament (A.K.A. the March Madness Tournament). Check out our guide below so you can tune into your favorite teams vying for a chance to go to the Big Dance.

Big Ten Tournament

March 9th – 13th in Indianapolis, IN

ESPN, ESPN2 and the Big Ten Network will carry the first three rounds of the tournament.

  • ESPN and ESPN2 – Sign up for Sling TV’s $20/month package and download the app to your favorite streaming media player (like Roku or Amazon Fire TV).
  • Big Ten Network – Unfortunately, BTN does not offer a stand alone service to Cord Cutters. Your best option, invite a friend over that has a cable subscription, download the BTN2Go app to your Roku and let them login. If all else fails…visit your local sports pub 🙂

CBS will carry the semifinal and final games.

  • CBS – Use an HD Antenna to pull in your local CBS station for free.

ACC Tournament

March 8th – 12th in Washington, DC

ESPN and ESPN2 will carry all of the tournament games.

  • ESPN and ESPN2 – Sign up for Sling TV’s $20/month package and download the app to your favorite streaming media player (like Roku or Amazon Fire TV).

Big 12 Tournament

March 9th – 12th in Kansas City, MO

ESPN2 and ESPNU will carry the first two rounds of the tournament.

ESPN and ESPN2 will carry the semifinal and final games.

  • ESPN and ESPN2 – The same Sling TV subscription as above, but you can go ahead and cancel the Sports Extra package.

Big East Tournament

March 9th – 12th in New York City

FS1 will carry all of the tournament games, except for the final game.

  • FS1 – Unfortunately, FS1 does not offer a stand alone service to Cord Cutters. Your best option, invite a friend over that has a cable subscription, download the Fox Sports Go app to your Amazon Fire TV and let them login. If all else fails…visit your local sports pub 🙂

FOX will carry the final game.

  • FOX – Use an HD Antenna to pull in your local FOX station for free.

SEC Tournament

March 9th – 13th in Nashville, TN

The SEC Network will carry the first three rounds of the tournament.

ESPN will carry the semifinal and final games.

  • ESPN – The same Sling TV subscription as above, but you can go ahead and cancel the Sports Extra package.

NCAA Selection Sunday Show

March 13th – 5:30 PM EST

NCAA.com and CBS will carry the NCAA Selection Sunday Show, where the NCAA basketball committee selects which teams have made the field for this year’s March Madness bracket.

NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 15th – April 4th

Coverage of the entire NCAA March Madness Tournament will be spread out across CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV. To figure out exactly what time and channel your favorite teams play on you will have to wait until the official bracket is set. Until then, have no fear. Here’s how you can catch any game on any channel throughout the tournament.

  • CBS – Use an HD Antenna to pull in your local CBS station for free.
  • TNT, TBS and TruTV – Sign up for Sling TV’s $20/month package and download the app to your favorite streaming media player (like Roku or Amazon Fire TV). TruTV is not normally part of the $20 base package, but since Sling TV loves their customers, they are giving all subscribers to the $20 package a free preview of TruTV during the tournament. From March 13th through April 12th you can catch all the games broadcast on TruTV without paying a dime more. Now that’s customer service!!!
  • Not going to be at home – Download the NCAA March Madness app on your mobile phone and login with your Sling TV username to watch CBS games for free. Download the Sling TV app for iPhone or Android and login to your account to watch TNT, TBS and TruTV games.

There you have it folks. That’s how you can watch all the March Madness action you can handle without cable.

 

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