How Dave Watches March Madness Without Cable

posted by Andrea | 03/20/2017
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As many of you know, Dave and I nixed cable a while ago… and we really have no regrets.

Frankly, I can’t even remember the last time I watched any live TV (in general, I rarely turn the TV on) but Dave is a huge sports and news nut — which was the main reason we  held onto our cable package for as long as we did.

However, when Dave came home with a $25 antenna (similar to this one) I called up the cable company and canceled the next day!

Now Dave can still get local news and the basic “major network” sporting events without the high cost of cable.

Dave is really good about only watching sports after the kids are in bed — something I really appreciate! And if there is a super important game that isn’t on our basic channels and he really REALLY wants to watch it, he’ll just drive over to one of our parent’s homes and watch it there (this doesn’t happen often though).

The one time of year Dave gets a little crazy with his sports watching is during March Madness. The man is a basketball junkie and would probably watch every single game if he didn’t have to work during the day — so not having cable during this time of year is very difficult for him 🙂

Thankfully, a couple years ago he discovered SlingTV.

NOTE: this post is NOT sponsored. 

Sling TV is NOT specifically for sports — but Dave can get all the sports channels he wants (along with an insanely huge number of other channels) for $25 per month.

He can watch live sports (and live TV) from his phone, from a tablet, from his computer, or streamed to the TV (via Chromecast) all day long… and there are several shows you can watch any time of day — similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime.

His favorite set-up is with 2 laptops at the kitchen table — one for basketball, one for school work, with his grading nestled in between. This is pretty much how you’ll find him every single night for the next 3 weeks 🙂

Now obviously, $25 per month isn’t super cheap, but since Dave ONLY buys it for one month a year (there are no contracts), it is significantly cheaper than paying for a long-term cable contract month after month after month. Plus, I have a feeling $25 per month is actually less expensive than most cable packages out there — especially when you consider how many channels you get with Sling TV.

Plus, if you’ve never tried Sling TV before, you can get 1 week free (Dave said you need to put in your credit card information to get the free week).

As I mentioned above, this post is NOT sponsored, but I think it’s such a fun and frugal way to enjoy a month of special sports and extra TV channels without any contract or long-term commitment, so I wanted to share it here in case any of you were interested.

This might be a fun “treat” for an at-home vacation, over summer break for teachers, or when there are major sports tournaments on during certain times of the year.

Lucky for me, March Madness always coincides with spring break — which means I get to watch HGTV all spring break long thanks to our month of Sling TV!

Have you ever tried Sling TV… or something similar?

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24 comments

  1. Jana

    03/21/2017

    Thanks for writing about this. I want to get rid of our cable subscription, but as long as high school senior boy is still home, we will keep it. (He watches LOTS of ESPN and many football and basketball games. After homework is completed of course. 🙂 ) Next fall when he moves to college I hope to delete our cable. I have been curious about Sling TV, so good to hear that it is okay. I love HGTV as well, so I am glad to hear that is an option with SlingTV. We’ll see what fall brings. Hopefully lots of savings from cancelling our cable subscription. Thanks for all this helpful information!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You could always try out the free week of Sling TV to see if you like it and if it’s worth canceling cable for.

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  2. BB

    03/20/2017

    We just got rid of cable just before mid-Feb ’17. I’d been trying to get hubby to ditch cable for about two years, but he was just so ‘not sure’ about streaming TV (without ‘looking into it’ himself or even reading about it) that he was very reticent to give it up. Finally I got our daughter & SIL in on it BY explaining to both of us how they do it for my birthday one year, that within the following year my hubby finally agreed to ditch the cable and go with streaming. We are saving about $100/month after our streaming subscriptions from what we were paying for cable! I bought a ROKU after doing some research, and we signed up for Sling TV, as once I found out what channels it carried vs Hulu (by searching on ‘what channels does Sling TV have? and similarly for Hulu and writing them down in a comparison chart), then also HBO NOW as a hubby wanted, and I could even connect my Amazon video via the ROKU so we can access it from the ROKU vs manually messing with my extra Kindle dedicated to TV use. Easy peasy and way cheaper! Hubby finally learned to use it and keeps saying ‘Wow, we should have done this a long time ago!’
    ;-D

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s a hefty savings! Good for you!

    [Reply]

  3. Erin

    03/20/2017

    I quit cable abut a year ago. But when college football season started last fall, I also signed up for Sling TV and got to see most of the games with my local team (go Ducks!). It’s really worth it, especially because I canceled in December when the season was over and could spend that money on something else! Worked out great!

    [Reply]

  4. Roxanne

    03/20/2017

    We got Sling TV last spring with the intent of keeping it just for baseball season, but I discovered very quickly that HGTV was part of the package… so when baseball wrapped up in the fall I told my husband “there’s no way we’re cancelling this” (it kept me sane while on maternity leave!) The good news is he now enjoys watching many of those shows with me- but I know we’ll be back to baseball all the time starting next month 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life

    03/20/2017

    We use PlayStation Vue which I think works really similarly. It’s like having cable but without the contracts. We do it for one or two months a year if we feel like watching different things. I watch all the HGTV I can handle and then I’m good for a while

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I assume you need a PlayStation for this? We don’t have one of those, but good to know for future reference (or for other readers)

    Thanks Christine!

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    No, you don’t have to have a PlayStation for PlayStation Vue, I think the name is hurting them. I use the app on a firestick. We only have one option for cable and Internet which stinks so now that I have dropped cable the internet went up. 🙁

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh interesting… I might have to look into this!

    [Reply]

  6. Deb

    03/20/2017

    You can actually watch March Madness totally free without SlingTV here:

    http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live/watch

    I think once it gets down to 32, it is on every year for free. You can’t watch other programming though.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Good to know — I’ll mention this to Dave for next year (or maybe I won’t since then I can’t get my HGTV for a month!)

    [Reply]

  7. ShellyL

    03/20/2017

    So, this would depend on your wifi speed, right? We live in a rural area and our wifi is terrible. It is only slightly better than dial-up. I will keep this in mind when and if we get better service though.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, it goes through your internet — so if you have slow internet, this might not be the best option for you 🙁

    [Reply]

    Brittany Reply:

    Looks like at least 3-5 MB speed required.
    http://help.sling.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/What-internet-speed-is-necessary-to-stream-Sling-TV

    [Reply]

    Nicole Reply:

    We have had sling before where I live with 6 Mbps and it still struggled. Lots of pauses and buffering. We got rid of it bc of this. Wish we could get faster internet but it’s a rural area with few options.

    [Reply]

  8. Carrie

    03/20/2017

    I am curious if this would work in a rural area or only in urban areas. What internet speed is needed? Is there a way to test a signal. Obviously I want to know this before I purchase the necessary pieces and parts. Thanks for the interesting article!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    HI Carrie,
    As I mentioned in the article, you can sign up for one free week first. Also, you don’t need to buy any “pieces or parts” as you mentioned. You just download the App to watch on a tablet or phone, or go directly to SlingTV on your computer.
    If you want to cast it to your TV, then you’d need Chromecast (or something similar) but just to watch the shows, you don’t NEED anything extra.

    [Reply]

  9. Meghan

    03/20/2017

    We got cable this year to watch baseball, we don’t have a contract either but are paying about $40 a month…..my husband wants to know if this would work to watch baseball? Does Dave know??

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    It’s literally just like cable TV channels — so you should be able to watch anything you would normally watch on cable TV. I’m sure they have all the channel listings on their website though.

    [Reply]

  10. Brittany

    03/20/2017

    Happy Sling subscriber here! When we signed up, there was a great deal offered. If you prepaid the first three months (after the free week trial) you received a free Roku. Sling offers HGTV, A&E, Food Network, and a lot of our other favorite networks and shows. The only one we’ve really missed is Discovery. However, it’s well worth saving $75-80/month. Before we switched, the DirecTV bill was over $100+/month (painful, I know!) We’re a Sling, Hulu, and digital antenna family now! $33/month for more than enough entertainment. We’re never looking back!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — this is awesome! I don’t think we’re interested in a long-term “relationship” with sling, but it’s fun to use every March!

    [Reply]

  11. MrsD

    03/20/2017

    I’ve NEVER heard of this. I love the idea of using it for a trip too. We spend a lot of quality non-device time together on trips….but to have this for late nights after the kids go to bed sounds nice 🙂 I especially love the no commitments! Thanks, Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, it’s a fun little “perk” for after the kids go to bed — especially since we can’t really GO anywhere while the kids are sleeping!

    [Reply]