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March Madness on TV: A viewer's guide to watching the NCAA basketball tournament

It was 1997 and after covering a city council meeting in Siren, Wisconsin for the Burnett County Sentinel, I rushed back to watch a recorded NCAA tournament game between Minnesota and Clemson at the home of my boss. I didn't even have a VCR then to record the game - I was just out of college and moved with little of anything to my one bedroom studio apartment in luxurious downtown Grantsburg, WI., but that's another story.

If you're watching college basketball this spring, you will likely hear veteran broadcasters Clark Kellogg and Jim Nantz on CBS. Find out why one college basketball fan says the best way to view the tournament is through DISH Network.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Times have certainly changed since the NCAA men's basketball tournament was held 19 years ago. We can now watch Florida, Duke, Michigan, San Diego State, Kansas, Virginia, Syracuse - whoever your favorite team may be, on TV, on mobile devices like our phone or tablet, and on the computer/laptop. The possibilities seem endless. In years past games were only available on CBS. The TV programming has expanded too, as games are now also viewable on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV.

While a VCR may not be needed, college basketball junkies want options. And no one gives more viewing options than DISH Network. That's right, DISH Network. I know many cable and satellite TV snobs who have cut the cable cord and/or sworn of satellite TV. But those people aren't familiar with the incredible options with DISH Network (learn how you can get a free iPad 2 through DISH Network).

Let me serve this reminder: I was recently at a home where they had Comcast Cable. I spent some time catching up on TV shows on-demand over a weekend. I had to suffer through commercials and I couldn't fast forward. That's right, Comcast does not allow viewers to fast forward while watching on-demand shows. What? With the DISH Hopper you skip commercials and quickly get to the important stuff - watching your favorite TV shows or sporting events, like the NCAA men's basketball championships.

That's why DISH is the option of choice for serious basketball fans. And now, DISH has expanded its options with the DISH Super Joey™. This feature adds two network tuners to the Hopper’s three native tuners, allowing a household to record up to eight shows simultaneously. Why is this important? This can virtually eliminate channel conflicts for DISH Hopper customers. Can you hear me college basketball fans trying to record games on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV?

Want more? DISH Network also allows customers the option to download an app so they can watch the same programming they would on their TV on their mobile device. Ride the bus or train to work? Catch the action live on your phone through DISH. Have a birthday party you have to go to on the weekend? Watch the game on your mobile device while still making your wife happy you actually went to that family gathering.

What's more, let's say others in the family have favorite shows they don't want to miss or wait for on-demand. You can still watch your basketball games live while recording other favorite shows with DISH Anywhere. If you get overruled and have to suffer through a movie on the Lifetime Movie Network while the Midwest Regional Final is on, you can watch it on your phone or tablet, or, you can record it and watch it later while skipping the commercials.

“We know TV viewers have searched for years for a solution to alleviate conflict over what to watch, and with Super Joey, customers no longer have to choose one program over another,” said Vivek Khemka, DISH senior vice president of product management. “Combined with Hopper’s 2,000 hours of storage, Super Joey makes it even easier for customers to enjoy more of the shows they love without having to negotiate what’s recorded with other viewers in the house.”

There have also been some new additions for 2014 that have made these opening day games even more enjoyable to watch. DISH has come out with these new additions:

  • Multi-Channel View brings games airing on various channels together on one screen.
  • BracketView displays games in recognizable bracket format, noting scores and giving viewers the ability to check stats, record and view games in progress
  • Game Finder is customizable to feature favorite sports and teams. It also allows viewers to tune-in, record or view stats on games of interest; this includes Thuuz excitement ratings to find the best games at any given time.
  • DISH Explorer, the second screen iPad app, includes a “NCAA Tournament” tab on the Top Sports screen, allowing users to quickly see upcoming games, times and channels.

The competition for viewers is intense. I've seen the Century Link commercial where the child is sick and can't go to the baseball game. The dad takes the TV out on the patio and father-son share a moment watching TV - outside. That's great, but when you consider the Polar Vortex has dominated the U.S. this winter, there won't be too many basketball fans across the country sitting outside watching college basketball in 40 degree weather this March.

The way we watch college basketball and sports has changed forever. Now, there are more options than ever to watch the Men's basketball championships. I no longer have to rush home (nor do I no longer have to cover city council meetings, thankfully) to rewind a recording on a VCR. But I can watch every single game or bits and pieces of whatever games I want - without commercials, with DISH Network.

When it comes to March Madness, DISH Network is sure to make it to the Final Four and blow it's way past the competition as the champion of college basketball viewing options.

Enjoy the tournament.

March Madness: Guide to watching the NCAA men's basketball championships
Bracket madness: Complete your NCAA men's basketball championships bracket

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