The 2020 Olympics—which are taking place in 2021—have gotten off to a questionable start, beginning officially today against a backdrop of athletes testing positive for COVID-19 and a climate of unrest as many Japanese citizens have expressed that they don’t want the Games to continue.
But despite the many hiccups, the Olympics are pressing on in Tokyo, which means you should probably watch them, because even if it’s a gloomy and watered-down Olympics, it’s still the Olympics. And if you don’t have cable, there’s still a good amount of action you’ll be able to stream.
How to watch the Olympics without cable
NBC is the official broadcaster of the Games in the U.S., and you can tune in to several of the bigger events by using a regular television antenna. This will only afford you access to marquee events, though, like swimming, gymnastics, track and field and others that are broadcast on NBC’s main network channel. (If you have cable, the Games will be broadcast across the following networks: NBC USA, NBCSN, CNBC, Olympic Channel, and Golf Channel).
If you don’t have a TV but have internet-connected devices, you can watch some of the action for free on NBC’s Peacock app. Again, the offerings will be somewhat sparse, as non-subscribers have access to select sports only, including basketball, swimming, track, and other flagship events. If you’re not a paid subscriber, be prepared to watch with ads, but Peacock is a good place to catch up on whatever you may have missed.
How to stream the Olympics
While many of the more exhaustive options for watching the Games won’t be entirely free, they aren’t necessarily that expensive. For starters, Peacock Premium memberships cost $4.99 a month or ($49.99 for a year), and any plan begins with a free seven-day trial.
The Olympics’ website and the NBC Sports app also offer streaming alternatives, but both options require cable subscriptions. Once you log in with your cable credentials, you’ll be afforded access to lots of content, or about 5,500 hours worth, per the Post. Then, of course, are the more costly streaming options, which you’d likely subscribe to for offerings far beyond the Olympics, such as Hulu Live TV, Fubo TV, and YouTube TV, all of which are $64.99 a month.
Watching the entirety of the Games for free is nearly impossible, but watching some of it for free—or all of it for cheap—is possible.