Watching the Summer Olympics Online and Over-the-Air
One of the most beautiful human achievements is by far the creation of the Olympic games. Every four years, the nations of the world come together in friendly competition to celebrate peace, cooperation, and humanity… and not to mention the prospect of bragging rights for beating the rest of the world.
What makes this Summer Olympics special is the fact that, for the first time, you can get 100 percent Olympic coverage without having to purchases a cable subscription; which is great news for cord cutters.
If you like watching sports and are sick of paying that expensive cable bill, then keep on reading because today we’re going to find out how to watch the 2016 Summer Olympics Online and with an Antenna.
Let’s get started!
Channels Broadcasting the Olympics
All in all, there are 7 networks that will broadcast coverage of the 2016 Olympics. Those channels are NBC, NBC Sports Network, Bravo, USA, MSNBC, Golf Channel and CNBC. As you’ll notice, all of these channels are owned by NBC; which works in our favor but not in the way you think . Now let’s talk about how to get each channel.
Interested in how watching the 2014 Winter Olympics without cable, compares to today’s options? Read “WATCHING THE WINTER OLYMPICS ONLINE AND OVER-THE-AIR“.
Watching the Olympics on NBC
The easiest way to watch the 2016 Olympics without cable is to purchase a HDTV Antenna. With one of these bad boys you’ll be able to pick up all of the broadcast networks in your area, in HD, NBC included.
The NBC broadcast network is slated to broadcast 260+ hours of Olympic coverage; which is more than enough for the casual fan. Better still, the most important events will air on NBC; like the opening and closing ceremonies.
Once the Olympics are over, you’ll be pleased to find that your antenna will still come in quite handy. You may not realize it, but the majority of the most popular shows in the US air on broadcast networks; which you can now access for free in HD. How cool is that?
Now if you’re the kind of person that wants COMPLETE coverage, we have an solution for that as well, so keep on reading.
Summer Olympics on Sling TV vs. Playstation Vue
In order to get complete coverage of the 2016 Olympics without using cable, you’re going to have to get a subscription to either Sling TV or Playstation Vue. Both can offer you complete coverage, and for the same price, so which one you pick will boil down to personal preference.
To get full coverage of the Olympics with Sling TV, you’ll need to subscribe to the Blue package for $25 a month. With that subscription, you’ll get access to NBC Sports Network, Bravo, and USA. That should net you an additional 600+ hours; plus an added benefit that we’ll talk about in just a moment.
With the Blue package, however, you’ll still be missing CNBC, MSNBC, and the Golf Channel. In order to get those, you’ll need to subscribe to the Sports Extra package for the Golf Channel and the World News Extra package for CNBC and MSNBC. Both add-ons will cost you $5 each, which means to get complete coverage of the Olympics you’ll need to spend $35 for everything.
With Playstation Vue, you can spend $30 to subscribe to the Access subscription. That will give you access to NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, and USA. The only channel you’ll miss is the Golf Channel, which can be ignored if you don’t like golf.
But if you don’t want to miss a single minute of every single Olympic event, then you’ll need to upgrade to the Core subscription; which costs $35 a month. As you can tell, no matter how you slice it, getting complete coverage of the Olympics will run you approximately $35.
For those of you that don’t want complete coverage, or for those of you that do but don’t want to pay $35 for everything, there’s always online streaming. Let’s take a look:
Free Online Streaming of the Summer Olympics
Your first online streaming option is the official YouTube channel of the Olympics. From here, you’ll be able to live stream events, watch highlights, interview, and more. This is by no means a complete package as far as coverage goes, but it’s great as a supplementary source.
Now remember that added benefit I mentioned earlier? Yeah, that’s right, that one. Well here’s what it is: Those of you with either a Sling TV or PlayStation Vue should be able to live stream every Olympic event with the NBC Sports app.
Like many apps these days, you have to sign in with cable subscription credentials but if you have access to NBC Sports through Sling TV’s Blue subscription or any of Playstation Vue’s packages, you’ll be able to live stream everything. Which is pretty handy because many of the Olympic events will air on television with a tape delay.
If you are looking to watch the Olympics via a specific countries’ local broadcast station, check out this great article from Sports24hour.
Summer Olympics TV Schedule
Now that we know HOW to watch the Olympics without cable, here’s a quick snapshot of the Olympic Events we’ve got coming up next week.
**All times Eastern**
- August 5 – NBC – 7:30 PM-12:00 AM – Opening Ceremonies
- August 6 –
- NBC Sports Network – 4:00 PM-06:00 PM – Women’s Soccer – United States/France
- NBC – 4:15 PM-6:00PM – Women’s Volleyball – United States/Puerto Rico
- NBC Sports Network – 6:00 PM-8:00 PM – Men’s Basketball – United States/China
- NBC – 8:00 PM-12:00 AM – Swimming – Finals: Men’s 400m Individual Medley, Men’s 400m Freestyle, Women’s 400m Individual Medley, Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay
- August 7 –
- NBC – 4:15 PM-6:00 PM – Men’s Volleyball -United States/Canada
- NBC – 7:00PM-12:00 AM – Women’s Gymnastics – Team Competition
- Women’s Diving – Springboard Synchro Final
- Swimming – Finals: Women’s 100m Butterfly, Men’s 100m Backstroke, Women’s 400m Freestyle, Men’s 4×100 Relay; Semis: Men’s 200m Freestyle, Women’s 100m Backstroke, Men’s 100m Backstroke
Looking for a more in-depth schedule? Check out a guest post I wrote called: Summer Olympics OTA and Streaming Schedule: August 5-7
Which Olympic events you’re looking forward to most?
And if you have any tips, concerns or questions that please sound off on social media or let us know in the comments below!