How to Watch the Olympics Online

Rio 2016 will be the most streamed Olympics ever.

By David Isaac

The 2016 Summer Games "will be the most live Olympics ever," NBC says, in part because Rio is just an hour ahead of the U.S. Eastern Time zone and in part because video streaming permits audiences to see the events they care most about. The network will broadcast a record-breaking 6,755 hours of live Olympic coverage—260 hours broadcast on the main NBC network, 2,084 hours shown on cable TV, and 4,500 hours streamed online and via app. Where do you go to see all the exciting competition? Here are our top choices.

Why fight the man? The Peacock Network shelled out $4.38 billion for the TV rights to four Olympics. And as much as you might like to stick it to Bob Costas because he’s such a know-it-all, is the best place to watch the Olympics on a Mac or PC.

The site is well organized. Search by sport to find out when your favorite events will be broadcast. Search by athlete to find out when your favorite stars will perform. Or scan the daily schedule to play it by ear and see whatever grabs your interest. Click on a link in the schedule, and you’ll be whisked away to a page with a live stream of that event.

image alt text will require you to sign in with your username and password from your cable or satellite provider, in order to watch live events and replays.

NBC Sports App

If you want to watch on a mobile device, NBC has you covered with its NBC Sports App. You can filter by the coverage options by sports category, from archery to wrestling. Pick wrestling, for example, and you’ll see the days and times for all of the Olympic wrestling events. Don’t want to miss the Greco-Roman 59kg and 75kg finals? Click ‘Alert Me’ next to the event to receive a notification before it begins. As with the NBC Olympics site, you’ll need to sign in with your credentials from your cable or satellite provider.

Telemundo Deportes App

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Still boycotting Bob Costas? Then the Telemundo Deportes App is your best option. It’s the official Spanish-language app for the Rio 2016 Olympics. This is also a good choice if you want to practice your Spanish or if you love soccer—because coverage is sure to be weighted toward South America’s favorite sport. You will need to prove that you have a cable or satellite account.

Sling TV

All of the above choices require some kind of pay-TV account. But if you don’t have cable or satellite because you’ve already cut the cord, you have another option. In June, Sling TV announced Sling Blue, a new multistream service that includes channels like NBC Sports, so you can catch all the Olympics. The base price is $25 per month.

YouTube Olympics Channel

The Olympics are over. You missed everything. But you love highlights. If that describes you about two weeks from now, check out the YouTube Olympics channel. The banner at the top of the webpage reads "Coming Soon Aug 21st"—that’s the day the games end. We assume that a mass of highlight videos from the games will be added to the site at that time.

Photo credits: NBC, Telemundo.