The 2021 Summer Olympics are in Tokyo and this is shaping up to be an exciting addition to the biannual tradition. Lucky for us cord-cutters, you and I can watch the Olympics without an expensive cable TV subscription. When you’re ready to catch all the action, here are options to stream online on your phone or computer, or watch live on TV without cable.
When are the Olympics?
The 2021 Summer Olympics run from Friday, July 23, to Sunday, August 8. Tokyo, Japan, is 16 hours ahead of USA Pacific time and 13 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone. That means you may have to watch at odd hours for some live events.
You can view the entire Tokyo Olympics schedule here so you know when your favorite nations or athletes are competing.
Who is broadcasting the 2021 Olympics?
As in past years, the Olympics are being broadcast on TV by NBC. NBC is broadcasting a whopping 7,000 hours of live Olympic coverage between two broadcast networks, six cable networks and multiple digital platforms.
With cable TV, you can turn to any of the eight channels to watch. But without cable, how do you watch the Olympics live? We’ve got you covered. Here’s where you can watch the Olympics live, and how you can stream the 2021 games.
How to watch the Olympics on TV without cable
The easiest place to watch the core NBC coverage is on your TV with a digital TV antenna. Digital antennas start at really affordable versions like this one and get more expensive for further range. If you live in a or near a big city, odds are you can get a strong signal for this one-time, low cost without cable. Plus, once you have it, you can watch all of your local channels with the same antenna and no subscription cost. Digital antennas pick up channels like NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox.
Where I live in Ventura, California, the NBC signal is not strong enough for my TVs, so I’m stuck with streaming options. Lucky for me, and many others, streaming the Olympics is also quite easy.
How to watch the Olympics online
The next place to look if you don’t have a digital antenna or gear to stream to your TV is your trusty computer or smartphone. You can watch hours of Olympic goodness on your computer at NBCOlympics.com, which includes streaming of all NBC primetime broadcasts. If you can’t watch every moment live, sign up for a free Peacock account and get access to the Tokyo NOW channel, where you can catch the latest updates and highlights.
Stream live Olympic coverage from TV networks
The last time the Olympics took place, streaming options were not as good as they are today. Today you have several options to get a live TV stream to your home without a cable subscription. Two popular choices are SlingTV and FuboTV.
SlingTV comes in two different packages that each cost $35 per month on their own. Accounts come with a special trial offer, so you can get most of the Olympics without paying full price before deciding if SlingTV makes sense for you. Check it out here.
FuboTV is a newer TV streaming service that is more sports-centric than Sling. It also comes with a special trial. It provides live streaming to computers, phones and streaming devices like Roku, Chromecast, and FireTV. Learn more here.
Can you watch the Olympics on Hulu?
While we are talking live TV, we can’t ignore Hulu. While Hulu is more often referred to as a streaming competitor to Netflix, there is a Hulu + Live TV option that brings the Olympics to your screens. With Hulu, you get access to an extensive library of streaming movies and TV shows, or an upgraded account for live TV. Hulu is also available in a bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+. Learn more here.
How you can watch the Olympics for free
While it is not the intention of the free trials, you can certainly do “trial hop” and spend a week on each of these trials to get enough days to watch the entire Olympics via streaming TV without paying a dollar. But you may find the NBC Olympics website and NBC Sports apps easier than signing up and canceling multiple services.
Go enjoy the Olympics!
The Olympics are a piece of modern world history. The modern Olympic Games date back to 1896 and the original games date back to the 8th century BC. The games are larger than life, and a fun way to enjoy a friendly world competition. Even without cable TV, you can enjoy watching the Olympic games without cable by streaming at home, on your phone, or anywhere else with a fast internet connection.
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