Olympics, the biggest sporting event of the year will kickstart in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 5th. Amidst all the controversies surrounding the event, it still promises to be a sporting extravaganza with a record number of countries participating in a record number of sports over 19 days. More than 10,500 athletes from 206 countries are expected to take part in 28 Olympic sports. This means there are over 6,755 hours of programming to be broadcasted, which means not every TV channel can cover every sporting event. Fret not, we are here to tell you how to watch the Rio Olympics Livestream at the comfort of your home or while on the move (even if you don’t have the Cable TV subscription).
The 2016 Olympics will take place from August 3rd to August 21st, with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for August 5th. In the US, NBC has the exclusive rights to broadcast the Rio Olympics, and they will be doing that across their network – NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, USA Network and others. In UK, BBC will be broadcasting the Olympics live, Star Sports in India, CBC in Canada, Seven Network in Australia, CCTV in China and Rede Globo in Brazil.
But what if you want to watch the Olympics online? As you’d expect, the above networks (and more which are listed here) will be live streaming Olympics 2016 in their respective countries at least.
How to Watch Rio Olympics 2016 Live Online in US?
As we mentioned earlier, NBC has the exclusive rights to telecast the Rio Olympics. And they have the online live streaming rights as well in the US. The official website, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App will live stream 4,500 total hours of Rio Olympics on desktop, laptop, mobile devices, tablets and even Roku, Apple TV and others.
One catch though. You got to have a valid cable subscription for both the website and the app to work. If you have one, you are all set to watch Olympics online. If not, read further.
How to Watch Olympics Online without a cable subscription?
If you are hell bent on NOT paying up for the cable subscription, here are a few options to consider:
1. Digital Antenna
If you’ve been living on Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, there’s a good chance that you are a complete cord-cutter. The good old digital antenna comes to your rescue. You can get HD quality Olympic coverage for free thanks to your local NBC affiliate’s over-the-air-broadcast. All you need is a television (d’oh) and a good quality television antenna. We don’t promise complete coverage of Olympics 2016 for free here, as the telecast is split across NBC’s network of channels, but definitely all the major events including opening and closing ceremonies.
2. Watch Olympics Live Stream for free over VPN
Unlike the US, other countries like UK and Canada won’t mandate you to have a cable subscription in order to live stream Olympics 2016 for free. Even though, broadcasting is geo-restricted based on the IP address, one can mask the IP and tunnel into another country using VPN services or proxies. There are some Free VPN services which work well, but often have some restrictions on bandwidth, so we suggest two of the most reliable VPN services in the world – ExpressVPN and Strong VPN. Alternatively, you can use a dedicated masking service like Unlocator.
Once you sign up with one of these VPN services, you can head to streaming site of your choice listed below after connecting to the corresponding location with the VPN.
- In UK – BBC Olympic coverage
- In Canada – CBC Olympic coverage
- In Australia – Seven Network Olympic coverage
- In New Zealand – Sky Olympic coverage
- In France – Canal+ Olympic coverage
- In China – CCTV Olympic coverage
- In Brazil – Rede Globo Olympic coverage
Most of these broadcasters will live stream Olympics on their websites and will also have their own apps which one can download and watch Olympics online, of course after using relevant VPN or IP masking service.
Then there is a curated list of reliable Olympics livestreams from Sports VPN (part of Vanished VPN) which is a pretty good bet. It provides readily available live streams from leading broadcasters with all geoblocks removed via extensive testing.
Signup for Sling TV
For cord-cutters, another viable option without subscribing to Cable TV is SlingTV. The basic SlingTV package consists of NBC and most of its network channels and would cost you just $20 per month of subscription. You even get a seven day free trial if you haven’t tried before. SlingTV is running some offers with T-Mobile and others, so check that out as well. SlingTV app is available for Android and iOS.
There are more options we discuss later on in the post.
How to Watch Olympics online in UK and Canada?
Much like previous years, BBC and CBC have gathered the exclusive rights to telecast Rio Olympics 2016 in the UK and Canada respectively. By that result, they will also be live streaming Rio Olympics in those two countries.
Moreover, for the first time ever, Olympics is going to be available in virtual reality. BBC has announced its going to stream 100 hours of 360-degree video through a new app. By strapping on VR headsets that can hold a phone (Google Cardboard or the Samsung Gear VR or the OnePlus VR, for example) users will be able to watch the games in a completely new way.
Online, BBC will have 24 HD streams across its website and apps on mobile, tablet, desktop, connected TVs and games consoles. Specially made BBC Olympics apps with live streaming are available on Android, iOS and BlackBerry. If you insist on mobile website, head to BBC Mobile page to watch Olympics online.
How to Watch Rio Olympics 2016 Livestream in India?
In India, Star Sports network has garnered the exclusive broadcasting rights (and then there is the national broadcaster, DD Sports who will mostly be telecasting events with Indian athletes and participants). As you’d expect, Hotstar will be the go to app to live stream Olympics in India.
Unlike the US, Hotstar doesn’t mandate you to have a cable subscription to watch Olympics online. You can download the Hotstar app on Android or iOS. The other option is to download Star Sports app which will have its own exclusive content.
Olympics 2016 on YouTube
The official YouTube channel of Rio Olympics 2016 will have some exclusive coverage of various sporting events including clips and highlights. It also promises to have the daily roundup on the games, and probably the easiest and best way to catch up Olympic happenings at the end of the day. The official apps for Rio Olympics are available for Android and iOS.
If everything fails, you can head to sites like livetv.sx which hotlinks to various streams and works decently well.