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Let the games begin! After being pushed from 2020 to 2021 due to Covid-19, the Tokyo Summer Olympics are into its second week, with marquee events in swimming, gymnastics and track and field still to come, plus the finals in soccer, tennis, volleyball and other team sports.
The Games, which officially kicked off with the opening ceremony on July 23rd, run until August 8th, with the Closing Ceremony taking place on Sunday August 8th at 8pm local time in Japan (7am EST here in the U.S). Before that though, you still have a chance to watch athletes like Caeleb Dressel, Simone Biles, Megan Rapinoe, Allyson Felix and new gymnastics all-around champ Sunisa Lee compete one more time.
Though it’s been pushed back a year, the event — the 32nd Summer Olympiad — is still going by “2020 Olympics,” per the Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers. Official (and unofficial) merchandise and all signage will still say “Tokyo 2020.”
Organizers announced in June that international spectators would be barred from attending, and a recent rise in Covid cases in Japan have now changed health and safety guidelines so that no spectators will be allowed at all, at any events in Tokyo. So if you want to watch the Olympics this year, the only way to do it is from home.
NBCUniversal is the main broadcast partner for 2021 Tokyo Olympics Games programming across cable, broadcast, and digital platforms. Your basic-cable package (like this one we like from Verizon) will let you watch the Olympics on TV.
But if you’ve cut the cord and want to watch the Olympics without cable, there are other ways to catch the daily live shows, Olympics channels, highlights, and event replays so you can stream the competition for free online. Here are all the details you need to know.
When Are the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics began on Friday, July 23rd and run until Sunday, August 8th. Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of U.S. ET and 16 hours ahead of PT, so keep in mind that some events will be early in the morning if you want to watch the Olympics live in the U.S.
How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Olympics on TV
If you want to watch the Olympics on TV, you’ll either need a traditional cable package (like these plans from AT&T, which you can order now) or you can tune in to NBC and its affiliates through a digital antenna if you have one.
The digital antenna above gets you access to your local NBC affiliate to watch the Olympics on your TV. It supports up to 4K broadcasts too, and its 250-plus-mile range means your signal will be strong. Order the antenna through Amazon Prime and have it delivered in time to watch the Olympics this week.
Tokyo Olympics TV Channel Guide
If you want to watch the Tokyo Olympics on TV, events will air across NBC, USA, CNBC, NBCSN, the Olympic Channel, and Golf Channel.
Verizon Fios will also broadcast NBC Universal’s coverage of the Olympic Games for the first time ever in 4K Ultra HD. If you have a 4K TV and Fios TV One, you can catch the Olympic Games on dedicated 4K channels, including NBC, Golf Channel, and the Olympic Channel. This will include 4K coverage of the Opening and Closing ceremonies, live competitions, and even replays on the next day. Get more details about Fios TV plans here.
For everyone else, here’s how to watch or stream the events online.
How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Olympics Online
Even though games will be available to watch across multiple television channels, if you don’t have a traditional cable package, you can always get NBC, NBCSN, and MSNBC through a number of live-TV streaming services.
1. Watch the Olympics on Sling TV
Sling TV gets you access to NBC, NBCSN, and MSNBC to watch the Olympics live. Right now, Sling TV is offering a $10 deal for your first month of streaming, including unlimited free DVR Plus for that same month.
Sling TV lets you customize which channels you want on your plan, so you get access to 30+ other cable channels in addition to streaming the Olympic Games on NBC. Sling TV’s app pairs with virtually any device to let you watch the 2021 Olympics live from your phone, computer, tablet, and more.
2. Watch the Olympics on fuboTV
Another way to stream the Olympics live online is through fuboTV. A subscription to fubo gets you more than 200 TV channels, including the NBC channel, where you can stream the Tokyo Olympics live. Fubo also gets you access to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and you get hours of cloud-based DVR storage if you don’t want to wake up and watch the events live.
3. Watch the Olympics on Hulu + Live TV
You may already be aware of the original series and on-demand programming from Hulu, but the streaming service’s Hulu + Live TV plan will also get you access to NBC (and more than 60 other television channels) so you can watch the Olympics, live sports, and more. Hulu will let you watch coverage of the event from your TV, tablet, laptop, or other connected device.
4. Watch the Olympics on Peacock
If you want to stream the Olympics online, you can sign up for NBCUniversal’s own streaming service, Peacock. Since the 2021 Olympic Games are airing on NBC, you can stream the event live on Peacock for free through the app, which includes viewing from a laptop, smartphone, or smart TV. With Peacock you’ll also get access to NBC’s other live events and catalogue of hit shows, such as The Office and Saved by the Bell.
How to Stream the Olympics Free Online
Want to stream the 2021 Olympics online for free?
For a blend of live coverage, on-demand content, clips, highlights, and replays all in one place, Hulu has a 7-day free trial so you can watch the Olympics free. Test it out and get instant access to NBC to watch the 2021 Olympics without cable.
The Tokyo Olympics are also available to watch online free with Peacock Premium’s 7-day free trial. It’ll give you everything the platform has to offer, and more of your favorite NBC programs and exclusive Peacock content.