The opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics on August 5 will be the official start of several weeks of seemingly nonstop excitement as the world’s top athletes compete (heads up: some of the competition begins as early as August 3). Each country will be sending their best to represent their homeland, and these athletes will certainly give it their all as many have been training their whole lives for these Olympics.
One of the best parts about the summer Olympics is the variety of events. Early on sports like Swimming and Gymnastics will be getting the most attention, and then in the second half it will likely be all eyes on the Track and Field events. The performance level at the Olympics games is always top notch and the storylines across each event make it that much more exciting.
Over at CutCableToday, we put together a full guide on watching the Olympics without needing to pay for a cable package. There will be many, many hours of TV coverage, and believe it or not, you can watch just about every minute if you choose the right setup. Below are some of your best streaming options.
NBC owns the full broadcast rights to the entirety of the Olympics. This does not mean every event will be on NBC, but will be spread across its huge network of channels. However, some of the biggest events are likely going to air directly on NBC, and the easiest way to watch without cable is via an antenna.
NBC will air 260+ hours of Olympics coverage from August 5-August 21, including the Opening Ceremonies and Closing Ceremonies.
It is completely free to watch the over-the-air network broadcast of NBC; all you need to do is make an investment in an HDTV antenna, like one of Mohu’s. (Here are some tips about the best way to use your antenna.) Since it is very difficult to stream NBC live in most locations, the antenna is definitely part of our ideal Olympics watching package.
As cable cutting has grown, so has the new services marketed to fully replace a cable subscription. These cable alternatives are often subscription services that let you live stream popular cable channels for a monthly fee. Sling TV and PlayStation Vue will be the top cable alternatives for the Olympics and you can learn more about each below.
Offered by Dish Network, Sling TV’s Sling Blue package costs only $25 per month and offers more than 40 cable channels to live stream. For coverage of the Olympics you can turn to NBCSN, USA, and Bravo no matter where you are located. In some places, you will even get access to NBC’s network channel live as well for tons more coverage.
Another source for Olympics coverage would be including a couple add-on packages on Sling TV for only $5 more per month for each package. The Sports Extra package gives you the Golf Channel and full coverage of the Olympic golf tournament. The World News Extra package adds CNBC and MSNBC, for nearly 100 more hours of coverage of the events.
For a total of $35 per month, you can watch tons of the Olympics and nearly all of it if you are in a location with NBC. If not, you can combine Sling TV and a Mohu antenna to watch just about everything. This is our top recommended viewing option for the Olympics without cable, which is important because you really can’t miss what will likely be once again the most watched event in TV history. Remember, Sling TV has no contracts, so you can always cancel at any time.
Sony’s streaming service also lets you watch nearly all of the Olympics based on your location. All of the above channels on Sling TV are offered in the starting package of PlayStation Vue for $29.99 per month. Like Sling TV, NBC is included in certain locations and the price does jump up to $39.99 per month in these places. Finally, you can use your Vue credentials to log into the NBC Sports app, which is a nice little perk.
So for watching the Olympics, the ideal setup is a Mohu antenna coupled with one of the aforementioned streaming services. Keep in mind that the majority of the programming will be on NBC and NBCSN, so all the add-on packages aren’t completely necessary for all viewers.
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.