How to Stream the Summer Olympic Games

As the pageantry of the Olympics rolls into Rio, you may be searching for ways you can stream coverage. Accessing a live feed can be a tricky—but not impossible—endeavor that requires some technological gymnastics on your part. Because the games have an exclusive broadcaster, in this case NBC, that holds rights over all Olympic programming and content, many cord cutters get left out of the loop. There are a few ways you can sneak in the sights and sounds of the summer games in Rio, however, even if you don’t have traditional cable.

Got a Login? You’re Good to Go!

If you’ve managed to get your hands on a cable TV login (I won’t ask how. Not my circus, not my monkeys.), then you can download the NBC TV Everywhere app and stream content from NBC and all of its affiliate networks. The app allows you to utilize streaming feeds on all your mobile devices, but you can also download it to your ROKU or computer. On a separate (but related) note, Comcast, DirecTV, and Dish are providing plenty of Olympic coverage in dazzling Ultra HD 4K, but you’ll need an HD set-box, a compatible HD TV, and service from one of the aforementioned cable providers to tune in. In some cases, like the opening ceremony, the HD programming will be broadcast on a delayed schedule so you’ll have to wait to enjoy the spectacle that is Rio. Patience, people.

Tune in Old School

Remember those wire things that protrude from the top of rickety old TV sets? What are those things anyway? They’re antennae and you can rig them up to tune into your local NBC station. Given some adjustment, you should be able to pick up NBC and Telemundo. NBC’s main network will offer over 260 hours of Olympic programming, focused on the most popular sports like gymnastics and basketball, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Who knew one little piece of metal could save you so much money?

TV Subscriptions Will Do the Trick

You have a few options for streaming Olympics coverage if you have a subscription to TV services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. You may have to pick up a more robust plan to get the full range of channels like Bravo and the Golf Channel, but since it’s only a month, those add-ons shouldn’t break the bank.

Stream Online with Limits

NBC has been gracious enough to provide some streaming coverage online through Their website has lots of nifty tools for setting reminders to catch certain matches, medal events, compelling athlete stories, and a wide range of highlights. There’s just one teeny tiny caveat. You’ll need to view the stream on your desktop. When you attempt to pull it up on mobile devices, it will ask for your cable TV login. Even on your computer, the feed will time out after five minutes but if you’re desperate for a quick update at work, it’s definitely an option—just don’t tell your boss.

Keep in the Know with Social Media

While you won’t be able to stream full Olympics coverage from any particular social media platform, many are offering consistent updates and some special features you should definitely take advantage of.


NBC has agreed to share footage with Snapchat, running highlight reels as part of the photo app’s live feed. This is unprecedented in Olympic history and offers a unique opportunity to see how the future of the Olympics might look in an online environment.


Profile frames, special photo filters, and personalized news feeds are coming to Facebook for the Summer Olympic games, as well as plenty of highlights and athlete interviews via the social media platform’s snazzy new live video function. Facebook has partnered with NBC to create what they are referring to as a social “Command Center” for all things Olympics. You can catch a glimpse of it here: Facebook Olympic Command Center


Using their “moments” feature, Twitter will offer comprehensive Olympics highlights alongside Election coverage and other feeds. Simply click on a story to read and share. Certain hashtags will also load emojis like #rio2016 or #Olympics. Have fun with that, kids!


Follow the official Rio Olympics account to get live updates, highlights, and more. Maybe even a selfie or two…or three.  

Google Brings It Home for the Win

Google has this whole “search” thing down, so they went ahead and applied their genius to the agonizing confusion that is the Olympic broadcasting schedule. Simply type in the word Olympics, or follow it with any sport being played at the Summer Games and you’ll be treated with a comprehensive schedule of men’s and women’s coverage with up to date scores, highlights, top athletes, and links to NBC’s live feed. Google has done the hard work for you, translating the time in Rio to that of your current time zone according to your ISP. It’s okay. You don’t have to thank them. They already own the alphabet. Let the games begin! Need a high-speed internet provider so you can live your dream of streaming the Olympics? Use our zip code tool to find a provider in your area.  

Author -

Kaz is a writer, blogger and social media junkie. She uses her tenacity to investigate the best of the Internets.

Back to top

This site is a U.S. Consumer site. You can learn more about our site and privacy policy here.

Share This