How to Watch the 2016 Rio Olympics

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The 2016 Olympic Games start Friday in Rio de Janeiro, and thanks to streaming services, virtual reality and good old-fashioned television, there are plenty of ways to watch the back-to-back sporting events from any location over the next few weeks. For those unable to make the trek to Rio this year, here are the ways to catch the Olympics from home.

Cable channels

If you own a television and subscribe to a cable or satellite TV package, watch the Olympics the traditional way. NBCUniversal will broadcast most of the games live, since Rio is only one hour ahead of the Eastern Time zone, across 11 of its channels and networks, including NBC, Bravo, NBC Sports Network, NBC Universo and others. See the full network list here.

If you don’t have a cable or satellite TV package, consider purchasing a digital antenna to watch the games for free. While the antenna won’t catch more specialized channels (like the Golf Channel), you can watch live coverage of major events through broadcast networks like NBC.


Don’t have access to a TV? Watch the events on your computer, tablet or smartphone through the NBC Sports app. However, keep in mind you will need a cable or satellite subscription to stream coverage.

Cord-cutters can sign up for Sling TV’s Sling Blue, a package that allows you to stream the channels that cover the Olympics live to your TV or other devices. You can also subscribe to PlayStation Vue’s streaming service streams channels covering the Olympics to your TV.

Virtual Reality

NBC Olympics announced in June that it will provide virtual reality coverage of the games for the first time. Authenticated users of compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphones can experience the Olympics with a 360-degree view through the NBC Sports App.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at