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How to watch the Olympics without cable


Watching the Olympics without cable

The Summer Olympics are back. Beginning with opening ceremonies tomorrow, August 5, 2016, NBCUniversal will offer 6,755 hours of programming for the games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

You may be wondering if you’ll still be able to watch the Olympics without cable? Yes, you can! In fact, it has never been easier for cord cutters to watch the Olympics.

Let’s take a look at some of the options available so you don’t miss out on a single event.


NBC is free, over-the-air with an antenna, to 97% of Americans. With your antenna, you will get over 260 hours of Olympic coverage including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Not only that but with an antenna, you will get many of the most popular sports including swimming, gymnastics, track and field, diving, beach volleyball, volleyball and the men’s and women’s basketball finals.

NBC primetime programming will air from 8pm to midnight (ET/PT); daytime from 10am to 5pm; late night from 12:35am to 1:35am; and replays from 1:30am to 4:30am on most days.

If you are looking for Spanish language coverage, Telemundo will also be covering the Olympics with a similar line up to NBC.

Do you need help getting started with an antenna? Check out our guide to antennas (

Streaming Options

So what about the rest of the Olympic coverage? This year the Olympics will be on Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBCSN and USA Network. So how can cord cutters get access to these channels?

We’ve got two options: Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. Both of these services offer every channel that will allow you to stream this summer’s Olympics. The best part is you can cancel these services at any time. No need to agree to a two-year cable contract when Sling TV and PlayStation Vue will let you subscribe month to month.


Not only will Sling TV offer every channel covering the Olympics, but they are moving MSNBC and CNBC from their world news package to their Blue base package specifically for the Olympics.

PlayStation Vue

If you choose PlayStation Vue not only will you get live streams through the PlayStation Vue app, but you will also be able to log into the NBC Olympics app.


Channel Details


NBCSN will cover basketball, soccer, track and field, archery, boxing, cycling, fencing, field hockey, judo, open water swimming, rugby, shooting, soccer, synchronized swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and more.
The network’s 18 days of coverage begins women’s soccer on Wednesday, August 3 – two days before the Opening Ceremony. It concludes Sunday, August 21, the final day of the Games. On most days NBCSN will televise 16 hours of coverage from 8am to midnight ET.

Golf Channel

For the first time in 112 years, golf is back at the Olympics. Golf Channel will cover 115 hours of tournament programming, providing in-depth analysis as well as previewing and recapping the competition. The highlight will be live coverage of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Golf competition. The men’s competition airs August 11 to 14; and the women’s competition airs from August 17 to 20. In total, Golf Channel will provide nearly 300 hours dedicated to Olympic programming.


Bravo will be the home of Olympic tennis, televising 94.5 hours of live coverage beginning on Saturday, August 6, and concluding on Sunday, August 14. The Women’s Singles Final airs on Saturday, August 13, and the Men’s Finals will air the final day of coverage on Sunday, August 14.


CNBC will cover elimination rounds of basketball and volleyball as well as archery, beach volleyball, cycling, rugby, water polo, wrestling and many more sports. CNBC’s coverage of the Olympics will run from 5 to 8pm ET.


MSNBC will carry 78.5 hours of Rio Olympic programming this year, including coverage of men’s basketball, beach volleyball, rugby, soccer, volleyball and water polo among other sports.

Coverage begins on Saturday, August 6 and concludes on Saturday, August 20. Ten of MSNBC’s 15 days of coverage take place from noon to 5pm ET.

USA Network

Most weekdays, as well as weekends, USA Network will present eight hours of coverage from 9am to 5pm ET. USA’s coverage includes men’s basketball, beach volleyball, cycling, rowing, synchronized swimming, volleyball, water polo and more.

With all these resources, you can still enjoy your favorite sports during the 2016 Olympic without paying for cable TV!