How to Watch the Olympics without Cable or Satellite
The 2016 Summer Olympics officially start tonight. If you’re like many people, you’ve given up your cable or dish satellite subscription to save money which means you can’t watch more than 30 minutes of Olympics coverage. Total. Thirty minutes simply will not do, right?
Never fear. There are a handful of ways that you can still get your Olympics fix without starting up a cable subscription and without breaking the bank.
Here’s how you can watch the Olympics without a cable or satellite subscription:
Use an antenna to get NBC in HD for FREE over the airwaves.
There are a TON of events scheduled to broadcast right on NBC, but you’ll most likely need a high quality antenna to get a solid signal. This is the antenna we use and it’s been working perfectly for us for over three years (and it will ship in two days if you have Amazon Prime).
NBC is broadcasting events from 10 am – 5 pm and then again from 8 – 11 pm daily. Almost all the events on NBC will be recorded, so you’re not watching much of anything live with this option.
You can watch up to 30 minutes of live streaming through NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App before you’re kicked off. Full access is only available to people who subscribe to NBCSN (the NBC paid channels) “through a participating cable, satellite or telco provider.”
So, for all the people on my Facebook feed who say “you can just stream the Olympics,” you’re wrong. The Peacock needs to get paid.
Stream the paid NBC stations via a paid streaming service.
While you’ll be able to watch some Olympic events on NBC, there are hundreds of hours that will be broadcast on the NBCUniversal pay channels. Luckily for us, there are two streaming services that carry the NBC pay channels:
Sling TV — Carries USA, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBCSN (plus other non-Olympic broadcasting channels) with the Sling Blue package for $25 a month. Sling TV works with the following streaming apps:
You can sign up to get a FREE 7-day trial of Sling TV HERE. There are no contracts, so you can cancel your subscription after the Olympics and only pay $25 total.
Playstation Vue — Carries Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSN, USA (plus other non-Olympic broadcasting channels) with the Playstation Vue Access Slim package for $30 a month. Sony Vue works with the following steaming apps:
You can sign up to get a FREE 7-day trial of Playstation Vue HERE. There are no contracts, so you can cancel your subscription after the Olympics and pay $30 total.
Here’s the bummer part with only using the paid streaming options: You won’t be able to watch NBC if you’re outside a handful of major metropolitan cities (Portland and Seattle are NOT included). So, unless you have basic cable or an antenna described above, you won’t be able to watch straight-up NBC and thereby coverage of some of the most popular events.
If you want to watch for free, you need an antenna and you’ll be limited to what NBC broadcasts. If you want more coverage and options, you’ll pay $25-$30 plus the cost of a streaming device if you don’t already have one.
From what I’ve read, Sling is really your best option as it’s a bit cheaper and it streams from all of the popular streaming devices on the market.
This is how our family is watching the 2016 Summer Olympics: We will use our sweet indoor TV antenna to watch NBC and a one-month subscription to Sling TV to watch the paid-NBC channels. Since we already own the antenna and a Roku, we’ll be $25 out-of-pocket for the entire month!
Make sure you read our big guide on how to ditch cable and still watch your favorite TV shows HERE.
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