A year after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Summer Olympics scheduled for Tokyo, the Games finally get underway today. There are many ways to stream the Games for free.
Since the last Summer Olympic Games — 2016, in Rio de Janeiro — millions of people have cut the cord on their cable and are now streaming TV coverage. However, that doesn’t mean people have to pay for the Games in Tokyo this year.
Here are some ways to get your Olympics fix for free.
You can still view NBC’s free, over-the-air coverage. Even if you don’t have cable, this is still possible. To receive over-the-air programming, however, you might need a digital antenna.
To find out the Olympic events that air on NBCUniversal and when they will air, visit the “Schedule” page on NBCUniversal’s Olympics website.
Peacock is NBCUniversal’s streaming service, and you can get it for free: Peacock Free offers live coverage so long as you are willing to watch commercials.
The majority of Peacock’s coverage for the Tokyo Olympics will be available via Peacock Free. The service says this will include:
- Peacock’s always-on Tokyo NOW Channel, which features four original shows covering “the most important moments of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics” (Yes, that’s correct: After the yearlong pandemic delay, the event is still officially called the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. )
- Peacock Original documentaries, series and specials
- Event highlights
- Five dedicated Olympic channels featuring “curated historical moments, athlete profiles, Team USA highlights, and a livestream of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics flame”
You must upgrade to Peacock Premium, which costs $4. 99 per month, if you want to stream U.S. men’s basketball games and select replays of competition (or if you want to avoid commercials).
The good news is that you can view coverage free of charge if either you have a subscription to Hulu + Live TV, or you sign up for a trial.
The bad news is that Hulu + Live TV’s free trial period is limited to seven days. After that, you will have to pay ($64. 99 per month).
Or, if your budget is tight, you could view a week’s worth of Olympic coverage on Hulu for free, then cancel Hulu to access the next option and watch the rest of the Games.
If you sign up to Fubo TV (a streaming service focusing on sports), you can view the Olympics free for seven days.
The Games actually span 17 days — July 23 through Aug. 8 — so a combination of Hulu + Live TV and Fubo TV free trials will bring most but not all of the Olympics into your home.
If you absolutely must have the full 17-day Olympics experience, you can add a third freebie by signing up for YouTube TV. Although the streaming service provides a free trial, it does not specify how long it will last.
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