3 Ways Cordcutters Can Watch The Olympics

Published: 8 February 2022Updated: 8 March 2023

You can watch Olympics without subscribing to expensive cable services.

There will never come a day when the entire Olympics event is available to watch online for free without a subscription. At least legally you can’t do that, but the most savvy of you folks are always able to watch what you want to watch and when you want to watch it.

That doesn’t mean you can’t watch the Olympics legally if you don’t have the means to travel to Brazil or pay a ridiculous amount of money for a cable service that is total junk.

You can easily watch the Olympics without breaking the bank for a pricey channel bundle.

Why would you want to do that?

Well, because everyone else in the world will be watching the Olympics in Rio.

But if you live in the US and don’t have a television subscription then you won’t be able to watch the Olympics.

You may be wondering that just last week you read that NBC would be offering live stream services through its website, mobile and television apps to people residing in the US, so what happened to that offer?

Well, you’re partially right. NBC does own the rights to air international event in the United States of America, but you can only watch those events via NBC services if you subscribe to a supported television provider. These television providers include services such as cable and satellite.

But who, in their right mind, would subscribe to a cable subscription when you have online services such as Netflix and Hulu?

Well, it is true that a growing number of Americans are turning into cordcutters by signing up for online streaming services such as YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix. Some of the more informed of you also subscribe to partial bundles of channels like Sling TV or PlayStation Vue.

The fact is that a subscription to online streaming services is much cheaper than an equivalent cable subscription. Plus, all you need is a bank account to sign up. For those that do not have one already, it is easy to compare checking accounts online. Beyond that, all that is left to do is subscribe to whichever streaming services you like.

But the downside of these online streaming services is that live events like the Olympics aren’t available to those who have abandoned their TV sets and subscriptions for internet streaming websites.

Some sports organizations provide exclusive internet-only subscription services. These include MLB.TV, NFL Sunday Ticket, and WWE network if actors pretending to be fighters can be considered a sport.

Olympics isn’t one of those events. The people related to Olympics don’t really believe in an online subscription model.

So you can forget about a time when NBC would offer its own online only Olympics subscription package.

No one is ever going to broadcast the Olympics for free on the internet.

Desperate times call for desperate actions, and here, we are going to list three ways you can watch the Olympics in Rio without committing yourself to an expensive cable provider.

If You Can Get A Signal, Buy an Antenna

Yes, for all we know, the only way to watch Olympics without a television subscription may be through an Antenna and only an Antenna.


Cutting the cord doesn’t mean you can’t watch TV.

First, you must understand that NBC is a huge company. It is so huge that it is widely considered to be among the “big four” broadcasters in the US. NBC still offers over-the-air signal in some parts of the US without any charge.

The only other broadcasters who do that are Fox, CBS, and ABC.

If you happen to live in an area that gets a good reception then nearly any Television set will be able to pick up that over-the-air signal when you connect an antenna with it.

However, if you have a TV set that doesn’t support over-the-air TV, like 2016 Vizio TV, then you can purchase a DVR or a TV tuner box. If you have the Vizio TV then you might need to figure out the Vizio TV Bluetooth settings.

You can start looking for a decent antenna with a decent option like Channel Master Flatenna 35 that is available from Amazon for about $22 with shipping charges included.

Don’t worry about buying a cheap antenna over an expensive one. In the case of antennas, the only difference you would feel between a cheap and costly model is in its dimensions.

Cheap antennas are usually short, have a non-replaceable cable and a plastic body. Other than that, low-cost antennas are as good as their pricier cousins.

However, many reviewers have found that the best antenna for the money is Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse which will cost your around $39.

It can catch almost all channel signal and offers a good mix of features such as a detachable cable and a set of components to attach the antenna to your wall or even a window.

With that said, your results may be different as far as any antenna is concerned. Based on where you currently live, you may not receive all the channels that are available in some regions of the United States of America.

If you do end up buying an antenna, then know that some days will be better than others regarding signals and number of channels.

But the biggest problem with antennas is that even if you can catch a clear signal to a channel like NBC, you still cannot watch games that are broadcasted on NBC’s cable channels such as Bravo, CNBC, USA Network and Golf Channel.

To get those you need to move on to the other two methods which have been expounded upon below.

Get Yourself A PlayStation Vue or Sling TV

You may already know that Sling TV and PlayStation Vue primarily offer streaming services that, sometimes, can compete with other cable services.

Sling TV will set you back around $20 per month while PlayStation Vue will charge you around $40 every month.

Since these are modern business, the services they provide will be available for broadband customers on most handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets. You will also be able to stream their services through other countless streaming devices such as Roku, Fire TV, Xbox One (with Sling TV) and Apple TV along with PS3 and PS4 (with Vue).

Customers who have subscribed to PlayStation Vue can watch most of the games using the Access tier which will cost around $39. That should be enough for watching events like the Olympics.

Of course, you could go for PlayStation Vue’s Core tier which will cost you around $45 for an added Golf Channel.

Sling TV subscription packages are very similar to PlayStation Vue. Sling TV has a blue tier which will cost you around $40 and to get that obligatory Golf channel as well; you’ll pay an extra $5 for Sports Extra bundle.

The main advantage of PlayStation Vue over Sling TV is that PlayStation Vue customers have the privilege to use their log-in to access NBC’s official website and not only that, they can also access apps for on-demand videos for their other devices. Sling TV doesn’t offer that service yet.

The other benefit that PlayStation Vue and Sling TV services have over traditional antenna is that, if you haven’t given these online services a try before, then you can watch almost all the Olympics by opting for a trial period for each service.

All you need to do is to start your trial period with one of these services and then cancel that trial period once it is near its expiration date. After that, you can sign up for the other one and watch Olympics on that before canceling that one too near expiration date.

If you don’t want to cancel subscriptions after the trial period, then that’s up to you because there are no obligations or long-term commitment contracts.


Say no to extravagant cable subscription packages. Say yes, to online Olympics-only streaming packages.

And if you just cannot live well without watching the Olympics in Rio and reject any offers to buy additional equipment or online streaming services, then there is a third option which will require you to be a bit more social than usual.

Visit a Coffee Shop or Any Fast Food Restaurant

You may not like to pay to watch Olympics, but you can easily watch Olympics for free if you visit a Coffee Shop or a fast food restaurant like a Pizza shop and order something cheap from the menu.

Usually, coffee shops and local restaurants have cable services that are free to watch for paying customers.

And most of all, you will be surrounded by people who might also be interested in watching Olympics. That way you’ll be able to enjoy the Olympics without ever stepping foot in Rio, Brazil.

But be warned though. Amidst all the excitement you might end up spending more on coffee add ons and extra Pizza slices than you would have if you had just stayed home and paid for a monthly streaming service.


Officials at the Olympics should think long and hard on introducing an ad supported or subscription based streaming service that cord cutters like myself will be able to avail by the time the next Olympics event takes place in 2020.

Or other cable service providers could launch their own Olympics-only package that will cancel itself on the same date as the Olympics end. That, of course, will never happen so cordcutters like us can keep on dreaming.

If you have another method to watch Olympics without paying for extravagant subscription packages legally, then let us know by using the comments section.



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