UPDATED on July 27, 2021
How to Watch the Tokyo Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony was on July 23 at 6:55 a.m. EDT (4 a.m. PDT). A replay of the opening ceremony is available on the streaming service Peacock. The closing ceremony is Aug. 9.
What channel are the Olympics on?
You will need NBC to watch the Tokyo Olympics live, including the closing ceremony.
NBC also plans to have 7,000 hours of Olympic programming over the 17 days that the Games are expected to happen.
But that’s not the full story. USA Network, CNBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel and Golf Channel will also be broadcasting parts of the Games.
Cord-cutters have a number of watching the Tokyo Olympics, including some free options.
Out of the five live TV services that carry all of these channels, only fuboTV will be offering streaming in 4K at no extra charge.
fuboTV has local NBC stations across the U.S., and all the other necessary channels to watch live Olympic contests and comprehensive coverage. It will carry the Olympic Channel and Golf Channel in 4K. There will also be 4K streaming on NBC in a small number of markets across the U.S. (See below.)
fuboTV carries 120+ channels, 250 hours of Cloud DVR and works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Smart TVs. New customers can sign up for a free 7-day trial without any obligations. And you can also look over the channel lineup to make sure NBC is available in your area.
There are no contracts, and you can cancel online whenever you like.
Table of Contents
- How to Watch the Tokyo Olympics
- What channel are the Olympics on?
- How to Watch the Tokyo Olympics on Roku, Fire TV
- How to Watch NBC free with a TV antenna
- Free local NBC channel without a TV antenna
- What’s the best way to watch the Tokyo Olympics without cable?
How to Watch the Tokyo Olympics on Roku, Fire TV
AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV are among the live TV streaming services that have all the channels needed for watching the Olympics. It’s just a matter of which service you prefer to use, and of course, how much a subscription costs.
All of these streaming services work on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation and Smart TVs.
You just need an Internet connection, a Smart TV or a streaming device to begin streaming live TV. Most of these services have a free trial that lasts up to a week.
Looking over the full schedule of games can help narrow down which sporting events are being aired on specific channels.
Not only will coverage from Olympic Channel and Golf Channel be in 4K. The company says NBC’s Olympics primetime show on NBC will be in 4K HDR in the following markets.
- Boston, MA/Manchester, NH
- Chicago, IL
- Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York, NY
You can record sporting events and shows with 250 hours of Cloud DVR. That can be handy considering that Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time, and 16 hours ahead of the West Coast.
fuboTV works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Apple TV. A subscription costs $64.99 per month. Subscribers can watch on up to two screens at once.
There are no contracts, hidden fees or obligations. Just cancel online if you don’t like fuboTV.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu + Live TV has more than 65 channels, including A&E, CNN, ESPN, HGTV and NBCSN.
Hulu’s Live TV package has all the channels you need to watch the Olympics live. A subscription costs $64.99 per month and includes 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.
The live TV service also includes Hulu’s massive on-demand streaming library. That’s the same service that people pay $5.99 per month for.
Hulu with Live TV supports Roku, Fire TV and Fire Stick, XBox One and Xbox 360 consoles, and iOS and Android devices.
You can watch up to two streams simultaneously. Look over the channel lineup for Hulu with Live TV before deciding whether you want to sign up.
You can get a free 7-day trial even if you subscribe to Hulu on-demand.
Sling TV is your least expensive way to live stream NBC without cable.
But be aware that the Sling Blue plan only carries NBC in 11 markets. Here is a map that shows what local FOX and NBC stations are available on Sling TV across the U.S.
ABOUT THE MAP: Click on an icon to see what local NBC or FOX stations are in your area. This map is a sequel of sorts to a similar map I made on the site in 2016 for the now-defunct PlayStation Vue.
Sling Blue will get you 45 channels for $35 per month. If you want CNBC, you will need to add the News Extra bundle, which costs an extra $6 per month. The Golf Channel is available with the Sports Extra bundle, which costs $11 per month.
Sling TV offers 50 hours of free Cloud DVR to all subscribers. A Sling Blue subscription gives you three simultaneous streams on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV (4th generation).
Sling Blue subscribers can watch live TV on up to three screens at once.
NBC is available on AT&T TV’s Entertainment bundle, which costs $69.99 per month. Subscribers get 65+ channels, 20 hours of Cloud DVR and 40,000 on-demand shows.
AT&T TV has NBC, NBC Sports Network, USA Network and CNBC in the Entertainment bundle. The Olympic Channel and Golf Channel are part of the Ultimate package, which costs $94.99 per month.
You’ll be able to stream NBC live on a Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV at home, and a smartphone if you’re not at home. AT&T TV now has a no contract option.
If you do sign up, you should know that you have to choose the “no contract” option during the account setup process. It’s not automatic.
YouTube TV has 85+ channels and unlimited Cloud DVR. The live TV service carries all the live TV channels with Olympic coverage.
A subscription costs $64.99 per month. You can watch live TV on up to three devices at once. YouTube TV is carrying Olympic coverage in 4K as part of its “4K Plus” add-on package, which costs $19.99 per month. The 4K Plus package has a 30-day free trial.
The streaming service Peacock also plans to show gymnastics and track & field competitions for free. To stream the Men’s Basketball Tournament live, you will have to upgrade to Peacock Premium. The Premium plan costs $4.99 per month. The live Olympic events on Peacock are also being aired on NBC.
How to Watch NBC free with a TV antenna
A TV antenna is the best way to watch the opening ceremonies and all Olympic coverage carried on NBC for free.
If you have an antenna handy, but haven’t used it in a while, plug it into your television’s coax port and scan for channels. With NBC carrying 7,000 hours of Olympic coverage, you could end up getting much of what you want to watch for free in HD quality.
If you are new to TV antennas, here is a list of resources that I have written to get you started.
- How to Choose the Best TV Antenna and OTA DVR
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
Don’t have a TV antenna yet? The antenna-maker Mohu kicks off its weekly drawing “Champions Giveaway” starting on the opening day of the Olympics.
Free local NBC channel without a TV antenna
Locast is a non-profit service that allows you to stream local ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX, NBC and a number of sub-channels.
The service is only available in 35 markets in the U.S. but it’s constantly expanding. Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV devices such as Smart TVs and Google Chromecast all have a Locast app.
Since Locast is a non-profit, the app regularly asks for a donation, and some find that irritating. But Locast is an option worth exploring if you’re interested in getting local channels, but don’t want to pay for cable TV.
What’s the best way to watch the Tokyo Olympics without cable?
fuboTV has more than 120 live TV channels, including all the ones needed to stream Olympic events live from Tokyo.
Subscribers get 250 hours of Cloud DVR and 4K streaming at no extra charge. fuboTV works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, smartphones, tablets and PCs. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial.
My budget pick is Sling TV. But remember, you need to live in one of the 11 markets listed above to watch NBC live. Sign up for Sling Blue or go for one of their prepaid offers for a free streaming device.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble