Even Cord-Cutters Can Watch the Olympics in Bafflement

You don't need cable to feel that swelling of nationalistic sentiment.

WiffleGif via Giphy

Before the 2016 Summer Olympics rolled into Rio, all your media needs were met by some combination of Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go. This solution was affordable and effective. On August 5, however, it will become problematic. Whether you’re obsessed with gymnastics, table tennis, or just lycra, you’re going to want to watch the Olympic games. But live TV is mostly the dominion of cable and satellite providers, and sports are the last bastion of live TV.

Fear not, Dressage fans. We’ve got you covered. Here are the myriad ways you can get your games on without breaking out the cords.

Throwback Antenna Style

Maybe you’re not old enough to remember, but not too long ago many an Olympics were broadcast on just one channel, ABC, NBC, or CBS. Depending on weather patterns, the location of your home, many of the hours at the start of the games were spent adjusting the rabbit ears to just the right angle to provide the greatest picture, with the least amount of snow. NBC still has their transmission tower and most of the popular games will be broadcast over-the-air, for free. The only difference to broadcasts of Olympic’s past is that with HD capabilities, static is no longer a thing, the picture will be perfect or not there at all. Just go to, provide them with an address, the site will inform on the best antenna to suit your needs based on location and all you’ll have to do is go out and buy the one they tell you to, hook it up, and enjoy.

Use Someone Else’s Login Information

If you know someone who still has cable or satellite subscription, and they trust you, get their account information. Pretty much all content providers that offer streaming services require proof that the users of such services are paying for the legacy analogs somewhere. If someone is willing to give you their information, you can use that to log on to NBC Sports App and enjoy.

The Other Online Streaming Services

Services like Playstation Vue or Sling offer cable-like packages over the internet. Packages range from $25 all the way to $100. Spend less money and get less of the obscure events like Rhythmic Gymnastics, but if money is no object, you should be able to get almost all the sports on one channel or another. According to each one of these services offers a seven day free trial, so sign up one after the other and get two weeks of Olympic action, in HD, for nothing, just be sure to be on top of your cancellation game.

Alternative Online Services With Videos

Youtube has an Olympic vertical. There’s an off chance that while you’re searching through Youtube, you’ll luck onto an unscrupulous ‘tuber’ that’s broadcasting his or her feed of the games, short of that there will be some legitimate broadcasts of the less popular stuff as well as commentary on the official channel. We advise daily check-ins to see who exactly is sticking it to the man. If the fake Olympics are more your style, head over to Twitch and get in on some hot retro Olympic videogames action.

The Twittersphere/Facebooklandia

People love to live-tweet stuff like, well, really anything. Hashtag #Rio2016 and #Olympics2016 are already starting to trend as people reminisce over Olympics past. While the RioOlympics Facebook page is already up there are sure to be similar ones with similar names like Olympics2016 or RioSummer games. Rifle through some of those to see what people are saying and if you’re lucky someone may point in the direction of a newsfeed. If nothing else, Twitter and Facebook are always good for a laugh.

Down the Rabbit-Hole

It used to be, back in the time of Wiziwig that in order to watch a pirated stream of Horse Dressage one had to suffer through a barrage of pop-up windows with unclear close-out buttons, constantly buffering frames, and pixelated images that were so bad as to make even the artistry of dancing horses unwatchable. Now, there are protocols like AceStream, VLC plugin, and SopCast (a stand-alone app) — that makes use of torrent-like and P2P protocols to crowd-source an HD stream for our viewing pleasure. At the very least it’s a good way to learn Russian — a lot of the streams are provided by our comrades overseas. Of course, there’s still the awful web-streamed video options and they’ll do in a pinch, but we advise holding out for one of the above.

Wiziwig went the way of the Dodo about a year ago, but other sites have emerged to take its place. A search for “Wiziwig alternative” on Google, should get you started, just make to only download programs from trusted sites, also if you try the streaming feeds, be prepared to force-kill your web browser at least a couple of times.

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