The Winter Olympics are almost here. The 23rd Winter Olympic Games, held in PyeongChang, South Korea, have already made headlines as competitors gear up for one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar. With 15 sports and 102 medal events scheduled, there’s going to be a ton of action when the two-week tournament kicks off with the Opening Ceremony on Friday at 6 a.m. Eastern time.
It’s already been an eventful occasion even before the games have started. The Nigerian bobsled team has made history by qualifying for the first time, while North and South Korea have agreed to march into the Opening Ceremony under a unified Korea flag. The Russian team has also come under intense scrutiny after doping allegations, leading to a ban on the team.
There’s a number of ways to watch online, depending on which events you want to see and your cable options.
NBC is the official broadcaster of the Winter Olympics. There are five networks playing a wide variety of events:
- NBC will air 176 hours over 18 days, starting February 8. The network is showing late-night primetime footage for the first time ever. Daytime coverage starting at 3 p.m. Eastern time will focus on speed skating, ski jumping, cross country, biathlon, and luge. During the 8 p.m. Eastern primetime slot, the network will air live coverage of alpine skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, and short track, among other events.
- NBC Sports Network will air 369 hours of coverage, with 10 days worth of 24-hours sports programming. It will also be the first time it’s covered a Winter Olympics in its live primetime slot on almost every night. The network will air gold medal finals of hockey, snowboarding, short track, luge, and bobsled.
- USA Network will air 40.5 hours of curling and hockey, with almost all of it aired live.
- CNBC will also show 46 hours of coverage focused on its evening curling slots.
- Olympic Channel will air 20 hours of news, and highlights on most days.
If you have a cable subscription with access to these channels, great! You’re good to go. You can even take advantage of the NBCSports app below to stream to your device. If you don’t, you can use an antenna to watch the NBC channel for free coverage.
This is where you’ll want to go to get your maximum fill of coverage. Both NBCOlymics.com and the NBC Sports app will feature over 1,800 hours of both live events and simultaneous streamed coverage. The app is available for Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and other smart TV sticks. While there’s an app for the Xbox One, PS4 owners will have to go through the PlayStation Vue service.
The app will require a set of cable subscription login details to watch anything more than 30 minutes in the first session and five minutes each day thereafter.
If you don’t have a cable subscription or antenna setup, you can take advantage of one of the free internet TV free trials to get your fix. Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV all offer limited trials, good for watching a select few games. In the case of YouTube TV, the company’s trial lasts for 14 days, which makes it ideal for watching the entire Olympics.
Wanna get futuristic? The NBC Olympics virtual reality app experience will use Intel’s True VR technology to broadcast over 50 hours of live sports events. Users can stream through Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Samsung Gear VR kits, the Google Daydream platform headsets or Google Cardboard lo-fi kits. Users can also watch 180-degree or 360-degree video in the app sans headset.
Getting started is easy. Download the NBC Sports VR app onto your device, and load it up. Versions are available from the Oculus, Android, iOS and Windows stores. Live streaming requires authentication from a cable provider, so have those details ready.