Unless you've got cable, watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in summer 2021 could be a real hurdle. Anyone looking to experience the competition in Tokyo from afar has a few options as the games run from July 23 to August 8, even if you only have access to a PlayStation 5 and/or Xbox Series X.
Here’s how to watch the Olympics on your favorite video game consoles.
Over the years, different networks have broadcast the Olympics in the United States, with various companies offering bids to gain exclusive rights. NBC and NBCUniversal has successfully become the permanent host since 1988 for the Summer Olympics and 2002 for the Winter Olympics, and it’s doubtful that this will change anytime soon. As such, your local NBC channel via cable will always be the best place to watch.
But what are your other options?
How to stream the Olympics on PS5
Whether you’re on a PS5 or a PS4, the only real way you can reliably tune into the Olympics are via NBC’s Peacock app — but that comes with a caveat. Plenty of buzz-worthy events like gymnastics and track & field will be broadcast live, but not every competition will appear on the app as it happens.
However, even the free version of Peacock will have replays of many events you can watch on-demand, along with different channels and playlists featuring highlight reels, Olympian interviews, and other customized coverage. The U.S. men’s basketball games, however, will be exclusive to the Premium tier of Peacock. But that’s only $4.99 a month, so you might as well upgrade for the duration of the Olympics, right? For all we know, some other events might be locked behind that paywall. And there’s plenty of non-Olympics shows available that might sweeten the deal.
How to stream the Olympics on Xbox
Like with all PlayStation consoles, the Peacock app is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. It’ll come with all the same limitations on Microsoft consoles, but interestingly, Xbox is hands down the best place to stream the Olympics for gamers.
If you’ve got both a PlayStation and Xbox console at your disposal — and a legit cable subscription login — then use your Xbox. You can download the NBC Sports app and watch just about anything the 2020 Olympics has to offer live. For whatever reason, there’s no NBC Sports app on PlayStation Network.
Like with so many major TV events, this one’s a bit of a Catch-22. You need a cable subscription to unlock the full access on the app, but if you have a sub, you might as well just watch it over cable, right? The ideal scenario, however, is that you simply borrow the login info from the most generous Boomer in your life and use it to unlock full access. For what it’s worth, the NBC Sports app also appears in the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Samsung. So chances are high you might also be able to access the app on a smart TV as well.
For gamers, however, Microsoft easily gets the gold medal for Olympics livestreaming.
No matter which way you choose to watch, the official NBCOlympics.com website has a full schedule at all times.