Skip To Content
  • Olympics badge

8 Ways To Legally Watch The Olympics Without Cable

:cues Olympic fanfare on iPhone:

Want to stay up to date on your favorite Olympic sports, but don’t have a TV? Don't worry, because there are plenty of ways to follow the games.

The bad news first: To view the *official* streams live on your phone or computer, you'll need cable login credentials.

The apps will take logins from all major networks, including Xfinity, DirecTv, Dish, Time Warner Cable, U-verse, Fios, Cox, and more. Check out the streaming schedule here.

The NBC Sports app (free, iOS and Android) can stream nearly all of the network's 6,755 hours of scheduled programming with a cable login, but you can watch a lot of content without a credential, too.

The livestreams require a cable subscription, BUT you can watch replays, highlights, and featured clips without a login credential, and filter the videos by sport and athlete.

The same goes for You'll need cable to watch most of it, but you can access highlights for free.

The website, which is only available to users in the US and its territories, can be accessed through any desktop computer with Safari 5, Chrome 16, Firefox 3.6, or Internet Explorer 11 (lol) installed. You'll need the Adobe Flash plug-in as well.

It's going to be memory-intensive, so limit the amount of windows or apps running. The site will redirect you to the app if accessed on mobile.

And now the good news: If you can't mooch a login from a friend, Sling TV is a great option to stream NBC on all of your devices. You can also get the first week of the Olympics free with the 7-day trial.

Sling TV is like HBO Now for basic cable. For $25 a month on the Sling Blue subscription, you can stream 40+ channels including NBC, NBC Sports, USA, AMC, and Bravo live, from any device. This package supports up to three streams at the same time.

If you have an iPhone or Android device, you can watch it through the Sling TV app for iOS and Android. You can also access it through your browser. If you have an Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast, you can watch it on a display or TV. Sling offers discounts on the Apple TV and Roku with three months prepaid.

Here's everything you need to know about Sling + the Olympics.

After that weeklong trial is up, try PlayStation Vue, which offers a similar service — and the first seven days are free.

With this service, you can use your PlayStation Vue credentials to log in to the NBC Sports app or and watch all the events live from up to three devices. You can also watch through your mobile device, TV streamers, or your PS4 and PS3 console. You don't need a PlayStation to sign up!

Be sure to go to Settings > Subscription > cancel and My Subscription > Unsubscribe if you don't want to renew your free membership. If you've already used up your Vue trial, you can subscribe to Access ($40 per month) for basic NBC programming.

You can even record live TV programs by adding your favorite shows to "My Shows."

If you just care about the highlights, there are a lot of videos on the NBC Olympics and Olympics Facebook pages.

Facebook: nbcolympics

If you don't have a ton of time to spare, head to the Videos sections of the NBC Olympics and Olympics Facebook pages.

Check out BBC Sport (UK) and CBC Olympics (Canada) for more English-language content.

While you're at it, subscribe to the official Olympics Rio YouTube playlist.

Keep your eye on the official YouTube account for clips from the broadcast and interviews.

If you have an old TV lying around but don't want to pay for cable, consider getting an HDTV antenna. They're affordable and they work well for basic channels.

This antenna, the Chipman, costs $19 and connects to your HDTV via coaxial cable. You'll be able to watch all of the primetime NBC broadcasts with this one-time purchase.

You could also use Yelp to find local bars showing the Olympics.


On desktop, search "Sports Bars" in a city, click "All Filters" in the bar above the search results, select "More Features," then click "Has TV" and hit Search. You can use the results to call the bars ahead of time or search the reviews for "Olympics."

What about using a VPN?

More advanced techies may be wondering: Can't I just use a VPN (virtual private network) to route my IP address through a UK proxy to watch the Olympics on BBC One for free?

To access BBC iPlayer, only users with registered UK IP addresses can view the stream. As many Reddit threads suggest, you can, technically, use a VPN like FoxyProxy and TotalVPN, select a UK proxy, then head over to the BBC site.

But there are *major risks* to using a free VPN. Third parties can intercept all your data, and you might be letting users take advantage of your internet connection to conduct nefarious activities. I don't recommend this option — but, if you must, don't log in to sites with sensitive information, like your bank or email, while connected to the VPN, and be wary of the dangers.

And just FYI, you can follow BuzzFeed's Olympics coverage here and through the BuzzFeed-powered Olympics Snapchat channel.

Emmanuel Dunand / AFP / Getty Images

That's all for now! The Opening Ceremony kicks off on Friday, Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 CT on NBC.

John Stillwell / AFP / Getty Images

Sign up for BuzzFeed's Rio Roundup newsletter to get the hottest news each day of the games!

If you can't see the signup box above, just go here to sign up!