How to Live Stream the Summer Olympics Free in 2020

Find an Olympics online stream on any platform

A gymnast performs on the balance beam, a summer olympics event.

Robert Decelis Ltd / Stone / Getty Images

The Summer Olympics is one of the biggest events in sports, coming around every four years like clockwork, and NBC has the broadcasting rights again in 2020. From the first thrilling moment of the opening ceremonies in Tokyo, Japan, through the final moments of the closing ceremonies, you'll be able to stream all the action through NBC, NBC Sports, other NBC cable channels, and NBC's online streaming outlets.

Event: Games of the XXXII Olympiad
Opening Ceremonies: Friday, July 24th
Closing Ceremonies: Sunday, August 9th
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Stream: NBC, NBC Sports, Olympics Channel

How to Stream the 2020 Summer Olympics from NBC

The Summer Olympic Games are broadcast over the air by your local NBC station, so you can tune in for free if you have a television, an antenna, and a nearby NBC affiliate. If you haven't cut the cord, and you have a valid cable subscription, or you can borrow one, you can also stream the full event through the NBC Sports website.

For more information about official NBC streams, and additional Olympics coverage, check out NBCOlympics.com.

In addition to the NBC Sports website, you can also download an NBC Sports app for your phone, streaming device, or even game console.

Here's how to stream the Olympics through NBC Sports:

How to Watch the NBC Olympics Live Stream for Free

  1. Navigate to the NBC Olympics Channel. The player will load, and Olympics coverage will be play if any event or other programming is currently live.

    A screenshot of the Olympics on NBC Sports.

    NBC Sports only allows you to watch a short live preview by default. Users with valid cable or satellite subscriptions can remove this time limit.

  2. When your limited preview expires, and you either have or can borrow a cable login, scroll down and select VERIFY NOW.

    A screenshot of the limited free preview of NBC Sports.
  3. Select your cable or satellite provider.

    A screenshot of TV providers on NBC Sports.
  4. Log into your cable or satellite account.

    A screenshot of the TV provider login on NBC Sports.
  5. If you provide valid login information, the time limit will be removed, and you'll be able to watch the entire event.

Since the NBC Sports website only provides a short free trial viewing period, this isn't a good method for cord-cutters. For a longer trial, look at services like Hulu or fuboTV.

What Streaming Services Include the 2020 Olympic Games?

The best way for cord-cutters to stream the Olympics is through an internet streaming service. These services provide television access that's a lot like cable, except you stream live television through the internet. To use one of these services, you need a computer, laptop, mobile phone or tablet, or a compatible smart TV, and a high speed internet connection.

Each of these streaming services has signed deals with networks and TV stations, which allows them to broadcast live television. That's why you get access to a live NBC stream on some services, and others only provide you with on-demand pre-recorded content from NBC. Availability is based on your physical location, and whether or not any given service has made a deal with your local NBC affiliate.

  • Hulu with Live TV: This service provides the widest access to NBC. If it isn't available in your area, try a different one.
  • YouTube TV: NBC is available in most major markets, and a lot of smaller markets, though this service.
  • PlayStation Vue: This streaming service works very well for PlayStation 4 users, but you can also watch it on your computer, phone, or streaming device. It has decent coverage for NBC.
  • DirecTV Now: This service also has decent NBC coverage.
  • Sling TV: NBC is only available in select major markets through this service, but it's a very affordable option if your area is covered.
  • fuboTV: This sports-focused streaming service has limited NBC coverage, but it's still worth checking out in case your area is included.

If you decide to use one of the services above, know that they all have apps as well. Check out our individual reviews of each service for more information about their respective apps.

Watching an Olympics Online Stream on Mobile, Streaming Devices and Consoles

In addition to streaming through a web browser on your computer, you can also stream the Olympics on your phone, tablet, streaming device, and even game console if you have the right app.

NBC Sports has apps for most major devices, but you still need a valid cable or satellite subscription to log in.

Here are the apps you'll need to stream the Olympics through NBC Sports:

How to Stream International Olympics Coverage From Inside the United States

In most cases, Olympics streams are region locked, meaning a broadcaster pays for the rights to show the Olympics in a specific country, and those rights extend to online streaming, so you're only supposed to be able to watch streams from your own country.

The best way around this lockout is to use a virtual private network (VPN) that's capable of fooling streaming services into thinking you're in a different country. With the right VPN, you can even access free Olympics streams from some countries.

If you've never used a VPN before, it might sound intimidating. To help you get started, we have a list of good VPN services, and a guide to the basics of VPNs.

There are a number of decent free VPNs out there, but they usually won't cut it for this purpose. Since so many people use them, free VPN services often end up blocked by streaming websites.

Can You Watch the Olympics With an Antenna?

Since NBC has the rights to the Olympics in the United States, you can watch a lot of coverage for free if you have an antenna and a local NBC affiliate. You'll miss out on any coverage NBC shifts to its cable channels and online streams, but the most popular events are usually broadcast on NBC.

To watch the Olympics with this method, all you need is a television and an antenna. If you have an older TV, you'll also need a digital converter box, and you may also have to upgrade your older antenna as well. Check out our list of the best digital TV antennas, if you don't already have one.

If you're all set up with an antenna, you can actually hook it up to your computer and use Plex Live TV to stream the Olympics to your computers, laptops, and mobile devices.

This method also requires a TV tuner card for your computer. It takes the free TV signal from your antenna, processes it on your computer, then streams it to your devices.

Can You Watch the Olympics on Free Sports Streaming Websites?

If you aren't able to watch the Olympics through the official method, with a VPN, or with an antenna, most free sports streaming websites include links to Olympic events.

These websites don't have the official rights to broadcast the olympics, and they're often supported by invasive ads, so this isn't a recommended method.

Here are some of the websites you can use to find free sports like the Olympics:

  • Stream2Watch
  • FromHot
  • Bosscast
  • Cricfree

For more information about websites like these, check out our guide to streaming free sports online.