A year after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are finally here. The opening ceremony took place on Friday, July 23, and the closing ceremony will be on Sunday, August 8, in Tokyo, Japan.
The 13-hour time difference between Tokyo and the U.S. complicates viewing some events. But with 33 sports and about 7,000 hours of coverage, this year’s event is packed with content to consume. So, even though there are some caveats to watching the 2020 Tokyo Games online, we’re here to show you how.
Watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games with paid services
There are various ways to access the NBC Sports app, NBC app, NBC’s Olympics website, or Peacock TV online. If you have a subscription or pay for a live TV package, like Xfinity or Dish TV, you will be able to log in to NBC’s websites and apps with that subscription and watch The Games’ live broadcast as well as highlights and commentary.
Peacock, a streaming service owned by Comcast, will also air The Games live, but there is a caveat. If you are a Peacock-free customer, you will only be able to watch the highlights, as well as the Tokyo Now channel. The Tokyo Now channel will air four original programs that showcase highlights, recaps, and breaking news.
To watch the major event, you will need to subscribe to Peacock Premium. Peacock comes in three pricing tiers: Free; Premium ($5/month), which gives you access to the entire catalog; and Premium Plus ($10/month), which eliminates ads.
The free tier of Peacock will stream coverage of the event but will have its own hosts instead of NBC’s. Every morning, the service will broadcast a five-hour show with live coverage of some events. Later in the day, other shows will recap various moments of the day’s highlights. Unfortunately, you will not get live coverage of the opening ceremony or on-demand replays of many events. In addition, some on-demand coverage will be delayed by 24 hours or more.
Even the paid version of the streaming service will not give you full access to the event. Even though NBC owns the service, some content will still be inaccessible.
Here are a few live streaming services that include the networks airing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
All the livestreaming services are available on most major platforms, so you will access these services if you have Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, or Google TV.
How to watch online for free
First, if you don’t have cable, you can check out our explainer on how to watch the Tokyo Games without cable. However, The Games will have some content available to watch online for free. As mentioned above, you can watch highlights of the event via Peacock without a paid subscription. Additionally, you can watch 30 minutes of free coverage via the NBC website before you have to log in with a cable provider. Fubo also offers a seven-day free trial for new subscribers. Another option to be able to watch the event for free is the local TV broadcasting website Locast.
When do the 2020 Tokyo Games start?
The 2020 Tokyo Games officially started on Friday, July 23, with the opening ceremony, and end on Sunday, August 8, with the closing ceremony. However, some events will have overlapping schedules. To see what time your favorite sporting events start, check out the full schedule here.