The 2018 Winter Olympics are about to begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For the next couple of weeks, you’ll see the best in the world compete for Olympic gold. But will you pay top dollar to watch that action, or do you know how to watch the Winter Olympics without cable? In this guide, we’ll show you how to unlock legal Winter Olympics live streams on your favorite streaming devices – and even how to watch the Winter Olympics for free.
When Are the Winter Olympics? What Channels Are the Winter Olympics On?
The 2018 Winter Olympics will run from Friday, February 9th to Sunday, February 25th of 2018 – though you’ll be able to catch some early action starting on Wednesday, February 7th. It’s all happening in Pyeongchang, South Korea. NBC has the broadcast rights, so to watch the Winter Olympics live (or on delay in prime time – Pyeongchang is 14 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone, after all) you’ll need to turn to NBC-owned networks.
For the most part, that means NBC’s sports network, NBCSN. But the biggest moments of the games will be bumped up to NBC itself. NBC-owned networks USA Network and CNBC will also feature some Winter Olympics action.
How to Watch the Winter Olympics Online and Over the Air Without Cable
So how can you watch the Winter Olympics without cable? Well, that’s the same as asking how to get NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, and CNBC without cable.
NBC is the easiest of these networks to get, because it’s available over the air in many areas. We’ll talk a bit more about that later on, but the first handful of entries on our list of ways to watch the Winter Olympics without cable will cover all of the channels we need. That’s pretty impressive, so let’s examine these services a bit more closely.
The services in question are all live TV streaming services, sometimes called “skinny bundles.” They’re out to beat cable at its own game, offering lower prices and expansive platform support while still delivering the one thing cable’s good for: live network television.
These services offer-slimmed-down bundles of your favorite channels. The ones on our list below will give you access to NBC’s best networks, including NBC – with one catch. Not every one of NBC’s many, many local affiliates has signed deals with each live TV streaming services, so that means that an NBC live stream is available only in select markets through each of the live TV streaming services we’ll cover here. In the case of NBCSN and the other channels, though, coverage is universal.
Let’s move on now to the list, which will start with the aforementioned live TV streaming services before moving on to free over-the-air TV and an Olympics-specific website that will help you secure a Winter Olympics live stream. Here’s how to watch the Winter Olympics without cable.
DIRECTV NOW offers a few different bundles at a few different size and price points. The slimmest of DIRECTV NOW’s offerings is “Live a Little,” which costs just $35 per month. And, happily enough, “Live a Little includes all of the networks we need to watch the Winter Olympics without cable: NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and USA Network. You can read our review of DIRECTV NOW here, or you can just click the link below to sign up for the free trial and start watching your Winter Olympics live stream.
fuboTV is a skinny bundle built with sports fans in mind, so it makes sense that the service offers great live Winter Olympics coverage. fuboTV’s English-language base package, fubo Premier, includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and USA Network. fubo Premier costs $39.99 per month except in areas served by the MSG family of regional sports networks, where the price is $44.99 per month instead. For more on fuboTV, check out our review of the service – or, if you’d rather make up your own mind, just click the link below and sign up for fuboTV’s free trial. It’s a week long and risk-free.
Hulu with Live TV is the live TV streaming service from Hulu, a company that is already established as a streaming giant thanks to its respected streaming video on demand (SVOD) service. Hulu’s lone base package costs $39.99 per month, and it includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and USA Network. We reviewed Hulu with Live TV here on Cordcutting.com, and you can read that review here.
PlayStation Vue is Sony’s live TV streaming service, and it’s another great way to watch the Winter Olympics without cable. Subscribers have their choice of a few different bundles, but the slimmest and most affordable – the $39.99 per month “Access” bundle – is all you’ll need to secure a Winter Olympics live stream on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, or USA Network.
Sling TV is designed to keep your skinny bundle solution cost-effective. The idea is that you create your own skinny bundle: you start with one (or both) of Sling’s two base packages, and then you add “Extras,” which are mini-bundles of similar channels grouped by genre. Most of NBC’s offerings – including NBC, NBCSN, and USA Network – are found in the Sling Blue base package, which costs $25 per month. You can get CNBC by adding “News Extra” for $5 per month. That’s a total of $30 – not a bad price for access to all of those Winter Olympics live streams! And on top of that, Sling TV offers a week-long free trial.
Free Over-the-Air TV
NBC’s flagship network is a broadcast TV network. That means that NBC’s local affiliates all over the country broadcast the network over the air – for free. Yes, it’s still possible to watch the Winter Olympics for free in the same way past generations did. All you’ll need is a modern antenna with enough range to pick up your nearest NBC affiliate. This is a great way to watch the Winter Olympics without cable if you care most about the big events, including the opening and closing ceremonies. But keep in mind that it’s not a way to watch the stuff on NBCSN, CNBC, or USA Network – for that, you’ll have to watch the Winter Olympics online using one of the other methods on this list.
You can’t stream the Winter Olympics online for free. To access the live streams on the NBC Sport app and NBCOlympics.com, you need to log in with a pay TV provider. So why do they make the cut on our cord cutting-focused list? Two reasons: first, because these apps allow you to login in live TV streaming service credentials as well as cable ones, and second, because NBC Sports and NBCOlympics.com will offer footage that won’t air on TV. NBC Sports and NBCOlympics.com will offer Winter Olympics live streams like never before, with NBC promising a staggering 1,800 hours of Winter Olympics streaming. So if you sign up for a live TV streaming service above, there’s every reason to then use that login to access NBC Sports and NBCOlympics.com. With much of the big stuff airing on a delay (there’s a 14-hour time difference between the American East Coast and Pyeongchang, remember), these apps are also often going to be the best way to watch the Winter Olympics live without cable. Just remember that they’re not standalone solutions – you’ll need a skinny bundle subscription to get access.
Can I Watch the Winter Olympics on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?
If you subscribe to one of the live TV streaming services on this list, you’ll be able to watch the Winter Olympics without cable on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast. DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV all have apps for each of those major streaming platforms. Users of Android TV will have options, too, as fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV each have apps for that platform. You can also, of course, use the NBC Sports app and NBCOlympics.com with a pay TV login, as explained above.
All of the live TV streaming services on this list also have apps for Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as in-browser apps for use on your desktop or laptop.
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