Olympic Video and VR: Guide To Watching Without a TV

No TV? No problem! NBC is making 4,500 hours of Olympics coverage available at NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, starting with preliminary soccer events on Wednesday, two days before Friday's formal start of the Olympics. The online coverage includes every single event live, as NBC continues a practice begun with the London Olympics in 2012 under new owner Comcast Corp.

For the first time, NBC is also offering some events in virtual reality through Samsung's Gear VR headset. NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell described the foray into virtual reality as experimental.

Much of this requires having a cable or satellite TV subscription, though as an alternative, you can sign up for Sony's PlayStation Vue service for $30 or $40 a month to get extensive access to NBC's app and website. Dish's Sling TV also offers some NBC channels online for $25 a month. In either case, you can cancel after the Olympics.

NBC is showing the Olympics on its over-the-air network and cable channels Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBC Sports Network and USA Network. It also has two temporarily channels devoted solely to soccer and basketball, plus one for events recorded in a higher-quality format known as 4K -- though you'll need a 4K TV for that. In Spanish, the Olympics are on Telemundo and NBC Universo. All told, there will be more than 2,000 hours of television coverage , with live streaming of all the permanent channels on NBC's app and website.

Here's how to watch the Olympics online, depending on the subscriptions you have:


Networks used to show the Olympics only on their over-the-air broadcast channels. But as the costs of Olympic rights rose, NBC started borrowing its cable channels to make more room for events it has already paid for.

NBC's over-the-air network remains the primary destination, though. That's...

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