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How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online: Torch lighting Olympic flame
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Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony date, time

The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony takes place today, (Friday, July 23) at 8 p.m. JST. That's 7 a.m. ET / 3 a.m. PT in the U.S. and 12 p.m. BST.
• U.S. — Watch on NBC via Sling or Fubo.TV
• U.K. — Watch for free on BBC iPlayer
• Watch anywhere — Try ExpressVPN 100% risk free

It's nearly time to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online, where things are about to get lit — literally — as the Olympic flame goes catches fire. The Olympics opening ceremony kicks off two weeks of world-class sports competitions featuring the biggest and brightest star athletes from around the globe.

The Tokyo Olympics 2021 opening ceremony will be very different from ones seen in years past. Usually, the event is filled with stunning spectacle and poetic pageantry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, spectators won't be filling Tokyo's National Stadium. 

Flagbearers and athletes will still march in the Parade of Nations, but not all of the 613 members of Team USA will attend the opening ceremony. Like in previous years, some athletes will opt to sit it out to rest before competitions. It's also unclear how many athletes will even be allowed to participate, due to social distancing regulations.

But even without a live audience and restricted country delegations, the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony should be a memorable one simply because of the historic year-long delay and ongoing worldwide health crisis.

Here's everything you need to know to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony from anywhere in the world

The Olympics is a global event and can be viewed in almost every country on Earth. However, if you're not in your home country and can't watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony with your usual services — or you want to watch in your native language — you're not out of luck. 

With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. They're totally legal, inexpensive and easy to use. 

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well.

We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. View Deal

Using a VPN is incredibly simple.

1. Install the VPN of your choice. As we've said, ExpressVPN is our favorite.

2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.S. and want to view a U.K. service, you'd select U.K. from the list.

3. Sit back and enjoy the action. Head to your website or streaming service of choice and tune in.

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony in the US

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online — Tokyo Olympics live stream — US flag

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In the U.S. the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony will be broadcast live Friday, July 23 at 6:55 a.m. ET on NBC. It will also be streamed live on the NBC Sports app and on NBCOlympics.com.

NBC will also re-broadcast the opening ceremony during primetime at 7:30 p.m. ET. Another re-broadcast is set for overnight.

If you've cut the cord and don't get NBC through your cable package, you can access those channels through Sling TV and Fubo TV, two of the picks on our best streaming services list. 

Cheaper Live TV

Sling TV: You can get NBC in the Sling Blue package, which is $35/month. The 30-plus channels in the lineup include AMC, CNN, Food Network, AMC, Comedy Central, HGTV and many more. Right now, Sling is offering $10 off the first month for new subscribers.View Deal

More Channels

Fubo.TV: The Starter Plan ($65/month) comes with over 115 channels include local networks like NBC, as well as other Olympics channels like NBCSN. And you get 250 hours of Cloud DVR. Get the 7-day free trial so you can see everything Fubo has to offer.View Deal

While the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony isn't streaming live on Peacock, the service will have highlights and must-see moments from the event.

The no-cost tier of NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock Free, is streaming all major Olympics events, as well as daily live shows, fully event replays and curated highlights. And Peacock is the only place where viewers in the U.S. can watch gymnastics and track and field events in real time (since Tokyo and New York have a 13-hour time difference).

The only exception: If you want live coverage of the Team USA Men’s Basketball, you'll need to upgrade to Peacock Premium ($4.99/month) or ad-free Premium Plus ($9.99/month).

FREE TIER

Peacock boasts a great library, including the entirety of The Office. It's also home to a ton of sports beyond the Olympics, like WWE wrestling, the Premier League, golf and rugby. Peacock Free costs nothing, while the Premium tiers offer access to originals and more movies.View Deal

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony in the UK

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online — Tokyo Olympics live stream - British flag

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Brits can watch the entire Olympics, including the opening ceremony, for free without commercials on the BBC or stream events BBC iPlayer.

The opening ceremony will air on Friday, July 23 at 12 p.m. BST.

If you're traveling outside of the U.K. and have a valid U.K. TV license, you can still follow every single game by using one of the best VPN services, such as ExpressVPN

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony in Canada

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online — Olympics live streams in Canada

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Canadians can watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony at 7 a.m. ET on CBS.

Sportsnet, TSN and CBC are all streaming various Olympics events online if you log in with your cable provider or sign up for a standalone package. Sportsnet costs $19.99 a month, while streaming-only TSN costs $4.99 a day or $19.99 a month.

If you're traveling out of the country, you can use ExpressVPN to access your paid-for services.

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony in Australia

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online — Tokyo Olympics live stream - Australia

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Down Under, Aussies can watch the Tokyo Olympics for free on or stream it on the network’s 7Plus streaming service.

The opening ceremony will air at 9 p.m. AEST.

Currently out of the country? Use ExpressVPN to access your paid-for services.

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony online — VPN statement

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.