Skip to main content

How to watch climbing at Tokyo Olympics: Schedule, channels and more

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics: Tomoa Narasaki of Japan during Sport Climbing
(Image credit: Maja Hitij / Getty)

It's time for more medals in sport climbing at the Tokyo Olympics, as the men's and women's combined finals are coming up soon. One of the newest Olympic events (alongside Olympic skateboarding), sport climbing is seriously intense due to how fast some events can be completed.

Tokyo Olympics climbing key dates and times

Aug. 4 @ 4 a.m.: Women's Combined Qualification
Aug. 5 @ 4:30 a.m.: Men's Combined Final
Aug. 6 @ 4:30 a.m.: Women's Combined Final
• U.S. — Watch live on NBCOlympics.com, select events rebroadcast on NBC and USA via Sling or Fubo.TV
• U.K. — Watch on Discovery+
• Watch anywhere — Try ExpressVPN 100% risk free

Some climbers, in fact, have finished in a mere six seconds. But speed — which is expected to be dominated by Tomoa Narasaki of Japan — is just one of three disciplines for climbers, as lead and bouldering are also on the menu. 

For bouldering, Team USA's Kyra Condie is one to keep an eye on, as she's had to create unusual and risky movements to navigate things — because of limited mobility in her back due to an upper spine fusing she had to have due to scoliosis when she was a child.

Lead's maybe the toughest, as it's got long routes that are designed to be practically unclimbable. The Czech Republic's Adam Ondra is a leader for this competition, as he's famous for contorting his body in odd ways to make it along. 

Of the services you will want for these games, Peacock will help you see highlights at night, while Sling TV and Fubo TV can help you catch games on tape-delay.

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics 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' climbing events 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 climbing at the Tokyo Olympics live in the US

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics US flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Anyone who wants to watch climbing from the Tokyo Olympics live, it's time to find caffeine and  your cable/streaming login because NBCOlympics.com requires one. Games will also air on USA and NBC, sometimes at reasonable hours (though often rebroadcast on tape delay).

Of course, the nightly coverage on Peacock will likely include updates as well. 

USA and NBCSN are part of the $35 per month Sling TV Blue package, and Olympics-watchers will want the Blue package, which also has NBC. The Olympic Channel is also available as a $11 per month add-on. 

Sling is one of the best streaming services alongside our other recommendation for Olympics viewing: Fubo TV, which has 100-plus channels (many more than Sling), including all of the above networks. 

In addition to the Olympics live streams, Peacock also has huge library of licensed content drawn from various brands. That includes shows like 30 Rock, The Voice, Battlestar Galactica, Law & Order: SVU and This Is Us.View Deal

Cheaper Live TV

Sling TV: You can get NBC, USA and NBCSN in the Sling Blue package, which is $35/month — plus the Olympic Channel in the Sports Extra package ($11 per month extra).View Deal

Fubo TV has NBC, USA, NBCSN and the Olympic Channel all its base $65 per month package. It's got a 7-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front. Fubo's dozens of channels include local networks like ABC. View Deal

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics in the UK

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics in the UK - British flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

To watch every event live, you'll want to subscribe to Discovery Plus, which is offering coverage of every event at Tokyo 2020; all of the Olympics climbing events will be on the service. 

Discovery is currently offering a three-day free trial of the service, with full subscriptions available for £6.99/month or £29.99/year after that. Plus, the service is available to stream through a multitude of devices include Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV and apps for iOS and Android.

The BBC iPlayer has been the go-to source for all Olympics coverage for those in the U.K., but things have changed.

The BBC won't have the monopoly on Olympics coverage in the U.K., with the IOC having sold the main European rights to the Discovery network. As a result, the BBC's coverage, though still good, is limited to no more than two live events at one time. 

Americans abroad could just use the service of their choice, provided they log in via a VPN such as ExpressVPN.

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics live in Canada

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics live in Canada

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Details aren't exactly strong here. Sportsnet, CBC and TSN are sharing coverage of the Olympics, and so we've got some, but not all, of the details you may need. None of the networks list climbing, sadly.

That said, TLN has most of the games, though judging by the schedule they will be on tape-delay. 

Again, Americans visiting their friends in the great white north could just use Peacock, Sling, Fubo and other services, provided they log in via a VPN such as ExpressVPN.

How to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics live in Australia

How to watch olympic climbing - Australian flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Down Under, Aussies can watch the Olympic climbing events for free on the 7Plus network's streaming service — which has practically everything in the Olympics. Just add 14 hours to the Eastern times listed below to figure out when games start in AEST. 

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

Tokyo Olympics climbing schedule

(all times listed in Eastern)

  • Wednesday, August 4 @ 4 a.m.: Sport Climbing: Women's Combined Qualification (also at 10 a.m. on USA and 12 p.m. on NBC)
  • Thursday, August 5 @ 4:30 a.m.: Sport Climbing: Men's Combined Final (replay at 5 p.m. on USA)
  • Friday, August 6 @ 4:30 a.m.: Sport Climbing: Women's Combined Final (replay at 5 p.m. on USA)
Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.