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How to Stream the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

Four years have come and gone since 2012, and you know what that means: It’s time for another edition of the Summer Olympics. This celebration of athletic prowess is off to a rocky start, thanks to unsanitary conditions in hosting city Rio de Janeiro, but whether the games turn out to be spectacular or a spectacular disaster, it’ll probably be worth tuning in.

Dancers at Rio 2016 Summer Olympics | Credit: Olympics.org

(Image credit: Dancers at Rio 2016 Summer Olympics | Credit: Olympics.org)

The good news is that if you don’t have access to a TV — or even if you do, but want to watch events that aren’t commonly covered — NBC will make 4,500 hours of Olympics coverage watchable in real-time, including every competition as it happens. The bad news is that in order to access any significant portion of it, you’ll need a cable subscription.

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Here’s how it works: Either visit NBCOlympics.com on your computer, or download the NBC Sports app on your mobile device, streaming player, or smart TV. If you don’t have a cable or satellite provider, you’ll be able to watch 30 minutes of live footage the first time you log in, and five minutes per day thereafter.  If you do have a subscription, just sign in with your provider’s details, and enjoy more Olympics coverage than you can possibly watch at a time.

If you want to catch up after-the-fact, however, NBC will release plenty of video-on-demand content so that users can watch either full events or highlights after they’ve taken place. The company has not specified whether a cable or satellite subscription is required for this content. Either way, Olympic diehards will probably need it; with so many overlapping events, it’s not possible to watch everything live.

Even without a cable or satellite login, users can also access the NBC Olympics: Rio News and Results app, which acts as a second-screen companion for the games. The app, which is available on iOS and Android will also tell you who’s won which categories, and provide breaking news as well as video highlights.

For users who want to watch everything, but absolutely refuse to get a cable subscription, there is one other option: PlayStation Vue. This service offers NBC as one of its channels, and as such, you can use PlayStation Vue as your provider when you log into NBCOlympics.com or the app. However, the service is not much cheaper than a traditional package, starting at $40 per month. No one ever made it to the Olympics without sacrifices.