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The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 9 and February 25. Almost 3,000 athletes from 92 nations will compete in 102 events for the right to be crowned Olympic champions.
As sporting spectacles go, it’s hard to beat the Winter Olympics. The competition creates stories that are hard to replicate elsewhere. If you’d like to tune in for some of this year’s action, you need to know what options are available to you.
We’re going to explain where you can stream the 2018 Winter Olympics in the US, the UK, and Canada, and explain how you can still tune in even if it’s not being broadcast live in your country.
Where Can You Watch the Winter Olympics?
Whether or not you’ll be able to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics for free depends on who owns the broadcast rights in your country.
The United States
On the television, NBC has finally relented to public pressure and will air events live, rather than reserving the best action for primetime slots. Presumably, the decision was aided by the 14-hour time difference. Many of the most exciting events naturally fall into US primetime hours.
You can also watch while you’re on-the-go thanks to the NBC Sports app. It will broadcast 1,800 hours of live streaming footage from South Korea. And for the first time, the app will also broadcast a live feed of the TV channel in addition to showing the events in isolation.
To use the NBC app, you will need to be a pay TV subscriber. If you’re not, you can watch 30 minutes of action the first time you visit the app and only five minutes per day thereafter. Interestingly, Snapchat users will receive one key moment from NBC’s primetime broadcast in the app’s Discover tab every day.
As cable TV packages are expensive you won’t want to sign up just to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics. Luckily, there are alternative ways of accessing the NBC feed. We’ll look at some later in the article.
The United Kingdom
If you live in the UK, you’re in luck. You will be able to watch all of the action in Pyeongchang for free.
Both the BBC and Eurosport will broadcast the competition. BBC1 and BBC2 will show Winter Olympic coverage from midnight through to 8pm every day. The footage will be a mix of live action, catch up programs, and highlights. Eurosport is available on cable or satellite.
Anyone watching through the BBC will be able to cycle through all the currently live events by pressing the red button on their TV remote. You can also watch all the live footage and catch up with the day’s highlights on BBC iPlayer for free.
In Canada, CBC owns the broadcast rights. If you have a cable subscription with a company like Bell TV or Rogers Cable, you will receive the channel. CBC is also available as a free OTA channel in large cities and along the US/Canada border.
On TV, the action is broken down into three shows. Olympic Games Primetime is on every night from 7pm to 2am ET, Olympic Games Morning will be shown 6am to Noon ET, and Olympic Games Overnight will be on air from 2am to 6am ET.
CBC will also provide live coverage from every venue and of every medal ceremony through its app.
If you’re not sure who owns the broadcast rights in your country, check the official 2018 Winter Olympics website.
Navigate to olympic.org and click on Watch Live in the upper left-hand corner. Choose your country from the drop-down list to see who will be showing the action.
Save Money on NBC
Given how much the average American household now pays for cable TV, you might be trying to find a cheaper way of accessing NBC’s live feeds.
You can use one of the over-the-top “skinny bundle” providers. There are five to choose from—they all offer NBC for a fraction of the cost of a cable package.
1. DirecTV Now
DirecTV offers a $35/month “Live a Little” package. It includes all the national NBC channels and provides user credentials for the NBC Sports app.
2. PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue’s “Access” package costs $40/month and offers all the NBC channels. However, it doesn’t give you access to the NBC Sports app.
Hulu with live TV costs $40/month. The package includes all NBC channels and access to the NBC Sports app.
4. YouTube TV
YouTube TV costs $35/month and includes all NBC channels and access to the NBC Sports app. On the downside, it’s only available in certain cities.
5. Sling TV
Sling TV’s $25/month Blue plan includes NBC, NBCSN, and sister channel, USA. CNBC and MSNBC are part of the News Extra add-on and will set you back an extra $5/month. You also get access to the NBC Sports app.
Avoid Geographic Restrictions
If you live in a country where the 2018 Winter Olympics is either not broadcast or is too expensive to justify the cost, you could try and spoof your location.
Doing so will theoretically allow you to tune into live feeds from countries where the competition is being broadcast for free online, like the UK.
Broadly speaking, there are three ways to mask your location. You can use a VPN service, a smart DNS service, or a proxy. Keep in mind that some sites no longer allow you to access their services if you’re using a VPN.
Don’t Miss the Winter Olympics Action
The 14-hour time difference means it’ll be tough for European and American viewers to watch all of the action live.
However, if you’re a winter sports fanatic and are planning on a few late nights and early mornings, check out this awesome Google Calendar.
Made by Reddit user /u/weissbrot, the calendar lists every event in every sport and converts them all to your local time zone. You can even set alerts for the competitions you absolutely don’t want to miss.
How Will You Stream the 2018 Winter Olympics?
If you want to watch Winter Olympic events, the first step is to see which network owns the broadcast rights where you live.
Next, establish if you need to pay for the service. If you do, see if there are any cheaper ways to access the channel.
Lastly, use a VPN or DNS service to watch geo-restricted feeds from other countries.
How are you planning on watching all of the action from South Korea? Please let us know in the comments below!