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How to watch the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

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How to watch the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Rio 2016 will be the most live Olympics ever, find out how to catch all the action.

The networks and digital platforms of NBCUniversal will present an unprecedented 6,755 hours of programming for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this August.

That's roughly 356 hours of coverage per day (19 days). If the 6,755 hours ran on one channel, it would take 281 days to finish airing.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics will air on Friday, August 5, on NBC. Competition begins two days earlier on Wednesday, August 3, with women’s soccer on NBCSN and USA Network, and the Games conclude on Sunday, August 21, with the Closing Ceremony on NBC.

Watch the 2016 Rio Olympics on TV

With Rio just one hour ahead of the Eastern Time zone, the 2016 Summer Games will be the most live Olympics ever. NBCU will present 2,084 hours of Olympic programming across 11 networks. Find out what to expect this summer from each network by clicking below. 

Broadcast networks:
TELEMUNDO (Spanish language) 

Cable channels:
Golf Channel 
NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)
NBC UNIVERSO (Spanish language) 
USA Network
Specialty channels (Basketball and Soccer)

How to watch the 2016 Rio Olympics online and on connected devices

Powered by Playmaker Media, and the NBC Sports app will live stream 4,500 total hours — including all Olympic competition for the third consecutive Olympics — for authenticated pay TV subscribers via TV Everywhere to desktops, mobile devices, and tablets, plus connected TVs for the first time.  

New from NBC Olympics in Rio

NBC Olympics will also provide 4K Ultra HD content as well as Virtual Reality (VR) programming.

The networks of NBC Universal


NBC’s 260.5 hours of coverage begins on Friday, August 5, and concludes on Sunday, August 21, with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, respectively. Across NBC’s primetime, daytime and late night shows, coverage will feature many of the Games’ most popular sports, including swimming, gymnastics, track and field, diving, beach volleyball, volleyball, and the men’s and women’s basketball finals.

In addition to competition, coverage will also include athlete features, segments on the host city and country, and interviews with newsmakers and medal-winning athletes.

On most days, NBC primetime programming will air from 8 p.m. – midnight ET/PT; daytime from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET/PT; late night from 12:35 a.m. – 1:35 a.m. ET/PT; and replays from 1:35 a.m. – 4:30 a.m. ET/PT.

Bob Costas will again anchor NBC’s primetime coverage, while Ryan Seacrest will host the network’s late night programming. Al Michaels will serve as an NBC daytime host on weekdays and weekends. Dan Patrick and Rebecca Lowe will work daytime across both NBC and NBCSN.

NBC’s daytime and late night programming will originate from a studio located at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Copacabana Beach. The state-of-the-art beach studio will feature two sets; one indoor and one outdoor, a main anchor desk, an interview area, and a news update desk, all positioned to capture the panoramic views of the beach, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the Rio coastline. It is the first time in 24 years, since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, that NBC Olympics has utilized a major studio outside the International Broadcast Center (IBC). NBC’s primetime studio will be located in the IBC.

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NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will present 330 hours of Olympic programming and more than 20 sports, both more than any other TV network. NBCSN will once again serve as the showcase network for Team USA women’s soccer, and Team USA men’s and women’s basketball.

Medals will be won every day on NBCSN from Saturday, August 6, through Sunday, August 21. In addition to basketball and soccer, coverage will include track and field, archery, boxing, cycling, fencing, field hockey, judo, open water swimming, rugby, shooting, soccer, synchronized swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and more.

The network’s 18 days of coverage begins on Wednesday, August 3, two days before the Opening Ceremony, with women’s soccer, and concludes on Sunday, August 21, the final day of the Games. On most days, NBCSN will televise 16 hours of coverage, from 8 a.m. to midnight ET.

Liam McHugh and Carolyn Manno will handle NBCSN hosting duties, along with Dan Patrick and Rebecca Lowe, who will also host daytime on NBC.

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With golf’s return to the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years, Golf Channel will present 115 hours of tournament programming, surrounded by in-depth analysis previewing and recapping the competition and highlighted by live coverage of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Golf competition (Men’s: Thursday, Aug. 11 – Sunday, Aug. 14; Women’s: Wednesday, Aug. 17 – Saturday, Aug. 20). In total, Golf Channel will provide nearly 300 hours dedicated to Olympic programming in August.

Similar to NBC Sports’ all-encompassing coverage of marquee events like The Open and Ryder Cup, NBC Olympics’ live coverage of the men’s and women’s competitions in Rio will begin with the opening tee shot and continue until the medals are awarded. Golf Central’s Live From the Olympics also will provide wraparound news coverage immediately prior to and following live coverage of the competition. Additionally, NBC will feature live look-ins, highlights and updates on the golf competition throughout the Games.

For information on NBC Olympics’ golf commentators, click here.

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Bravo will once again serve as the home of Olympic tennis, televising 94.5 hours of live coverage that begins on Saturday, August 6, and concludes on Sunday, August 14, with the men’s singles final. The women’s singles final airs on Saturday, August 13.

For each of the first five days, Bravo will televise Olympic tennis for more than 12 hours, from 9:30 a.m. ET until 10 p.m. ET. The final four days will each consist of eight hours of coverage, from 11 a.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET. This will be the third time that Bravo has hosted Olympic coverage (2004 and 2012).

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CNBC’s 42 hours of coverage begins on Saturday, August 6, and concludes on Friday, August 19. On weekdays, the network’s Olympic coverage will take place from 5-8 p.m. ET, after it concludes its traditional business and financial programming.

This will be the ninth consecutive Olympics in which CNBC has provided coverage, every Games since 2000. The network will showcase elimination-round coverage of basketball and volleyball, as well as archery, beach volleyball, cycling, rugby, water polo, wrestling, and many more sports.

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MSNBC will carry 78.5 hours of Rio Olympic programming, including coverage of men’s basketball, beach volleyball, rugby, soccer, volleyball, and water polo, among other sports. As with CNBC, this will be the ninth consecutive Olympics in which the network has provided coverage, every Games since 2000.

Coverage begins on Saturday, August 6, and concludes on Saturday, August 20. Ten of the network’s 15 days of coverage take place from Noon ET to 5 p.m. ET.

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After taking a hiatus during the 2012 London Olympics, USA Network returns to the Summer Games with 110.5 hours of programming from Rio. This will be the sixth time the network has carried Olympic programming (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2014). Its coverage begins two days before the Opening Ceremony with women’s soccer on Wednesday, August 3, and concludes on Sunday, August 21, the final day of the Games.

Most weekdays, USA will present eight hours of coverage, from 9 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET, in addition to weekend programming. USA’s coverage includes men’s basketball, beach volleyball, cycling, rowing, synchronized swimming, volleyball, water polo, and more.

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TELEMUNDO and NBC UNIVERSO, the home of the Olympics in Spanish in the United States, will present 273.5 hours of coverage, the most extensive Olympic coverage in the history of U.S. Spanish-language television, and 100 hours more than London 2012 (173.5).

The network’s unprecedented coverage from Rio de Janeiro will begin with women’s soccer on Wednesday, August 3, two days before the Opening Ceremony, and run through August 21.

To complement this extensive coverage and in line with their characteristic storytelling tradition and style, both networks will present stories and reports focusing on Olympic athletes from Latin America and the United States, following them as they compete in their respective events.

One of the main highlights of TELEMUNDO and NBC UNIVERSO’s coverage will be the performance of the Mexican men’s soccer team, which will be defending the historic gold medal it won four years ago in London.

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NBC Olympics will provide NBCUniversal distribution partners with two Olympic specialty channels – one each for basketball and soccer. The specialty channels will focus 779 hours of content solely on each of their respective sports nearly every day of the Games. The soccer channel begins programming on Wednesday, August 3, two days prior to the Opening Ceremony, with women’s soccer coverage. The basketball channel begins its coverage on Saturday, August 6.

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NBC Olympics will distribute 4K Ultra HD (UHD) coverage to cable, satellite, telco providers, and other partners. The 83 hours of coverage will be made available on one-day delay and will include 4K UHD footage from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, swimming, track and field, basketball, the men’s soccer final, and judo, as well as Rio scenics.

One event from the previous day’s competition will be provided daily from August 6, the day after the Opening Ceremony, through August 22, the day after the Games conclude.

NBC Olympics will distribute the 4K UHD coverage provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and Japan’s NHK to U.S. distribution partners, who will individually choose how they will make the content available to their customers.

4K UHD technology displays images at over eight million pixels (3,840 x 2,160), providing pictures with an ultra-high resolution that is roughly four times that of current HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). The 4K UHD coverage of the Opening Ceremony, which will be produced by NBC Olympics, will also include High Dynamic Range (HDR), which produces a wider and richer range of colors, and Dolby Atmos, a new sound technology that allows for a more immersive audio experience.

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