How to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics on TV, online, and every device

The whole world will be watching.
The whole world will be watching.
Image: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
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The 2018 Winter Olympics may officially begin on Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea—but the contests are actually already well underway. The US beat Russia in an early round of mixed doubles curling on Feb. 7, and figure skating and freestyle skiing will take place today.

That said, the 2018 Winter Olympics officially kicks off after the opening ceremony on Friday. The International Olympic Committee estimates that as many as 5 billion people potentially watch the Games around the world this year.

Quartz has you covered for all the ways you can watch the games on TV and online.

How to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics on TV

The Olympics will air in almost every country in the world.

  • United States: NBC (English), Telemundo (Spanish)

Over the next two weeks, NBC, which has exclusive broadcast rights to the games in the US, will air over 2,400 hours of Olympic coverage across its television networks and online platforms. In the past, NBC has been criticized for relying too heavily on tape-delays and focusing on human-interest segments rather than the actual competition, but this year is the network plans to air as much live coverage as possible, despite the 14-hour time difference.

The events are spread out over NBC’s various channels:

  1. NBC (176 hours of coverage): NBC will broadcast the Olympic opening ceremony at 8 pm ET on Friday, Jan. 9 (as well as offer an online livestream at 6 am ET online, see more below). In primetime and late-night (which NBC is calling “prime time plus”) the network will air live coverage of Alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, short and long-track speed-skating, and figure skating. In the afternoons, from 3pm – 6pm ET, there will be more skating and skiing, as well as biathlon, luge, bobsled, and skeleton.
  2. NBCSN (369 hours of coverage): NBCSN will air Olympic coverage in primetime for the first time this year, as well as 10 days of 24-hour programming. NBCSN will show almost every preliminary competition round, though NBC will air most of the medal rounds. NBCSN will air medal events for biathlon, bobsled, cross-country skiing, luge, Nordic combined, short-track, ski jumping, snowboarding, and speed skating. The men’s and women’s hockey finals will also air on NBCSN.
  3. CNBC (46 hours of coverage): CNBC will broadcast Olympic curling events from 5 – 8 pm ET, as well as some hockey during late prime time, around 10 pm.
  4. USA (40.5 hours of coverage): USA will air “mostly live” hockey, as well as some curling events, between 7-9:30 am ET. USA coverage doesn’t start until Feb. 14.

Check out the complete schedule of NBC’s Olympic coverage here. Outside of the US, the Games will be shown on most state broadcasters:

  • United Kingdom: BBC
  • Canada: CBC
  • China: CCTV
  • South Korea: SBS
  • Germany: ZDF, ARD, TLC
  • Australia: Channel 7
  • Mexico: Canal Claro
  • France: France Télévisions
  • Russia: Russia 1, MatchTV

You can view the complete international broadcast list for every country on the Olympics website.

How to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics online

If you have cable:

If you get NBC through your US cable subscription, you will also have access to the livestream of “every second of competition streamed for all 15 sports and 102 events” via NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app. For the first time, NBC will livestream the opening ceremony this year, which starts at 6 am ET on Friday, Feb. 9. The NBC Sports app is available for iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Google Play, Roku, and Xbox.

NBC will also offer 50 hours of live coverage in virtual reality via the app, as well as 80 hours of on-demand viewing in 4K Ultra HD. Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, has a dedicated hub for the Winter Olympics where cable subscribers can watch live coverage and competition highlights.

In the UK, the Games will stream live on BBC’s iPlayer.  In Canada, CBC will stream live coverage on its app and website. For a complete list of international online cable streams, check here.

If you don’t have cable:

If you don’t have cable and live in the US, the NBC Sports app will let you stream up to 30 minutes of live video for free initially, and then up to 5 minutes of live video per day thereafter.

But that’s only be a fraction of the coverage available—If you’re looking for broad access to online streaming, you’ll need to use an internet TV service like Hulu with Live TV, Youtube TV, DirectTV Now, Sling TV, Fubo TV, and Playstation Vue, which all have NBC included in their standard packages.

You’ll have to pay for these services, but they all offer a free trial if you haven’t signed up before: Hulu, Sling, Fubo, and DirectTV offer a one-week free trial, PlayStation offers only five free days, but YouTube will give new users two weeks of free access, enough to watch the entire Pyeongchang Games. The only catch is that most of these services offer live viewing only in select markets. You can enter your zip code on each company’s website to see what’s available in your area.

NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app will also let internet TV subscribers sign in with their account credentials to watch the livestream of the games.

On Snapchat:

This year, for the first time ever, NBC will offer Olympic programming outside of its own platforms, partnering with Snapchat to bring live coverage of the games to the app. In the premiere of Snapchat’s new “Live” feature, NBC will stream a top moment each day on its Discover page to Snapchat users in the US beginning Saturday, Feb. 10.

NBC Olympics will also debut two original shows on Snapchat Discover—Pipe Dreams and Chasing Gold—and is working with Buzzfeed to co-produce daily Publisher Stories.