2016 Rio Olympics: Cable TV Not Required, Several Other Viewing Options Available

The 2016 Rio Olympics are in full swing. While millions of viewers watch the games via cable TV, a costly cable subscription is not required. In fact, several other viewing options are available for your convenience. Here are a few suggestions.

Dust off your television antenna and watch the 2016 Olympics in Rio on NBC. Time recently explained to readers that NBC is the main broadcasting network, when it comes to summer Olympic viewing. This network televised the opening ceremonies. Over the course of the next two weeks, it will also broadcast the most popular events as well as the closing ceremonies.

Currently, more than 260 hours of Olympic programming is scheduled on NBC. Hosts include Al Michaels, Bob Costas, and Ryan Seacrest. As you might guess, some programming will be live and some will be recorded and shown at the best time to ensure maximize viewership.

On most days, the highlights, interviews, and live events will air between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Don’t forget prime time coverage, which starts at 8 p.m.

If you already subscribe to Sling TV’s “Sling Blue” package, you’re in luck. If not, you might want to consider subscribing. Sling TV is the streaming service owned by Dish Network. The network’s Sling Blue package costs $25 per month. Included in the bundle is NBCSN, which is slated to broadcast 330 hours of 2016 Rio Olympic coverage. As a courtesy to subscribers, several other Sling TV channels, which aren’t included in the aforementioned package (but are broadcasting coverage) are available at no extra cost for the remainder of the Olympic games.

PlayStation owners have the option of signing up for PlayStation Vue, to watch the Olympics in Rio this summer. The specialized streaming service allows you to watch over 55 channels. This includes all of the main channels, which offer coverage. Just to recap, the channels in question are Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSN, and USA.

Gizmodo offers the following suggestion to sports fans who are willing to go the SlingTV/PlayStation Vue route. Each service offers a free seven-day trial. So, theoretically, taking advantage of both (one after the other) will get you through the remainder of the 2016 Olympic broadcasts in its entirety. The only minor downfall to consider is that each service offers different broadcasts schedules. That being said, you probably won’t be able to watch every single thing you’re interested in viewing. But, it’s a great way to go, if you really want to save money.

Some channels, available on PlayStation Vue, allow viewers to save recordings for up to 28 days. This may come in handy for people who have busy summertime schedules.

According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, the first time the Olympic games were broadcast on television was in 1960. The winter Olympics, held in Squaw Valley, cost CBS $50,000 to obtain the rights to broadcast. Compared to today’s cost, that dollar amount was merely a drop in the bucket.

Believe it or not, televising the Olympics isn’t all about the money. The sad truth is this: networks typically lose millions of dollars broadcasting the event. Executives are completely aware of the fact when they submit their bids. It remains to be much more about network prestige than raking in the bucks.

Are you watching the 2016 Rio Olympics without the benefit of cable TV? If so, do you have any complaints or is everything running smoothly? Feel free to leave device-related suggestions or general comments about the Olympics in Rio below.

[Photo by Mike Mois/via Shutterstock]