The 2018 Winter Olympics are officially in full swing, and if you’re not near a TV, you might be wondering how to stream them. The short answer is, it’s fairly complicated. And you’ll need to know what’s airing where and when to fully get the most of it.
If you don’t, NBC is tightly controlling how you stream the Olympics. Their site will only let you watch thirty minutes the first time you visit, and then in five minute increments thereafter. So, if you want to stream, you’re going to need an over-the-top (OTT) live TV service like Sling or Hulu, which will both let you stream it from their apps and offer credentials into NBC’s site. But before signing up for them, keep in mind you need to have the right channels.
First, check to ensure that you get the channels you need in your area. NBC’s availability depends heavily on what local affiliates will allow, so NBC is streaming in some areas and not others. The same is true of the various channels you’ll need, especially the ones further up the dial. You can only watch the Olympics on NBC’s many, many channels, with NBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, and USA all airing at least some programming. NBC and NBC Sports will have the lions’ share of programming, with CNBC airing curling and USA airing curling and hockey. So, for the majority of coverage, focus on a package with NBC and NBC Sports.
Beyond that, it’s a matter of personal preference. If you only care about a few sports, Hulu has a custom interface that gathers up the day’s events in those sports for you, so you don’t have to fast forward past all that ice dancing to check out the luge (or vice versa).
Failing all that, well, social media is your friend, although you should expect NBC to clamp down hard on shared video and other content. If all else fails, hey, you can buy a TV antenna for your phone.