How to watch the 2022 Olympics live online for free—without cable
One week into the 2022 Olympics, a few names are starting to become part of the national dialogue. Ellen Gu, Nathan Chen and Chloe Kim are hot topics – and we’ve still got over a week to go.
The Winter Games, in Beijing, China, haven’t been without controversy so far. A “legal inquiry” has postponed the medal ceremony of the team figure skating medals. China’s strict regulations continue to chafe at athletes and governments. And what the heck is up with those towers that resemble nuclear reactors in the background of the ski jump? (They’re remnants of a former steel mill that shut down 15 years ago, but were never demolished.)
For the first time, fans will be able to stream the entire Olympic Games, which will include seven new events this year. That’s being somewhat overshadowed by China’s human rights record, free speech limitations, and strict rules surrounding the ceremonies, including the mandatory installation of a smartphone app that many critics fear will allow the government to spy on visitors. (Athletes have been advised to bring burner phones and create separate email accounts for their time in the country.)
Political distractions and pandemic fears aside, the Winter Olympics continue to have their share of spectacle. Snowboarder Shaun White is chasing his fourth gold and making what could be his last Olympic appearance, and Mikaela Shiffrin, despite her problems in the slalom and giant slalom, still hopes add to her medal count in in the downhill and super-G.
China is 13 hours ahead of the East Coast, though, so if you’re hoping to watch live and avoid spoilers, or if you won’t be near a TV, you’ve got a number of options when it comes to watching. Here are a few.
When do the Winter Olympics take place?
Technically, the Games got started on Tuesday, Feb. 2, with the official Opening Ceremonies taking place on Friday, Feb. 4. They’ll run through Sunday, Feb. 20, which puts the games head-to-head against the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.
What TV channels are airing the Winter Olympics?
NBC has sole rights to air the Olympics in the U.S. and will be utilizing many of its channels. You can catch events on the USA Network and CNBC. Telemundo and Universo will provide Spanish-language coverage.
What sort of time delay is there with the 2022 Olympics?
Like Tokyo was last year, Beijing is 13 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time, 14 hours ahead of Central Time, 15 hours ahead of Mountain Time, and 16 hours ahead of Pacific Time. Many events (and finals) will take place early in the morning U.S. time, but there will also be plenty of live events in prime time. Still, if you’re hoping to avoid Olympic spoilers, stay away from social media.
Which Winter Olympic events will air on Peacock?
All of ’em! For the first time, the Olympic Games will be fully streamed online.
Peacock will livestream every event of the 2022 Winter Games, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, NBC’s prime time show, medal ceremonies, extensive highlight clips, and more. Full replays of all competitions will be available as soon as they’re over. And the streaming network will host four shows per day with interviews, analysis, and more.
How can I watch the 2022 Winter Olympics for free?
You won’t be able to watch every event, but NBC’s broadcast channel is the center of the network’s coverage. The best way to watch that for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. Be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home to find the most reliable signal.
How can I stream the Winter Olympics live online if I don’t have Peacock?
You’ve got a number of other streaming options to choose from—some free, some with free trial periods, and some requiring a log-in from your cable or satellite provider.
NBC has set up the NBCOlympics.com website and offers the NBCSports app with the widest variety of options. (It’s worth noting, also, that Peacock can be viewed for free.)
There are other choices, though.
Hulu with Live TV
You can try the service free for a week. Once that’s up, you’ll pay $65 per month.
After a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $65.
Dish Network’s Sling lower-tiered Orange plan will run you $35 per month. Adding the more comprehensive Blue plan bumps the cost to $50 per month. You’ll have a seven-day free trial first—and right now, the cord-cutting service is dropping the first month’s bill to $10.
Formerly known as DirecTV Now and AT&T TVNow, AT&T’s streaming service will run you $70 per month and up. There is no longer a free trial option.
Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ can be enjoyed for free for seven days, after which you’ll pay $13.99 per month for all three combined.
This sports-focused cord-cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $65 to $80, depending on the channels you choose.
What new sports are debuting in the 2022 Winter Olympics?
The Beijing Games will debut seven new events—Women’s Monobob, Men’s and Women’s Big Air (Freestyle Skiing), Mixed Team Snowboard Cross, Mixed Team Aerials, Mixed Team Short Track Relay, and Mixed Team Ski Jumping.
When do the figure skating events take place at the 2022 Olympics?
The men’s single skating medal events take place on Feb. 10, while the women’s single medal events are held a week later on Feb. 17. Pair skating awards its medals on Feb. 19. (See the official Olympic schedule for a complete breakdown of events.)
Are NHL players competing in the Winter Olympics?
They were going to, but in late December, the NHL changed its mind and said players would not be allowed to participate because of COVID-19.
When is the Winter Olympics closing ceremony?
The closing ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympics aren’t likely to boast the same level of pomp and circumstance as the opening ceremonies, but they’ll still be an event. They’re scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. China Standard Time on Sunday, Feb. 20. That’s 7:00 a.m. ET.
Like the opening ceremony, NBC will air it live, then present an encore of the event at 8:00 p.m. ET and 11:35 p.m. ET.
How do I watch the Winter Olympics when the Super Bowl is on?
NBC is the host network for both Super Bowl LVI and the 2022 Olympics, which conflict this year on Feb. 13. The main NBC network won’t pivot away from the Winter Games at noon ET and won’t resume coverage until the Super Bowl is over. If you prefer alpine skiing, speed skating and hockey to pigskin, you can catch the Games on CNBC and USA Network.
Isn’t the U.S. boycotting the Winter Olympics? How are our athletes there?
Last December, the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics, citing “the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.” It has been joined in that boycott by the U.K., Canada, Australia, Lithuania, and Kosovo.
This diplomatic boycott is different from the 1980 Olympic boycott, though, as athletes will be allowed to go and represent their country. Ministers and officials will not attend, however.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the move by the Biden administration had “clearly violated the Olympic spirit” and threatened the U.S. “will pay a price for its erroneous actions.” It did not offer specifics, though.
When was the 2022 Olympics opening ceremony?
China knows how to put on an Olympic opening ceremony. The 2008 Summer Games, with 2,008 people drumming in unison, was one of the most memorable moments in the Games’ recent history. As it did last year, NBC broadcast the opening ceremony live during non–prime-time hours.
Where is the next Olympics taking place?
Assuming there aren’t delays as there were for the 2020 Games, the next Olympics take place in Paris, starting on July 26, 2024.
The next Winter Olympics are slated to take place in Milan in 2026.
Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.