NBC Olympics

How to Watch the 2018 Winter Olympics Without Paying For Cable TV

NBC yesterday finally announced their plans to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Many of the biggest events will be 100% free on NBC with an antenna, but an additional 365.5 hours of Olympic coverage will be aired on NBCUniversal cable networks, which include NBCSN, CNBC, and the USA Network.

The good news is you do not need cable TV and the two-year contract to watch the Olympics.

Here is how you can watch the Olympics as a cord cutter.

#1 Antenna

NBC will be the place to go for many of the biggest events including the opening and closing ceremonies. Hulu, DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue all offer NBC in some markets; however, the best way to watch is 100% with an antenna.

To find out if you can get NBC free over the air, check out AntennaRecommendations.com. There you can see if you need an indoor or outdoor antenna to get NBC.

#2 NBCSN, CNBC, and USA Network

The good news is every major streaming service includes NBCSN, CNBC, and USA Network. You should check out Hulu, DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and other services.

Now the question is what are the least expensive options. So let’s take a look at the cheapest way to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics n Pyeongchang.


Hulu subscribers will have full access to NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics both live and on demand. Not only will you get access to the events but for some smaller sports the on-demand version will appear before it airs on a cable network. To top it all off Hulu will also allow you to customize your 2018 Winter Olympics. You will now be able to pick just the events you want to watch and skip the rest.

If you are a Hulu on-demand subscriber you can add Hulu’s live TV service for just $32 a month.


If you are an AT&T Unlimited Subscriber, you can get DIRECTV NOW for just $20 a month. AT&T gives AT&T Unlimited Subscribers $15 off DIRECTV NOW allowing you to get their $35 a month plan for just $20 a month.

DIRECTV NOW offers a 7-day free trial allowing you to test out DIRECTV NOW before you pay.

Sling TV

Sling TV is the least expensive option. You will need the Sling TV Blue package and the News add-on for a total of $30 a month. With that you will get every channel that will air the Olympics.

Sling TV does offer a 7-day free trial that will let you test out the service before you pay for it.

Other Options

The other options include YouTube TV in select markets for $35 a month and PlayStation Vue for $39.99 a month. Both are great options but they cost a little bit more than the competition.

We will be updating this post as we get closer to the opening ceremonies on February 9, 2018.

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13 Responses to How to Watch the 2018 Winter Olympics Without Paying For Cable TV

  1. Randy Smith November 7, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    During the last Olympics in 2016 Sling offered a free preview of CNBC and MSNBC during the Olympics to subscribers in the base packages. Wondering if they plan on doing something similar in 2018?

    • Jared Cheeseman November 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm #


  2. Bryan Esler November 7, 2017 at 11:27 am #

    It’d be nice if NBC made their NBC coverage free in their NBC Sports app. Handy for those of us who subscribe to a screaming service without NBC…and those who can’t get it over antenna either. Something tells me Comcast won’t let that ever happen though.

  3. Jeck November 7, 2017 at 11:27 am #

    Are those channels available through dedicated apps that I could use a cable provider’s login with (ie Charter or Xfinity)?

    • Jared Cheeseman November 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

      nbc sports app yw

  4. Jared Cheeseman November 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    also nbc sports app

  5. Fred Koot November 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    How about the Olympic Channel on PlayStation Vue? Also Comcast has been blocking a lot of content lately on The Nbc Sports app, so I dont know how reliable it will be.

  6. agoo gleuser November 7, 2017 at 11:53 pm #

    A UK VPN & BBC iPlayer.
    BBC coverage of the last summer Olympics was so much better & more comprehensive it was laughable (and sort of sad).

    Commercial free live opening & closing ceremonies, yep.
    A lot of live sports streams allowed you to turn off the commentator but allowed sound from the course/field etc. to remain on, doubt NBC would ever dream of that.

    I put up sailing for the kids at the local community boat house, parents were amazed it was so well covered and they all appreciated the on boat microphones open with no commentator blathering over them, allowed a knowledgeable person to listen how the helm/crew communicated at that level of the sport. Had to break it to them that NBC coverage was terrible (especially re sailing), you are watching BBC. I think more than a dozen UK VPN subscriptions got sold in that one occurrence.

    • Mike Thaler November 8, 2017 at 8:42 am #

      Years ago could get Canadian satellite signal in SF. Comcast was slow in delivering HD service and we were blocked from OTA. Bonus for us we could watch Canadian Olympic coverage which was MUCH better. Even live (not delayed) coverage was available.

  7. Maarten Andriessen January 18, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

    I have been using a VPN like Agoo Gleuser below for years. Started in London 2012, and then in 2014 when I had just dropped my DirecTV…. did it again in 2016 in Rio, and will again with the 2018 Winter games. I typically use a combination of CBC (Canada) and BBC (UK), but it is good to note here that the “raw feed” comes from the Olympic Broadcasting Corporation, or OBC, and the different stations just put their own commentators on, which is why you can turn on/off the commentator. It’s also good to know that CBC and BBC share their presenters, in other words sometimes you hear a North American accent on the BBC streams, which is likely one of the Canadian CBC presenters, and sometimes you hear British accents, which is of course the BBC.

    In some cases, depending on where you are in the world, a VPN to Canada can result in slightly better buffering and streaming, as they are closer to the United States, and better/more directly connected than to the UK…. but typically, both Canada and UK with a VPN are excellent alternatives to having to pay Sling TV for NBC access.

    Quite frankly, the NBC coverage has been disappointing. They deliberately withhold from streaming the events they plan to broadcast during their “prime time” slot, and if you live in any other time zone than EST, that means you will get it with a delay (while the world of twitter and facebook already marvels at the gold medal winners you haven’t seen yet…), and they also cut out things to make it fit within commercial blocks. Both the Sochi and Rio opening ceremonies saw content cut because they couldn’t possibly ask the locals to broadcast their local news 30 minutes later. And its the same with events, they often omit “lesser important” countries from events at their digression. Both BBC and CBC stream all events LIVE no matter what time of day. And indeed, NO commercials, and NO cuts. So yeah, sometimes they have to wipe the speedskating oval with their Zambonis, so instead of commercials you see them machines going around….. without commentary, but at least it is a lot more enjoyable to watch than actual commercials, and you won’t miss a single minute.

    I remember from the 2010 Olympics (the last ones I watched on NBC) that the west coast got screwed by them airing the prime time coverage on a three hour delay, the 2010 Olympics were ACTUALLY IN THE SAME TIME ZONE!! So, a live even happened, it gets broadcasted “semi live” (they insert commercials and such and shift things around a little, so they could be 15 minutes off from actual Vancouver live), and the west coast INCLUDING the state of Washington got the coverage on a THREE HOUR DELAY! People in the North side of Washington State were so pissed off they bought antennas so they could pick up Canadian stations and watch it live. Unfortunately, NBC hasn’t changed…. they did that again in London 2012, Sochi 2014, and Rio 2016, where the swimming events were actually LIVE on the east coast, matching the 1 hour time difference they had with Rio, and were three hours delayed on the west coast…. and with social media that pretty much ruined the Olympics for west coasters.

    In addition to this, I am from the Netherlands but live in the United States….. And in the 2010 Olympics the Dutch qualified a number of Bobsleigh teams, so I wanted to watch them do their runs….. but NBC did not air the Dutch run. Deemed not important enough, they aired commercials when it was time for the Dutch run, and just quickly mentioned the time on their return from commercial break. I wasn’t happy. Sure, they would have never won (they ended 14th out of 22) but that wasn’t the point. They were Olympians, and I wanted to see them. So I had to go find some online stream that showed the run on a Dutch website later….

    The delays that NBC imposes on the west coast, the lack of full coverage, the cuts they do in the ceremonies and events, made me want to boycot NBC for the Olympics…. And then indeed in 2012 I discovered VPNs, I discovered BBC iPlayer, I discovered the CBC coverage…. and all was well. Quality coverage, quality HD streaming, no delays, no cuts, no commercials.

    Stick it where the sun don’t shine, NBC! I really would not have minded commercials if you didn’t delay to the west coast, and didn’t cut competitors from events…. but you are doing it again, and giving west coast Olympic viewers the middle finger. So I salute you with my middle finger, and will once again use a VPN, and my laptop hooked up to my 60″ TV.

  8. Antonetta Kowalewski February 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    I am not sure how watch olympics free but for few$ you can watch with ScreenVariety.

    • Ayanna Grande February 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm #


    • CornsSta February 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm #

      I can agree with that