How to watch Rio 2016 without paying a TV subscription in the US
How to watch Rio 2016 without paying a TV subscription in the US. Image credit: QZ

In the United States, the most traditional way to watch the Olympic Games 2016 is through a television subscription. Those without one will find it difficult.

NBC currently has the American television rights to the Olympics until the 2032 Summer Games. Hence, viewers have to subscribe directly to NBC to access its apps and streams.

Other paid services include internet subscriptions to sports streamers like WWE Network, NFL Sunday Ticket, and MLB.TV but users will have to pay for the whole Olympic bundle instead of choosing particular sports disciplines of their interest.

Nevertheless, there still are alternate ways to enjoy Rio 2016 without paying an expensive cable or satellite provider package.

TV antenna for free over-the-air signal

NBC still offers a free over-the-air signal in many parts of the US, thus buying a television antenna and pairing to the TV would be a wise option to watch the Olympics. Plus, viewers can continue to use the antenna for other events or shows they want to see in the future.

A few tips, though. Nearly every TV can pick up the signal but for those not supported, like 2016 Vizio TVs, viewers can buy a compatible DVR or tuner box for it to work. Also, before purchasing the antenna, customers should first find out where the broadcast towers are in their area to know how powerful the antenna has to be for it to pick up the signal with the best reception possible.

The cheapest antenna out there is the Channel Master Flatenna 35 which costs $10 directly from manufacturer Channel Master or around $22 with shipping from Amazon.

But the best option, as it can pick up the most channels, is the ClearStream Eclipse Indoor TV Antenna from Antennas Direct launched in 2014. As of August, the device has a $39 price tag.

Use PlayStation Vue or Sling TV free trial periods

Sling TV and PlayStation Vue offer online TV streaming with its packages billed on a monthly basis. Clients can cancel the services at any time as no contract is required. Both streamers grant a free one-week trial, so there’s a 7-day (two weeks if trying one after the other) window to watch the Olympics without paying a single penny.

After that, Vue offers three packages: Access Slim for $30 (55 channels), Core Slim for $35 (70 channels) and Elite Slim for $45 (100 channels). Accordingly, Sling proposes the Sling Orange single-stream and the Sling Blue multi-stream packages, with further smaller bundles also available.

Last June, Sling restructured its channel offerings. NBC and NBC Sports Network were made available for the first time. Meanwhile, Vue announced agreements with major TV networks in March, including NBC, and now clients can use their log-in to access NBC’s website and apps.

Vue and Sling are available on mobile devices and most media streamers. Roku and Fire TV supports both of them. Apple TV and Xbox One only support Sling TV, while PS3 and PS4 have to settle with PlayStation Vue.

For those still doubtful or unwilling to go with one of the alternatives above, the most obvious and cheapest option will always be to watch the Olympics at a friend’s house or the nearest sports bar. Relatives could be used as the last resource too. So, in the end, it’s up to each one to decide what’s the most convenient choice for them.

Source: CNET