NBC is one of the only broadcasters across the world to intentionally tape-delay events, so this practice left US viewers in a strange place: lagging behind the rest of the world as NBC waits until timing is more convenient for the network.
OVER-THE-AIR / SATELLITE / CABLE
So, if you only have access to traditional broadcast TV, whether that be over-the-air, satellite, or cable, you have one option: wait until the delayed broadcast at 8PM ET on NBC. The advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your feelings on commentary for the opening ceremony) is that the 8PM prime-time broadcast will be hosted by NBC’s Katie Couric and Mike Tirico.
WHERE TO WATCH IT LIVE! WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
The good news is that NBC is actually going to air the ceremony live this year at 6AM ET / 3AM PT, if you’re willing to wake up. The bad news is that it’ll only be available on internet streams through the NBC apps and websites. NBCOlympics.com on the web or the NBC Sports mobile app (Android / iOS) are your best bets. That stream will only feature “natural sound only,” instead of color commentary, which again, could be a plus or a minus, depending on your preferences.
Unfortunately, to watch online, you’ll need a cable login of some kind, either from a traditional cable company or an over-the-top TV service like DirecTV Now, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, or YouTube TV (which can also be used to authenticate NBC’s app).
HOW DO I WATCH THE OPENING CEREMONY LIVE AND FOR FREE?
Well, technically, you can’t. but yes you can through Kodi addons like the ones listed below.
But there are a couple workarounds to try. First off, while you need a way to authenticate the live stream to watch live at 6AM, you can sign up for a free trial of one of the over-the-top services like DirecTV Now, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV (assuming you haven’t used up all your free trials on the Grammys and Super Bowl).
Additionally, as my colleague Chris Welch pointed out in his general Olympics viewing guide, the BBC airs coverage of the Olympic Games for free. With a VPN (which probably won’t be free), you can mask your traffic to appear as though you’re an English citizen, and enjoy the live coverage of the opening ceremony there. For additional coverage on game results, medal counts, and more, stay tuned to our sister site SB Nation.