Due to the delay of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, we’re getting two installments of the international games in quick succession. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics begin this week, bringing all of the excitement of cold-weather sports to the warmth of your living room. Every event will be available to watch or stream, and we’re here to help you find them.
When do the Olympics start?
NBC’s full primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics begins today at 8PM ET (February 3rd). However, competition actually began yesterday with Curling, Alpine Skiing and Hockey events. NBCUniversal’s 24/7 highlights channel will also start streaming today at 12AM ET.
While the action kicked off on Wednesday, the opening ceremony doesn’t happen until Friday, February 4th at 6:30AM ET. NBC will show it live for the diehards and early risers, but you can also catch the re-air at 8PM ET. The games continue through February 20th when NBC will show the closing ceremony live at 7AM ET with a primetime replay at 8PM ET. These festivities will be broadcast on NBC proper, Peacock and NBCOlympics.com.
How to watch
Like the summer games, NBCUniversal has the broadcast rights in the US. The company has an exclusive deal in place for both summer and winter installments through 2032, thanks to a $7.75 billion extension signed in 2014. As is the case with any Olympics, there are too many events for one network. You can find most of the broadcast coverage on CNBC and USA, which are also NBCU networks.
While USA will host many “high-profile events,” NBC says CNBC will primarily show curling and ice hockey. The company also says that since NBC proper has Super Bowl LVI on February 13th, USA will carry the bulk of the coverage that day (Super Bowl coverage begins at noon ET on NBC). If you’re looking for primetime viewing, NBC is where you’ll want to go. There’s also the option to bypass traditional channels entirely and just stream everything on Peacock, NBCU’s streaming service.
NBCUniversal says every event will be available live on Peacock at the same time as they air on NBC networks. You’ll also be able to watch full-event replays on-demand if the live schedule doesn’t work for you, and they’ll be available “immediately upon conclusion.” Some “must-see moments” will be available on Peacock for free, but for access to everything, you’ll need Peacock Premium for either $5 per month (with ads) or $10 a month (ad free). Peacock is available on a host of streaming devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and Roku. You can stream it on smart TVs from LG, Samsung and Vizio as well as Comcast’s Xfinity gear and Cox’s Contour devices. In terms of game consoles, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro will all give you access to the service.
You can also stream on the web via NBCOlympics.com or on mobile devices and connected TVs through the NBC Sports app (authentication required). In addition to live coverage from the three networks showing events, NBC says it will offer “enhanced viewing experiences” for select events on these mediums. What’s more, livestreams of practice and warm-up sessions will be available alongside highlights, interviews, recaps, “viral moments” and more. NBCOlympics.com will display results, schedules, medal counts, athlete profiles and other info throughout the games.
NBCUniversal also announced it would offer the Winter Olympics in 4K HDR for the first time this year, with immersive Dolby Atmos audio to go along with it. The higher-resolution broadcasts will only be available during primetime and Prime Plus, but will include figure skating, skiing, snowboarding, hockey, bobsled and other sports. In most NBC markets, Prime Plus follows the late local news and shows live events. The company says it will provide the 4K HDR coverage for US distribution partners and allow them to decide how to offer it to customers, so you’ll need to check with your television provider to see if it’s available. But as you might expect, Comcast, which owns NBCU, will offer 4K HDR and Atmos through its Xfinity X1 service.
Speaking of Comcast, the cable provider is doing its usual Olympics viewing tools for this year’s games. Customers can select their favorite sports so that they can find events quickly when the time comes. There’s also an interactive schedule with filtering features to assist with any searches and over 50 playlists with highlights, news and more. Comcast says “the viewing experience” will be available on Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex and XClass TV. What’s more, all customers will be able to stream every event through Peacock at no additional cost.
YouTube TV also had a robust streaming hub for the Tokyo Olympics last summer, including the ability to pick your favorite sports and more. So far, the service has only announced that it will offer NBC’s 4K broadcasts.
Studio shows and docuseries
In addition to mirroring much of the NBCU’s network coverage, Peacock will also stream four exclusive daily shows for more in-depth viewing. The Olympics Show will highlight all of the “must-see moments” each morning, with athlete interviews and event previews mixed in. Olympic Ice is what NBCU is calling “essential viewing for figure skating fans.” From 10AM-11AM ET each day, you’ll get detailed analysis that includes score breakdowns, practice reports and more. Winter Gold follows immediately after, with an hour-long “comprehensive look at the most compelling performances of the day.” Lastly, Top Highlights streams from 8PM to 8AM ET to catch you up on anything you might have otherwise missed.
NBCU has also produced several Olympics-theme docuseries that are available on Peacock. Meddling goes inside the figure skating scandal during the 2002 games in Salt Lake City while Picabo tells the story of gold-medal skier Picabo Street. The US Men’s Curling team, fan favorites during the 2018 Olympics, are profiled in American Rock Stars.
For a look at the full schedule of events for watching in the US, visit NBCOlympics.com.
2022 Paralympic Winter Games
NBCUniversal also has the US broadcast rights to the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games and the company says it’s planning “its most ambitious effort ever” for the cold-weather event. That includes over 230 hours of coverage, and 120 of those will be broadcast on television. Once again, Peacock will stream every event while USA and Olympic Channel will show “daily coverage.” USA will also broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies live. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app are alternative spots to view every event on desktop, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs (authentication required). The Paralympic Winter Games begin March 4th.
BBC in the UK
As is the case with the summer games, BBC owns the rights to the Olympics in the UK. The broadcaster has over 300 hours of live coverage planned on BBC One and BBC Two with a secondary livestream on BBC iPlayer, Red Button and on the web. You can expect daily highlights on BBC Two and BBC Three while the BBC Sport app and website will offer on-demand clips, news and Radio 5 Live updates for all of the “big moments.” Coverage begins at 12:00 GMT on February 2nd via BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website and mobile app. BBC One coverage begins February 4th at 11:30 GMT with the opening ceremony.
Elsewhere around the world
For broadcasters carrying the Olympics outside of the US and UK, see the full list here for where you can watch in your country.