NEW YORK — Every Olympic event will be streamed live. But to watch online, you’ll still need to be a paying cable or satellite subscriber. As with past Olympics, NBC is requiring proof of a subscription. If you’ve already given up on cable or satellite TV, you can sign up for an online TV service.
More than 1,800 hours of online coverage began Wednesday in the U.S. Friday’s opening ceremony will be shown live online starting at 6 a.m. and on NBC’s prime-time broadcast on a delayed basis at 8 p.m. NBC also plans live streaming of the closing ceremony on Feb. 25.
Here’s a guide to watching the Olympics :
TRADITIONAL COVERAGE: NBC’s over-the-air network will cover popular sports such as figure skating and skiing, some of it live. NBC will stream the broadcast at NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. But there you’ll need your paid-TV credentials to sign in.
The sports network NBCSN will be the main overflow channel, carrying events such as biathlon, bobsled and luge. Coverage on CNBC and USA Network will be limited to curling and ice hockey. The Olympic Channel will have medal ceremonies, news and highlights, but not event coverage. All four of these cable channels will also be streamed online.
Much of the online coverage will come from the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Broadcasting Services. That means the spotlight will be on all athletes, not just Americans.
VIRTUAL REALITY: Intel is working with the Olympic Broadcasting Services to produce virtual-reality coverage of 30 events. Eighteen events, or 55 hours, will be live. VR is available on Samsung’s Gear VR, Google Daydream and Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets. Those without a headset can watch on web browsers or Apple and Android mobile devices. In the U.S., you’ll need the NBC Sports VR app.
NO CABLE OR SATELLITE TV: For the most part, access to an online TV service will let you use the NBC apps for streaming.
Google’s YouTube TV has the lowest price for all five Olympic TV channels, at $35 a month. Google says the service is available in more than 80 U.S. markets, though the NBC station isn’t available everywhere.
DirecTV Now has a $35-a-month offering, but the Olympic Channel is part of a higher tier, at $60 a month, and DirecTV Now generally won’t let you record programs for viewing later.
Hulu with Live TV is $40 a month for all five channels and DVR.
PlayStation Vue, Sling TV and FuboTV are all $45 for comparable packages. But you can bring Sling TV’s bill down to $30 for just the two main Olympic channels and DVR. PlayStation is $40 without the Olympic Channel.
BEYOND VIDEO: The NBC Sports app and the NBCOlympics website offer highlights, interviews and features on athletes without needing a subscription. You’ll also have full access to scores, schedules and guides to understanding obscure events.
Samsung, an Olympic sponsor, developed the official Apple and Android app for the games, called PyeongChang 2018. It has schedules, news and 3-D and drone views of the venues.
The games’ official website, pyeongchang2018.com, also has live video of the Olympic torch relay.