The Olympics always proves to be the biggest sporting event of the year, and the 2021 Games in Japan (perhaps confusingly still called Tokyo 2020) are no exception. From July 23, the world’s best athletes will gather in one location to distinguish the good from the great in a series of friendly matchups. And with so many contests over the next two weeks pitting country versus country, it should come as no surprise that there are (literally) hundreds of ways to watch the Olympics online!
We should stress that unofficial Olympic streams are best avoided. These are at risk of being taken down at a key moment, and to make matters worse, their video quality is usually pretty poor. Besides, with plenty of legitimate ways to stream the Olympics online (some of them free), there’s no need to use shady sources.
The 2021 Olympics will be shown in dozens of countries, but because of regional restrictions, you’ll usually need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to watch on the same services you’d use back home.
How to watch the Olympics online from abroad
VPNs are perhaps best known as privacy tools. However, because they change your IP address, they can also be used to bypass geographic restrictions and access country-exclusive services from anywhere. Below we explain how to watch the Olympics on your usual services while traveling abroad.
Here’s how to stream the 2021 Olympics online from anywhere:
- Start by signing up for a high-quality VPN. We recommend NordVPN but Surfshark and ExpressVPN are two excellent alternatives.
- Download and install the VPN app onto any device you want to stream on. Note that most VPNs let you secure five or so devices at once.
- Log in and choose a server in your home country. Now, your usual services won’t be able to tell that you’re actually abroad.
- Try watching a video on your chosen streaming service. It should start right away but if not, clear your cookies and try again. Alternatively, get in touch with your VPN’s support team for one-on-one assistance.
The 2021 Olympics will be shown live, so we strongly recommend making sure your VPN works ahead of time. This event only happens once every four years, so it’d be a shame to miss out because of an easily preventable technical issue.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?
NordVPN offers a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. This means that you can use our top-rated VPN for streaming the Olympics without any restrictions for a full month. This is perfect for anyone hoping to support their country's athletes during a trip abroad.
There are no hidden terms—just let customer support know within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
How to live stream the 2021 Summer Olympics on US TV
NBC is the official Olympics broadcaster in the US. It’ll spread over 7,000 hours of English-language coverage across six of its services: Peacock, USA Network, CNBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, and Golf Channel. Spanish coverage, meanwhile, will be on Telemundo and Universo.
Although Peacock will show highlights for free, you’ll need access to the other channels in order to watch live events. You can either sign in with your cable provider details or a supported streaming service to watch these online. We’d recommend using either fuboTV or YouTube TV; these platforms carry all of the above channels, and include a free trial period (though they cost around $64.99 USD per month afterward).
It’s technically possible to watch on Hulu with Live TV, but you’ll have to pay an extra $4.99 per month to get access to Universo, and there’s no way to watch events on Telemundo.
As these are all US-only services, you’ll need a VPN to use them while traveling abroad. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can try it risk-free and simply claim a full refund if it fails to meet your expectations.
Where else can I watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games online?
There’s huge international interest in this event, so naturally, it’ll be shown all over the world. Take a look at the table below for an at-a-glance guide to the official 2020 Olympic broadcasters in your country:
|Australia||Seven, watch free on 7plus|
|Austria||ORF, free to watch, no account needed|
|Brazil||Grupo Globo, watch for free on Globoplay and Bandsports|
|Canada||CBC, TSN , RDS, Sportsnet, partial free coverage on CBC Gem|
|France||Eurosport with 1,000 hours of free coverage on France.tv|
|Germany||Watch the Olympics for free on ZDF and ARD|
|India||Stream events for free on Doordarshan|
|Mexico||Free on Televisa, TV Azteca, and Imagen Television|
|New Zealand||Sky Television, free on TVNZ|
|South Africa||SABC, SuperSport|
|Spain||Full, free Olympic coverage on RTVE|
|United Kingdom||Free Olympic live stream on BBC ,paid coverage on Eurosport|
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out this master list of 2020 Olympics broadcasters on Wikipedia.
Tokyo 2020 FAQs
What does the 2020 Olympic schedule look like?
The Tokyo Olympics will run from July 21 until August 8, with the opening ceremony taking place on July 23. The official schedule is packed to the brim with events, including some new ones like surfing, karate, sport climbing, and skateboarding. Of course, with many happening simultaneously, it pays to think about which events you want to watch ahead of time so that you don't accidentally miss something that interests you.
Are the Tokyo Olympics still going ahead?
Yes -- despite a new state of emergency being declared in Tokyo and outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Olympic village, the games themselves are moving forward as planned. However, spectator numbers are extremely limited, so most people will have to stream the Olympic games online.