How to Stream the Olympic Winter Games

The XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, kicks off on Thursday, and you'll surely want to tune in for some of the action. Skeleton toboggans? Check. Jamaican bobsled team? Yeah mon. And did you see the Norwegian men's curling team's uniforms? I'm so there.

By Leah Yamshon
Thu, February 06, 2014

IDG News Service — The XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, kicks off on Thursday, and you'll surely want to tune in for some of the action. Skeleton toboggans? Check. Jamaican bobsled team? Yeah mon. And did you see the Norwegian men's curling team's uniforms? I'm so there.

There's only so much you can follow through NBC's recap footage they'll show on TV, so if there's a particular team or event you're interested in, turn to streaming for more in-depth coverage. (And given the state of the hotel accommodations in Sochi, you'll be more comfortable watching from home anyway.) Here's the rundown of how you can stream the Olympics to your computer and mobile devices--all 15 sports, and all 98 events.

NBC's official offerings

NBC is the official U.S. broadcaster of the Olympics, and will be televising 539 hours of footage between its family of networks. This includes NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC, and USA Network. But the network will also stream every event live on NBCOlympics.com in real time as each competition happens. NBC anticipates its live streaming total to come out to more than 1000 hours of footage.

This is awesome news for cable subscribers, but cord cutters are a bit out of luck. To get full access to NBC's online streaming coverage, you'll have to register and verify your cable or satellite subscription. If you're cable-free, you're limited to NBC's highlight clips, full-event replays, and select live events--though NBC has yet to disclose which events the network will stream live to everyone.

Additionally, you can get a daily temporary viewing pass for NBCOlympics.com. You can watch 30 minutes of live footage online for free the first time you visit, and 3 minutes of footage per day for each day after, until the Olympics are over. Sure, 3 minutes a day isn't a lot, but if you time it right, you just might be able to catch your favorite athlete.

This isn't the first year that NBC has offered live online streaming of the entire Olympic games: Its first attempt was in 2012 during the Olympic Summer Games in London. However, from what I've seen seen so far, this year's offering doesn't seem to have evolved much--which I find surprising, considering how popular cord cutting has become since 2012.

There's only one U.S. app for that

If you'd like to watch live footage while on the go, your only app option is NBC Sports Live Extra, a free app for iOS and Android devices. Just like NBCOlympics.com, you can watch every event live straight through the app, and catch up on things you missed through highlights and event replays. (Because, let's face it, even die-hard sports junkies will have a hard time keeping up with all 1000 hours of live footage, especially given the time difference between the U.S. and Sochi.) It even has a handy calendar of events, so you can create your own viewing schedule and set reminders.

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