For the first time ever, viewers don’t need a cable subscription to watch all the action at the Olympics.
NBC said on Wednesday it will broadcast all of the upcoming Winter Games in Beijing on Peacock, the network’s streaming platform separate from pay-TV subscriptions. Full reruns of all events will be available when they close.
Offer will include live broadcasts of the opening and closing ceremonies, simulcasts of NBC’s flagship prime-time show on the broadcast network, medal ceremonies, highlight packages , studio shows and more coverage beyond.
Everything will be on Peacock’s premium tier, which costs $ 4.99 per month or $ 49.99 per year – but is free to all Comcast Xfinity cable subscribers with an X1 box.
If you are an Xfinity subscriber who has never used Peacock before, all you need to do is create an account online and link it to your wired account. Once done, the streams will appear in the Sports tab of your X1 screen. (Much like Peacock’s live broadcasts of NBC Sunday Night NFL games, English Premier League football, British Open golf, and other non-televised sporting events.)
In addition to the Xfinity deal, Cox cable subscribers in other parts of the United States have the same free access to Peacock’s premium tier. Spectrum TV subscribers – of which there are many in big cities like New York and Los Angeles – can get a year of premium tier through their Spectrum accounts, and Spectrum Internet subscribers can get a 90-day deal.
Peacock also offers everything on its own website and apps for smart phones, tablets, and TVs like Apple TV, Roku, and the Amazon Fire Stick. And you can pay extra to get it all ad-free: $ 9.99 per month ($ 5 on top of the regular plan) or $ 99.99 per year ($ 50 on top of the regular plan).
NBC has been broadcasting Olympic Games action online since 2008, free of charge to cable network subscribers. (Which isn’t really “free,” of course, since you had to be a cable subscriber.) There was no way for cord cutters to legally access this coverage unless they did. are borrowing someone else’s account, and NBC ultimately developed the technology to track down some of that.
Last summer, NBC broke that for the first time by airing on Peacock coverage of some high-profile events in Tokyo: gymnastics and track and field at the free level, and American basketball games at the paid level.
READ MORE: NBC’s Tokyo Olympics Live Broadcast on Peacock Made Network History
For the Beijing Games, there will not be a standalone stream of live events on the Peacock Free Tier. But there will be free live event coverage on daily studio shows available through Peacock’s “Channels” tab, which is easily accessible through the home screen’s top bar.
NBC has yet to say whether it will continue its tradition of offering all live streaming for free with authentication to pay TV subscribers. But as a few eagle-eyed Inquirer readers noted on Twitter after NBC’s announcement, scroll deeply through NBC Sports’ live-streaming app for its TV coverage – like the one where the Sixers games , Flyers and Phillies are, separate from Peacock – and you’ll find all the Olympic events there.
This is a good sign that the old arrangement will work with the new one.
It can’t be long before NBC makes this official. The competition in Beijing begins on February 2, NBC’s first prime-time show is on February 3, and the opening ceremony is on February 4.
NBC said more details on this topic, TV coverage of the events and Peacock’s studio shows will be announced soon.