How to watch Summer Olympics 2016

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History of the Olympic Torch

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, officially begin Friday with the opening ceremonies and Parade of Nations. They end, on Aug. 21 with the closing ceremonies.

In between those two dates, will be 6,755 hours of programming including swimming, gymnastics, track, basketball and more.

With so much to choose from, how  do you decide between the javelin throw and the breaststroke?

We’re here to help.

Here is a guide to the Rio Games that will help you find what you want to see using one of several devices and means.

The Opening Ceremony – Friday, Aug. 5

The Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games starts at 7 p.m. ET in Rio.

For the U.S. TV viewer, the ceremonies will start half an hour later – at 7:30 p.m. ET. NBC is airing the ceremony three-and-a-half hours later on the West Coast (7:30 p.m. PT). The network will “curate” the broadcast to edit and add content before it's aired, it says.

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Here's the schedule per time zone:
ET - 7:30 p.m.
CT - 6:30 p.m.
MT - 6:30 p.m.
PT - 7:30 p.m.

If you live in the U.S., you cannot see the opening ceremonies live online.

The games will officially begin when the flame in the cauldron at Maracana Stadium is lit.

So where do I watch the Olympics?

There are nothing but opportunities to see the 34 sports that will be played in the Summer Games. The networks involved include NBC, Telemundo, Bravo, CNBC,MSNBC, NBC Sports Network, the Golf Channel, NBC Universo and USA Network. That’s just for TV. The rest of the coverage is digital.


Charge up those devices, NBC will stream 4,500 hours of programming. The network will present all the of the games in all the sports.

Where do I find these streams?

Streams will be available on as well as via the NBC Olympics app. Look for the app on iPhones and iPadsAndroid phones and tabletsWindows phoneRoku streaming boxes, sticks and TVsAmazon Fire TV and Fire TV sticks, the new Apple TV via the device's app store, and Chromecast via the NBC Sports iOS or Android app.

Please note – NBC will require you to sign in via your pay TV account.

Telemundo will stream Spanish-language commentary through its website as well as its Telemundo Desportes apps on Android and on iOS. Again, you'll be asked for your pay TV account login info.

What time do they start?

ET and CT users: Watch the stream here at 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT

MT users: Watch the stream here at 6:30 p.m. MT

PT users: Watch the stream here at 7:30 p.m. PT

How in the world do we find out what’s on when?

For information on schedules and specific events, you can click here.

Some fun facts

  • The Rio Olympics is only the third Olympics held in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • According to the Washington Post, NBC asked the International Olympic Committee that the Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremonies be conducted in English alphabetical order instead of Portuguese alphabetical order (the language of the host nation). The network said U.S. viewers wouldn't stick with the broadcast if the United States came in the stadium with the "E" group (Estados Unidos in Portuguese) rather than the "U" group (United States in English). The IOC turned down the request.
  • Olympic champion Michael Phelps will carry the American flag in the Parade of Nations.

Some numbers from the Rio Olympics

  • 0.0074: the percent of Olympic Games visitors to Rio likely to come in contact with the Zika virus
  • 14: the number of participating countries with only one athlete competing
  • 22: the number of medals swimmer Michael Phelps has won – the most in Olympic history
  • 34: the number of sports played at the Summer Olympics
  • 207: the number of countries participating in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games
  • 306: the number of events in the 34 sports at the Summer Olympics
  • 11,040: the number of athletes set to participate in the Rio Olympics;  555 athletes will represent the United States

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