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After a year delay and plenty of speculation and drama, the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin with the opening ceremonies on July 23, where the best athletes from 205 countries and states around the world will join together to compete across 33 different sports. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch the Olympics stateside.
What to Know About Tokyo Olympics
The Games of the XXXII Olympiad will take place July 23-August 8, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
This is the first time Japan has hosted a Summer Olympics since 1964. (The country hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998.) International fans will not be permitted enter the country for the Olympics because of ongoing health and safety concerns with COVID-19, but local spectators will be allowed to attend in limited numbers.
And yes, because the Games were postponed for a year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, this summer’s event is still technically being referred to as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Though you’ll often see people searching for it or referring to it as the 2021 Olympics.)
How to Watch the Olympics
NBC is the primary broadcaster for the Olympics in the United States. This will be NBCUniversal’s 11th consecutive Olympics presentation and ninth consecutive Summer Games, both records for a U.S. media company. (Fun fact: NBC’s first-ever coverage of an Olympic Games was for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.)
NBCUniversal has said it will present an unprecedented 7,000 hours of coverage this summer by utilizing two broadcast networks, six cable networks, and multiple digital platforms. Olympic coverage will be spread across multiple NBC Networks, including NBC Sports Network, CNBC, the Olympic Channel, and USA; Telemundo and Universo will carry Spanish language coverage.
The NBC broadcast network will provide 17 consecutive nights of primetime coverage. feature many of the Summer Games’ most popular sports – swimming, gymnastics, track & field, diving, and beach volleyball – as well as athlete interviews and profiles, and news surrounding the Games. Primetime will begin at 8 p.m. ET each night, except Sundays (7 p.m. ET), and will include significant coverage of live events.
Similar to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, NBC will broadcast its primetime show live across all time zones with continuing coverage on Prime Plus (formerly the late-night show) following late local news.
NBC Sports Digital will stream more than 5,500 hours of the Tokyo Olympics on com and the NBC Sports app, via authentication, including all 41 sports and 339 medal events on the Tokyo program, plus the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and medal ceremonies.
If you don’t already have a cable or TV provider, you can use a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, or FuboTV to watch channels like NBC, NBC Sports, Olympic Channel, and USA.
- Of all the paid options, Sling’s Blue plan is the most affordable at $35 a month ($10 for your first month).
- FuboTV offers a 7-day free trial, with no pre-payments required.
- YouTube TV is also offering a free trial: 2 weeks free for new users only. (Offer ends July 15.)
In addition to live streaming, NBCOlympics.com will provide the ultimate Olympic web experience, with real-time results, medal standings, athlete pages, recaps, and 150+ daily video clips, including event highlights, recaps, viral moments and more.
While is expected that daily highlights, docuseries, and commentary will be available for on the free version of Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, it is not clear at this time whether live coverage of the events will be available on that platform.
Important Dates: Women’s Running Olympic Events
Coverage of the Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 with the Opening Ceremony, which will be broadcast live on 6:55 a.m. ET on NBC, with a primetime replay scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
In terms of running, you can find a full list of the women’s athletic events below. Based on viewer’s experiences for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials held in June, it can be assumed live coverage will be available on one of NBC’s network affiliates for all of the following events. You can find NBC’s streaming service schedule here (though it looks like information on which network is playing which events is not yet available.)
*All times below are listed in Japan Standard Time (JST)
Friday July 30 (9:00 – 12:30)
- Women’s 800m Round 1
- Women’s 100m Round 1
Friday July 30 (19:00 – 21:00)
- Women’s 5000m Round 1
- Women’s Triple Jump Qualifying Round
- Women’s Shot Put Qualifying Round
- Mixed 4 x 400m Relay Round 1
Saturday July 31 (9:00 – 12:00)
- Women’s 400m Hurdles Round 1
- Women’s Discus Throw Qualifying Round
- Women’s 100m Hurdles Qualifying Round
Saturday July 31 (19:00 – 21:55)
- Women’s 100m Semifinals
- Women’s 800m Semifinals
- Mixed 4 x 400m Relay Final
- Women’s 100m Final
Sunday August 1 (9:10 – 12:00)
- Women’s Hammer Throw Qualifying Round
- Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Round 1
- Women’s Long Jump Qualifying Round
- Women’s Shot Put Final
Sunday August 1 (19:00 – 21:55)
- Women’s 100m Hurdles Semifinals
- Women’s Triple Jump Final
Monday August 2 (9:00 – 11:55)
- Women’s 1500m Round 1
- Women’s 200m Round 1
- Women’s 100m Hurdles Final
Monday August 2 (19:00 – 22:00)
- Women’s Pole Vault Qualifying Round
- Women’s 200m Semifinals
- Women’s Discus Throw Final
- Women’s 400m Hurdles Semifinals
- Women’s 5000m Final
Tuesday August 3 (9:00 – 12:35)
- Women’s Javelin Throw Qualifying Round
- Women’s 400m Round 1
- Women’s Long Jump Final
Tuesday August 3 (19:00 – 21:55)
- Women’s Hammer Throw Final
- Women’s 800m Final
- Women’s 200m Final
Wednesday August 4 (9:00 – 12:25)
- Women’s Heptathlon 100m Hurdles
- Women’s Heptathlon High Jump
- Women’s 400m Hurdles Final
Wednesday August 4 (18:30 – 22:00)
- Women’s 1500m Semifinals
- Women’s Heptathlon Shot Put
- Women’s 400m Semifinals
- Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Final
- Women’s Heptathlon 200m
Thursday August 5 (9:00 – 15:05)
- Women’s High Jump Qualifying Round
- Women’s Heptathlon Long Jump
- Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Round 1
- Women’s Heptathlon Javelin Throw
Thursday August 5 (19:00 – 21:45)
- Women’s Pole Vault Final
- Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Round 1
- Women’s Heptathlon 800m
Friday August 6 (16:30 – 18:15)
- Women’s 20km Race Walk Final
Friday August 6 (19:50 – 22:55)
- Women’s Javelin Throw Final
- Women’s 400m Final
- Women’s 1500m Final
- Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Final
Saturday August 7 (7:00 – 10:15)
- Women’s Marathon Final
Saturday August 7 (19:00 – 22:20)
- Women’s High Jump Final
- Women’s 10,000m Final
- Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Final