How to Watch Olympics Online

Guide to Live Streaming the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

How to Watch Olympics Online image

The days are ticking by for the greatest athletics show on Earth — the 2016 Summer Olympics — in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With 10,500 athletes from 206 nations competing in 28 sports over 17 days and in 306 events, it is shaping up to be the best Olympics ever.

Of course, you don’t want to miss any of the action. But how can you watch the Olympics, whether you are far from home, either living overseas or travelling, or you don’t have cable?

Our no-nonsense guide shows you how to stream the Olympics online and catch all the excitement. We explain the best way to stream the 2016 Summer Olympics online without receiving a message like “Sorry, the content you are trying to watch cannot be viewed from your location”.

Watch Olympics Online »

2016 Summer Olympics Full Schedule

Here’s the full official Rio Olympics schedule for the 2016 Summer Games. That’s a lot of events!

Daily Schedule of Olympic Medal Events

Of course, everyone likes different teams, sports and events.

So, in addition to the full schedule above you can also check out a detailed daily break-down of all medal events at the Rio Summer Games (here’s another schedule) to help your planning about when to watch the Olympics online.  Below are a handful of the more anticipated medal events for an American audience.

(BTW, except for the Opening Ceremonies on Day 0, we have only mentioned Day #s because the actual event days such as Friday vs Saturday will depend on where you live given differing time zones compared to Brazil)

Day 0: Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony! Scheduled to start on Friday 5 August at 7:15 PM local time and end at 11 PM. Brazil is in the same time zone as New York USA. That means a start time of about midnight for UK viewers, 1 am Saturday morning for European viewers and later for those further East.

Day 4: USA women’s gymnastics team is looking for back-to-back gold medals.

Day 8: USA women’s rowing team is aiming for a third consecutive gold medal.

Day 14: USA women’s soccer team has won gold at 4 out of 5 Olympics since the sport was introduced in 1996.

Day 15: USA women’s basketball team seeks a sixth gold medal and is on a 41-game Olympic winning streak!

Day 16: USA men’s basketball team will go for a third consecutive gold.

image of Best VPN to Watch Olympics online is IPVanish

Be Wary of Websites Offering Free Olympics Streaming

If you stick with our recommendations, you will also be safe. That’s because you will be accessing a reliable online broadcast via a reliable VPN proxy service (or SmartDNS service).

Don’t simply type “watch 2016 Olympics for free” into Google. Sure, you will get lots of hits, but many or even most of these websites will not be safe.  Worse yet, do not download any “plugins” you are invited to install that promise free Olympics streaming as chances are high that these downloads will contain malware.

Hackers prey on Olympics fans during the games and will try all kinds of tricks to get you to download malware or fall for drive-by hacking attacks and all sorts of other trickery.

Stay safe by accessing the 2016 Olympic games through official TV broadcasters’ sites and their player apps while using a trusted VPN that is connected to proxy servers located in the same country as the official broadcaster.

Even if you find a free online streaming service that isn’t serving malware or trying to screw you in some way, these sites are prone to brutal buffering, lagging and crashing, usually at exactly the wrong moment! That’s because the more exciting or popular the Olympic event, the more people will be trying to access the “free” service and the more likely its online streaming will buffer, lag, crash or disconnect.

You wouldn’t want to miss the end of an exciting race, event or match featuring your favorite star athletes by relying on any dodgy free service.

A premium VPN such as IPVanish is your best bet as it will stream the Olympic Games as if you were living down the street from the official broadcaster that is live streaming the event.

Top Tip – Remember to grab the exclusive discount extended to our readers. At sign-up, look for ‘Have a coupon?’ and then enter our promotion code COGIPAS for the additional 15% off.

Official TV Channels Broadcasting the 2016 Rio Olympics Online

If you are wondering which TV broadcaster acquired the rights to show the 2016 Summer Olympics in your home country, check out below our comprehensive “one stop” table of national TV broadcasters for watching Olympics online. This table lists the official 2016 Olympics national broadcasters for each country. You can also use the table to confirm that IPVanish VPN has proxy servers located in that country to let you access the online streaming you are interested in.

For official Olympic TV broadcasters, you can also check out Wikipedia’s listing.

Remember, connecting to a VPN proxy server in a country makes it seem as if you live in that country and this lets you access the official national streaming broadcasts of your choice no matter where you actually live.

Top Tip – Make sure to utilize the exclusive discount extended to’s readers. When signing up, keep an eye out for ‘Have a coupon?’ and then enter promotion code COGIPAS for the extra 15% off. Tell ‘em Cogipas sent ya!




 EUROPE - 226 proxy servers in European locations

AlbaniaRTSH and SuperSportYes (1 server)
AustriaORFYes (4 servers)
BelgiumVRT and RTBFYes (1 server)
BulgariaBNT and TV+Yes (3 servers)
Czech RepublicČT, TV Nova and Český RozhlasYes (5 servers)
DenmarkDR and TV2Yes (3 servers)
EstoniaERR and MTGYes (2 servers)
FinlandYleYes (4 servers)
FranceFrance Télévisions and Canal+Yes (12 servers!)
GermanyARD, ZDF and ERTYes (27 servers!)
Greece? (please let us know!)Yes (1 server)
HungaryMTVAYes (3 servers)
IrelandRTÉYes (2 servers)
ItalySky Italia and RAIYes (13 servers!)
LatviaLTV and MTGYes (1 server)
LithuaniaLNK, Lietuvos rytas TV and MTGYes (1 server)
LuxembourgRTLYes (3 servers)
NetherlandsNOSYes (41 servers!)
NorwayTV 2Yes (2 servers)
PolandTVPYes (2 servers)
PortugalRTP and Sport TVYes (5 servers)
RomaniaTVRYes (3 servers)
SlovakiaRTVS and TV NovaYes (1 server)
SloveniaRTV SlovenijaYes (1 server)
SpainRTVEYes (7 servers)
SwedenMTGYes (13 servers!)
SwitzerlandSRG SSRYes (8 servers)
UkraineNTKUYes (1 server)
United Kingdom (UK)BBCYes (47 servers!)

 AMERICAS – 203 proxy servers in Americas locations

BrazilRede Globo, Rede Record, Rede Bandeirantes, ESPN , Fox Sports and SporTVYes (3 servers)
CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada (bilingual), TSN (English) and RDS (French)Yes (16 servers!)
Costa Rica? (please let us know!)Yes (1 server)
MexicoCanal 22 and Canal OnceYes (8 servers)
United StatesNBCUniversalYes (a whopping 173 servers!)

OCEANIA – 47 proxy servers in Oceania locations

AustraliaSeven NetworkYes (41 servers!)
New ZealandSky TelevisionYes (6 servers)

 ASIA – 69 in Asian locations

Hong KongTVBYes (10 servers)
JapanJapan ConsortiumYes (7 servers)
MalaysiaAstro, HyppTV and RTMYes (1 server)
PhilippinesSports5 (TV5, AksyonTV, Hyper, Cignal)Yes (2 servers)
SingaporeMediacorpYes (13 servers!)
South KoreaSBSYes (3 servers)
ThailandTV PoolYes (1 server)
TurkeyFOXYes (4 servers)
VietnamVTVYes (1 server)

 AFRICA - 5 proxy servers in African locations

South AfricaSABC and SuperSportYes (4 servers)

Problems Trying to Stream and Watch Olympics Online

But what if you can’t access the channel you want to watch? In fact, there are two major obstacles when trying to watch Olympics online:

1) Geolocation Restrictions

Geo-restriction measures restrict your ability to stream the Olympics coverage from the country or region of your choice. With so many events taking place at the Olympics, each national TV broadcaster will focus on its own country’s athletes and favored events.

For example:

  • maybe you live overseas but want to watch the broadcasts in your own language. For example, maybe you are a US or UK citizen working overseas in a country that doesn’t offer local broadcasts in the English language.
  • even if you live in a country that speaks your language, maybe you simply prefer the coverage offered in your original home country because national broadcasters usually show events of most interest to their local viewers. For example, let’s say that you live in London, England but are interested in the results and progress from USA athletes. Or vice versa.
  • or maybe the channel is a pay channel that you can’t access. This is similar to the classic “I can’t access Netflix where I live” problem.

Anyway, you get the idea.

Don’t make the mistake that the Olympics is all about sport. It’s also about money, especially for the IOC, the International Olympic Committee, those greedy folks who run the Olympics.

The IOC and its minions are bent on dividing up the world into as many geographical zones as possible, each with restricted access to the Games’ digital content, in order to maximize their advertising and broadcast licensing revenues.

2) ISP Throttling

The second challenge you face is not often mentioned but it’s the throttling of your Internet connection by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The very high volume of online traffic generated by the Olympics and all the video people are streaming worldwide causes congestion on ISP networks which leads them to throttle, slow down and buffer your connection. The end result is a miserable online Olympics viewing experience for you.

Stream the Olympics Online the Fast & Easy Way

Don’t be left out of all the exciting action during the Olympics.

The best way to stream the Olympics is to use a reliable and fast VPN provider such as IPVanish VPN. A VPN service lets you appear to live in the same country as the official TV streaming broadcaster whose Olympics coverage you want to watch.

Using a VPN Service is the best way to Watch Olympics online

It takes only a moment to sign up for a VPN service and download its app software.  Then you launch the VPN app enter the username and password you generated, choose the country you want to connect to, and start streaming the Olympics (or any other content) as if you lived in that country.  It really is that simple!

Watch Olympics Online »

(for an extra 15% off, look for ‘Have a coupon?’
and then enter promotion code COGIPAS for our exclusive discount)

And not only will a VPN let you seem to appear as living in whatever country you choose, but using the right VPN will also prevent ISP throttling because the VPN also hides your connection behind strong encryption, so you are assured the best speeds with no awful lags or buffering.

What’s the Best VPN to Watch Olympics Online?

All that’s left then is the choice about which VPN service you should use to watch the Olympics online as there are over 200 VPNs to choose from! is a trusted source of VPN information and we recommend IPVanish VPN as the overall best service for streaming the Olympics.

IPVanish gets our nod because it is reliable, fast and has lots of proxy servers located all around the world. As you can see in our Olympics table below, IPVanish VPN has 500+ proxy servers in over 60 countries.

And Grab a Discount While You are at it

Better yet, readers get an additional 15% discount off IPVanish VPN’s already reasonable prices. It’s simple. At sign-up, just look for ‘Have a coupon?’ and then enter promotion code COGIPAS for our exclusive discount. 🙂IPVanish deal cogipasIPVanish coupon code discount COGIPAS

And to top it off, the discount applies for 3 billing cycles. That means if you sign up for a monthly VPN subscription, you get the discount for 3 months. If you sign up for an annual subscription, you get the discount for 3 years!

Of course, if you just want to sign up for a single month as a one-off to watch Olympics online in August, you can still enjoy 15% off IPVanish VPN’s already low price.

Watch Olympics Online »

(for the extra 15% off, look for ‘Have a coupon?’
and then enter promotion code COGIPAS for an exclusive discount)

Is it Free to Watch Olympics Online?

Using a VPN to watch the 2016 Olympics online isn’t free but it’s darn cheap.

If you will use a VPN for other things such as anonymous torrenting, protecting you on Wi-Fi hotspots and preventing online tracking, an IPVanish VPN annual plan is great value at $6.49 $5.52 per month (with the 15% discount offered to readers).

And remember the discount will apply for 3 billings cycles (that’s 3 months if you sign up for a monthly plan and 3 years if you sign up for an annual plan). Beat that!

If you will use a VPN only for the 2016 Olympics, just sign up for 1 month as the games will be over before the end of August. This will cost you a mere $10.00 $8.50 (with the 15% discount offered to readers).

Looking for an Even Cheaper Option? Best SmartDNS for Watching the Olympics Online

SmartDNS uses technology similar to a VPN to access geo-restricted content online. However, generally speaking, a VPN is much better value as you can use it for many things in addition to streaming geo-restricted online content. SmartDNS is even cheaper, costing just a few bucks a month.

Top Tip – If you are new to VPNs or SmartDNS or don’t know what they are, check out the information at our posts, ‘Best VPN Providers’ and ‘Smart DNS Review’.

Want to Learn More about How to Watch Olympics Online?

Here are some other good guides we’ve seen on how to watch the 2016 Rio Olympic Games online:


But …. Although these guides are great, they are recommending ExpressVPN, one of the most expensive VPN providers around. IPVanish VPN is a faster, higher-quality and lower-cost VPN service that keeps no logs and owns (rather than leases) its entire server network from top to bottom, ensuring you get a reliable streaming experience of the Olympics online. Don’t pay more than you need to.

Watch Olympics Online »

(for an extra 15% off, look for ‘Have a coupon?’
and then enter promotion code COGIPAS for our exclusive discount)

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