Published on February 7th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson1
UPDATE: How to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics on your Apple TV anywhere
All eyes are on South Korea as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games get underway this Thursday and for the first time ever, all of it can be seen in more parts of the world live and on-demand streaming through your Apple TV. Oh, the joys of technology.
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, officially kick off this Thursday, Feb. 8th with competition beginning a day before the opening ceremony on Friday, Feb. 9th. The games run through Sunday, Feb. 25th, the day of the closing ceremony.
So how do you watch the games on your Apple TV?
It all depends on where you are in the world and whether or not the broadcaster in that country who holds the rights to air the games has an Apple TV app. Many now do.
But whether it’s an exclusive broadcasters app or a local network affiliate in the U.S. that can be found on a third-party streaming service like Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV, your chances are very good that you’ll find the Winter Olympic games streaming through your Apple TV.
Here are many of the ways to find the 2018 Winter Olympic games…
NBC Sports app coverage in the U.S.
NBC has the exclusive rights to the Winter Olympics in the U.S. For American viewers, 176 hours of competition can be found on the main NBC network through an affiliate, 455 hours on NBC-owned cable networks, and a whopping 1,800 hours of coverage on the NBC Sports app.
If you want live streaming coverage together with replays on-demand, the NBC Sports app, available through the Apple TV App Store, is the best way to watch every minute.
Unlike past Olympics when NBC delayed live broadcasts so they had bigger audiences on local NBC affiliate stations during prime time, the network will be broadcasting the Winter Games live across all time zones on local affiliates and through the NBC Sports app for the first time.
To take advantage of this app, you’ll need to sign in and link to an existing cable, satellite, or streaming TV account. If you don’t have an account, your only option is to watch the games in real time over the air (or OTA) using a terrestrial antenna through your local NBC affiliate.
Once you’ve launched and signed into the app, you’ll need to scroll up to reveal the navigation bar at the top, swipe right to highlight the ‘NBC Olympics’ logo, and press your remotes trackpad to select and reveal all the Winter Olympics content.
A subcategory bar will show ‘Featured’ content first, but the real beauty of this app is its ‘Live & Upcoming’ and ‘Replays’ sections that you can swipe through sporting events and simply click one to watch.
This is where you’ll find every event live along with scheduled ones by time and day. If you’ve missed an event live, ‘Replays’ are where you’ll find events on-demand to view by sport and day. This app makes finding any Winter Olympic sport simple and easy.
For the first time, a whopping 1,800 hours of Winter Olympic coverage will be available streaming through the NBC Sports app.
To better plan your watching time, check out the live streaming schedule online for each day and even click on the gray bell icon to be reminded by email when the event is about to start. For a complete review of events by day, check out the sports schedule grid online. This chart shows every day a specific sports event will take place – identified by a plus – and medal events – identified by a gold model icon.
Want to be reminded to watch a specific Winter Olympics sport via email? Just use the live streaming schedule link mentioned above.
Be aware of the 14-plus hour time difference
Bluntly put…unless you’re in Asia, everything exciting at the Winter games will happen while you’re sleeping, so this is a good time to remind viewers that if you want to watch events live, the time difference is important to remember.
The times listed in the NBC Olympics schedule grid online, linked above, are in Korea Standard Time, 14 hours AHEAD of Eastern Standard Time, 15 hours ahead for Central Time, 16 hours ahead for Mountain Time, and 17 hours ahead for Pacific Time (So if NBC is broadcasting live at 8 p.m. ET, that means it is actually 10 a.m. the next day in Pyeongchang.). But the great thing about these games is that if you miss it live, any event will be available to watch on-demand.
Stream through live services in the U.S.
Many online U.S.-based TV streaming services will offer the channels needed to watch the Winter Olympics live and they are all available on your Apple TV through the App Store. What you’re looking for on these services is your local NBC affiliate and the main four cable networks that will be broadcasting certain sports live.
If your local NBC station is available on one of the six streaming services available on Apple TV – Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, Fubo TV, YouTube TV or Sling TV – then you’re all good to watch the games.
To see if you’re local NBC affiliate is on one of these services (other than Sling TV as they are available only in markets where the affiliate is owned by NBC/Universal like Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.), go to Streambuzz.net and check out their affiliate chart. Chances are very good one of these services streams live your local NBC station.
For subscribers to these services, it’s important to remember 455 hours of live – and only live – coverage of the Winter Olympics will be available on the NBC Sports Network, USA, CNBC and the Olympic Channel. All four of these channels are available on all of the six streaming services available on Apple TV.
For those not subscribers to any of these streaming services, many of them offer a free seven-day subscription that would make watching the games available at no charge. If you want to avoid paying altogether, all of the services mentioned offer five to seven-day free trials, so you could string out three of these across the 18 days of coverage (just don’t tell anyone how cheap you are). If you do that, just be sure to cancel before you’re billed for a month of service.
Hulu on-demand exclusive
So is there a difference in Winter Olympic coverage among the U.S.-based streaming services? Yes, there is. In addition to Hulu with Live TV covering 75 percent of U.S. TV households with local NBC affiliates, it’s making Olympic highlights and a selection of full events available on-demand, the only such service with such capabilities for the games.
Users can select their favorites of the 15 Winter Olympic sports and then get live coverage, event replays, highlights and even athlete profiles from those sports. Customers will still get access to live Olympic programming, but it will be ranked according to a subscribers tastes.
Hulu with Live TV is making Olympic highlights and a selection of full events available on demand.
International coverage…we’ve got that
The Winter Olympics are international in scope and those with Apple TV boxes in various countries will also be privy to the games broadcast.
In many countries, the game will be broadcast on national or regional networks for free, but not all of them offer a streaming feed to your Apple TV so check with your local broadcaster. To get you started, this Wikipedia link will tell you who has broadcasting rights to the games throughout the world.
Here’s a rundown of a few ways to watch internationally on your Apple TV…
Winter Olympics in the United Kingdom
For those in Great Britain and Scotland, the games will be available on both the British Broadcasting Company and Eurosport. Discovery, which owns Eurosport, has the pay-TV rights to broadcast the Olympics in the UK while the BBC owns the free-to-air rights.
Brits can watch the games through the BBC iPlayer app, available on the Apple AppStore in the UK for free. Access to the iPlayer requires a TV license. Channels broadcasting the games will include BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, and the BBC Red Button. At the time of this writing, it is not clear if the BBC Red Button channel will be available for streaming of Winter Olympic events through the BBC iPlayer app during the games.
Viewers of the BBC iPlayer app on Apple TV will get all the same content over-the-air viewers will see, and more.
The broadcast will also be available on BBC One, the BBC Red Button channel through the TV Player app on Apple TV.
In the BBC coverage isn’t enough for the Olympic-addicted, Eurosport is offering Brits the games through its Eurosport Player app, available on the Apple AppStore in the UK for free at a monthly subscription rate of £6.99. The broadcaster said that it will make more than 4,000 hours of coverage available spanning 100 events and including 900 hours of live action.
Winter Olympics in Canada
The Canadian Broadcasting Company’s coverage will be as in-depth as any Olympic Games the network has covered before. All in all, CBC will broadcast 21 hours of live programming daily and offer extensive coverage on-demand via the CBC TV app, available through the Apple TV App Store. Much of the coverage will include broadcasts of events with the CBC’s partners, SportsNet and TSN.
Winter Olympics in Poland
The situation in Poland is similar to that of many European countries in terms of watching the Winter Olympics. While the network, TVP Sports, has the broadcast rights in the country, it only offers coverage on cable systems and satellite leaving viewers with limited coverage of the games.
But there is good news for those in Poland as Eurosport is available on cable and satellite networks, and on the Internet and an app on Apple TV with wall-to-wall Winter Olympic coverage via the Eurosport Player. Users unfortunately cannot login to the player using cable or satellite credentials, but the service can be purchased separately at a price of 22 Polish Zloty, or about 5.30 Euros. Eurosport Player is also available in various countries who speak Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
Winter Olympics in Australia
The Seven Network is broadcasting the Winter Olympics in Australia through the OlympicsOn7 app, available through the Apple TV App Store. Viewers can choose from up to eight additional live channels across all 15 sports, including the Olympic News Channel, and catch up with highlights on-demand. The network will also offer an OlympicsOn7 Premium service for a one-off fee of $14.99AU to unlock all video content in high definition, connect up to 8 devices, and get to the action faster with less commercial content.
Wherever you are and however you watch, the Winter Olympics is a great event with your Apple TV device the best way to catch them.