Move over anime, J-pop and arcade games because the 2021 Tokyo Olympics have proven a sporting spectacular. Having handed out 339 gold medals, the games finish with a closing ceremony today at 12pm BST. Follow our guide below to get blanket streaming coverage of Tokyo 2020. UK viewers can watch the Olympics free on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab). Read on to find out how to get a Tokyo Olympics free live stream from anywhere in the world.
Sunday, 8th August: Brazil vs USA women's volleyball gold medal match at 12.30am ET / 5.30am BST. Men's super heavyweight final bout at 2.15am ET / 7.15am BST. Closing ceremony at 7am ET / 12pm BST.
Date: 21st July – 8th Aug 2021
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Free stream: BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab)
Watch anywhere: Try ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) risk-free
US stream: Peacock (opens in new tab) (7-day free trial)
AUS stream: 7Plus (opens in new tab) (free)
CAN stream: TSN (opens in new tab) ($20/month) | CBC | Sportsnet
Despite the opening ceremony attracting just 17 million viewers – the lowest number since 1988 – The Games of the XXXII Olympiad are go. With foreign spectators banned, Tokyo 2020 athletes will complete for 339 gold medals behind closed doors.
Some 11,000 athletes will take part in over 400 events covering 35 different sports and 53 disciplines. Usain Bolt may have retired but plenty of stars will be going for gold, including footballer Megan Rapinoe, tennis champ Naomi Osaka, basketball great Kevin Durant, gymnast Simone Biles, sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, cyclist Laura Kenny, freestyle swimmer Caeleb Dressel, 13-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown and Kenyan long-distance superstar Eliud Kipchoge (full athlete list (opens in new tab)).
The International Olympic Committee has introduced a number of new events this year, including freestyle BMX, 3x3 basketball and madison cycling. Japan's organising committee has also added a few sports including karate, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing. Baseball and softball also return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.
The closing ceremony is today, 8th August, at 8pm Japanese Standard Time (12pm BST / 7am ET).
Ready for two weeks of high emotions and manic medalling? UK viewers can watch free on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab). Make sure you know how to watch a Tokyo Olympics free live stream from wherever you are in the world.
Tokyo Olympics free live streams
With over 400 events in two weeks, knowing where to find best free live streams is vital if you want to catch all the action.
Gold: Aussie free streaming platform 7Plus takes gold with its comprehensive free coverage, across computer, tablet and mobile. 7Plus offers up to 16 live feeds, all free and in HD.
Stuck outside Australia during the Olympics? Aussies trying to access 7Plus from abroad can use a VPN (opens in new tab) to watch from anywhere, without being geo-blocked. We recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Silver: BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) takes silver thanks with an impressive 350 hours of coverage and two live streams in HD. Again, you'll need to use a VPN (opens in new tab) when away from the UK.
Bronze: Canada's CBC (opens in new tab) and New Zealand's TVNZ (opens in new tab) take joint bronze. Both websites offer decent free streaming coverage of Tokyo 2020. Use a VPN to access whenever you're abroad.
Tokyo Olympics: watch every single event
Discovery+ (opens in new tab) has the bulk of the rights and is showing (almost) every event live – it even has a multi-camera mode!
You can stream all the action through Discovery+ or Eurosport Player. Both cost £6.99 a month or £29.99 for a whole year and new users get a three-day trial. Outside the UK? Simply use a VPN (opens in new tab) to watch from anywhere.
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Watch the Tokyo Olympics free from abroad using a VPN
Even if you have subscribed to the relevant Tokyo 2020 rights holders, you won't be able to access them when outside your own country. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
There are lots of VPN providers but some are more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we suggest a paid-for service such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) which offers a 100 per cent risk-free money back guarantee. If you're not happy with the service any time within the first 30-days, then you can cancel with no penalties at all.
Try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days (opens in new tab)
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee with its VPN service. You can use it to watch on your mobile, tablet, laptop, TV, games console and more. There's 24/7 customer support and three months free when you sign-up. Try it – you'll be surprised how simple it is.
Watch a Tokyo Olympics live stream in the UK
If you live in the UK and want the best possible coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, try Eurosport via the Discovery+ (opens in new tab) streaming service for £6.99 a month or £29.99 a year. Discovery has the rights to almost every event and in-depth shows featuring top former Olympians Sir Bradley Wiggins and Greg Rutherford MBE.
New Discovery+ users get a free 3-day trial. You can also subscribe to Amazon Prime and sign up for a free 7-day Eurosport trial (opens in new tab). After the trial ends, you can subscribe at the usual £6.99 per month.
Away from the UK during the Olympics? Simply use a VPN (opens in new tab) to watch Discovery+ (opens in new tab) from anywhere in the world. We recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The BBC is another good option. BBC One and BBC Two will broadcast over 350 hours of action live from Tokyo, while a live stream available on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) will ensure fans can catch all the unmissable moments online (up to 24 hours a day). It's all free provided you have a TV licence.
In addition to daily event coverage, JJ Chalmers hosts from midnight to 5am, followed by Dan Walker and Sam Quek co-hosting a special edition of BBC Breakfast from 5am - 9am with the best overnight action. Olympics Extra, a daily in-depth highlights show on BBC Two at 9pm, replays the key moments of the day.
Watch a Tokyo Olympics live stream in the USA
NBC is the official US broadcaster for Tokyo 2020. Don't have cable? You can watch the games online using cable replacement service Sling TV (opens in new tab). Pick the Blue package (opens in new tab), which includes NBC Sports Network, and get the first month for just $10. It's $35 per month thereafter but with no contract. Cancel at any time.
Away from the States? Simply use a VPN (opens in new tab) to access Peacock from anywhere in the world, without being blocked. We recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Watch the Olympics on Sling TV $10 first month offer (opens in new tab)
Catch all the channels on the Sling TV Blue package, including Tokyo 2020 on the NBC Sports Network, with this superb $10 initial offer. Grab a month-long trial of Sling for just $10 for the first month. It's then $35 each month after but there's no contract. Cancel at any time.
Peacock TV (opens in new tab), NBC's streaming platform, is another decent option for cord cutters. Coverage is limited and some events are streamed the day after, due to rights issues, but it's a great way to watch the men's basketball gold medal match.
Peacock costs just $4.99 a month (or $9.99 with limited ads) and includes thousands of movies, TV shows, kids content and other live sport. New users get a free 7-day trial (opens in new tab).
Olympics free live stream Peacock 7-day free trial (opens in new tab)
Sign up to Peacock TV from $4.99 a month and get your first seven days for free. Access includes limited Olympics coverage, plus thousands of movies and boxsets from the NBC universe. No contract. Cancel anytime.
Watch a Tokyo Olympics live stream in Australia
With Tokyo in (almost) the same time zone as Australia, Channel 7 has gone big and secured the rights to a truckload of Olympic action. The station's has 45 dedicated Olympic channels, including up to 16 live streams across the 7Plus streaming platform (opens in new tab).
Going to be away from Oz? Simply use a VPN (opens in new tab) to stream 7Plus from anywhere in the world. We recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington and Edwina Bartholomew host the afternoon show, while Hamish McLachlan and Abbey Gelmi will offer up prime-time highlights at 6pm AEST every evening.
Sally Fitzgibbons is hot favourite to take gold in the surfing finals on Wednesday 28th July.
Watch a Tokyo Olympics live stream in Canada
The rights to stream the Tokyo Olympics are split between Sportsnet, TSN and CBC. Already a subscriber? Log in with your password and you should be good to go.
CBC holds the rights to the Olympics in Canada until 2024. You can watch a free stream of many events on the CBC.ca website and via the CBC Olympics app.
Alternatively, sign up to Sportsnet Now for CAD$20 a month and TSN for either CAD$5 a day or CAD$20 a month. That should cover you for most Olympic events.
Meanwhile, sports fans in Australia can watch almost every minute of Tokyo 2020 free on 7Plus (opens in new tab). Remember to use a VPN (opens in new tab) if you're going to be outside Oz during the games.
Can I watch the Olympics in 4K in the UK?
UK sports fans with Sky Q can watch 200 hours of Olympics action in 4K HDR. It's all on the dedicated 'Eurosport 4K' channel, which is accessible via the red button on the remote. Check out today's best Sky TV deals.
If you have Sky Q but don't have an Ultra HD subscription, you can sign up for a three month trial through the Sky VIP app. Sky will also be showing more than 100 live Premier League games in 4K HDR this year, starting with Brentford vs Arsenal on 13th August.
The BBC will not be showing any of the Olympics in 4K, only HD
Can I watch the Olympics in 4K in the USA?
Over in the USA, Comcast Xfinity X1 customers can get access to extensive Olympics coverage in Dolby Vision HDR accompanied by Dolby Atmos sound. The live 4K broadcasts will be available in 38 markets (here's NBC's full list).
US viewers can also watch a gymnastics, track and field, swimming, diving and beach volleyball in 4K on the Olympic Channel – the International Olympic Committee's very own 24/7 TV channel, available via AT&T/DirecTV, Comcast/Xfinity, Cox, DISH, fuboTV (opens in new tab), Verizon Fios, and YouTube TV.
Tokyo Olympics competition schedule
Olympics Opening Ceremony - July 23
3x3 Basketball - July 24-28
Archery - July 23-31
Artistic Gymnastics - July 24 - August 3
Artistic Swimming - August 2-7
Athletics - July 30 - August 8
Badminton - July 24 - August 2
Baseball/Softball - July 21 - August 7
Basketball - July 25 - August 8
Beach Volleyball - July 24 - August 7
Boxing - July 24 - August 8
Canoe Slalom - July 25-30
Canoe Sprint - August 2-7
Cycling BMX Freestyle - July 31 - August 1
Cycling BMX Racing - July 29-30
Cycling Mountain Bike - July 26-27
Cycling Road - July 24-28
Cycling Track - August 2-8
Diving - July 25 - August 7
Equestrian - July 24 - August 7
Fencing - July 24 - August 1
Football - July 21 - August 7
Golf - July 29 - August 7
Handball - July 24 - August 8
Hockey - July 24 - August 6
Judo - July 24-31
Karate - August 5-7
Marathon Swimming - August 4-5
Modern Pentathlon - August 5-7
Rhythm Gymnastics - August 6-8
Rowing - July 23-30
Rugby Sevens - July 26-31
Sailing - July 25 - August 4
Shooting - July 24 - August 2
Skateboarding - July 25-26, August 4-5
Sport Climbing - August 3-6
Surfing - July 25 - August 1
Swimming - July 24 - August 1
Table Tennis - July 24 - August 6
Taekwondo - July 24-27
Tennis - July 24 - August 1
Trampoline Gymnastics - July 30-31
Triathlon - July 26-31
Volleyball - July 24 - August 8
Water Polo - July 24 - August 8
Weightlifting - July 24 - August 4
Wrestling - August 1-7
Olympics Closing Ceremony - August 8