The 2016 Rio Olympics will span nearly three weeks of competition, and American viewers have a chance to watch what could feel like endless hours of international sports. NBCUniversal will broadcast 6,755 hours of coverage in total across multiple channels and digital platforms.

The games will be broadcast across 11 different channels, including two-Spanish speaking networks and two channels that will be created just for the Olympics. Competition begins on NBC Sports Network two days before the opening ceremony with women’s soccer. The Olympic soccer channel and NBC UNIVERSO also have coverage of the games on Wednesday.

The Rio Olympics begin on Wednesday, Aug. 3 and conclude on Sunday, Aug. 21, but no competitions are scheduled for Friday, Aug. 5. Only the opening ceremony is scheduled for that day, and it will be broadcast on NBC.

The final day of the Olympics includes several different events before the closing ceremony. Gold medals will be awarded for men’s volleyball, basketball, wrestling, boxing, cycling and handball.

Not surprisingly, the Golf Channel will only broadcast golf, though NBC will also have coverage of the sport. Men’s golf starts om Aug. 11 and concludes with the final round on NBC on Aug. 14. The final round for women’s golf is set for the penultimate day of the Olympics.

Rio Olympics Fans watch the action during the Women's Group E first round match between Brazil and China PR during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photo: Getty

There will be separate specialty channels for both basketball and soccer. Contact your local satellite or cable provider for channel information, though not every service will carry the temporary networks. Nine providers—Dish Network, DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon, Cox, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Suddenlink, Mediacom—should offer all the networks and will also have the basketball and soccer channels. 


Olympic TV Channels





NBC Sports Network

USA Network

Golf Channel 

Basketball Specialty Channels

Soccer Specialty Channels