Rio 2016 will be the most live Olympics ever, including a robust social media presence. 

In Brazil, some athletes will be breaking world records during the Summer Games. On the flip side, Rio 2016 is expected to break to break records too. The networks and digital platforms of NBCUniversal will present an unprecedented 6,755 hours of programming for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this August. That’s roughly 356 hours of coverage per day (19 days). If the 6,755 hours ran on one channel, it would take 281 days to finish airing.

Check out these athletes worth watching who will compete in some unexpected sports

Many are dubbing it the “largest social media event ever.”  According to Global Web Index, 85% of viewers are expected to use a second-screen during the Olympics. Out of 3.6 billion global viewers that are expected to watch the Olympic Games on television, 3.06 billion will do so while holding a mobile device in their hands.

Organizers of Rio 2016 already have social media accounts with huge numbers of followers on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with 1.4 million, 293,000 and 163,000 fans, respectively. They also have an engaging Snapchat account.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics will air on Friday, August 5, on NBC. Competition begins two days earlier on Wednesday, August 3, with women’s soccer on NBCSN and USA Network, and the Games conclude on Sunday, August 21, with the Closing Ceremony on NBC. With Rio on the same time zone as Kansas, the 2016 Summer Games will be the most live Olympics ever.

Watch the 2016 Rio Olympics on TV

Broadcast networks:


Cable channels:



Golf Channel 


NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)

USA Network

Specialty channels (Basketball and Soccer)

Powered by Playmaker Media, and theNBC Sports app will live stream 4,500 total hours — including all Olympic competition for the third consecutive Olympics — for authenticated pay TV subscribers via TV Everywhere to desktops, mobile devices, and tablets, plus connected TVs for the first time.  

How to watch the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Olympic programming will air across 11 networks.


NBC’s 260.5 hours of coverage begins on Friday, August 5, and concludes on Sunday, August 21, with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, respectively. Across NBC’s primetime, daytime and late night shows, coverage will feature many of the Games’ most popular sports, including swimming, gymnastics, track and field, diving, beach volleyball, volleyball, and the men’s and women’s basketball finals.

On most days, NBC primetime programming will air from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. CT; daytime from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; late night from 11:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m. CT; and replays from 12:35 a.m. – 3:30 a.m. CT.


NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) coverage begins on Wed., Aug. 3, two days before the Opening Ceremony, with women’s soccer, and concludes on Sun., Aug. 21, the final day of the Games. On most days, NBCSN will televise 16 hours of coverage, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m CT. 

In addition to basketball and soccer, coverage will include track and field, archery, boxing, cycling, fencing, field hockey, judo, open water swimming, rugby, shooting, soccer, synchronized swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and more.


With golf’s return to the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years, Golf Channel will present 115 hours of tournament programming, surrounded by in-depth analysis previewing and recapping the competition and highlighted by live coverage of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Golf competition (Men’s: Thurs., Aug. 11 – Sun., Aug. 14; Women’s: Wed., Aug. 17 – Sat., Aug. 20


Bravo will serve as the home of Olympic tennis, with live coverage that begins on Sat., Aug. 6, and concludes on Sun., Aug. 14, with the men’s singles final. The women’s singles final airs on Sat., Aug. 13.


CNBC’s coverage begins on Sat., Aug. 6, and concludes on Fri., Aug. 19. On weekdays, the network’s Olympic coverage will take place from 4-7 p.m. CT, after it concludes its traditional business and financial programming.

The network will showcase elimination-round coverage of basketball and volleyball, as well as archery, beach volleyball, cycling, rugby, water polo, wrestling, and many more sports.


MSNBC will carry coverage of men’s basketball, beach volleyball, rugby, soccer, volleyball, and water polo, among other sports. Coverage begins on Sat., Aug. 6, and concludes on Sat., Aug. 20. Ten of the network’s 15 days of coverage take place from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. CT. 


The networks coverage begins two days before the Opening Ceremony with women’s soccer on Wed., Aug. 3, and concludes on Sun., Aug. 21.  Most weekdays, USA will present eight hours of coverage, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT.  in addition to weekend programming. USA’s coverage includes men’s basketball, beach volleyball, cycling, rowing, synchronized swimming, volleyball, water polo, and more.


NBC Olympics will provide NBC Universal distribution partners with two Olympic specialty channels – one each for basketball and soccer. 

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