TV Schedule for Equestrian at the 2016 Olympics

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There’s good news and less-good news for equestrian sports fans in the United States as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro approach. The good news is that pretty much everyone, no matter how they consume television, will get to see at least some equestrian coverage. The bad news is that if you don’t have cable or satellite, you won’t get to see much, even (especially) online.

NBC is sticking with its frustrating model of streaming the entirety of every Olympic event—including equestrian—online, and then restricting access to that live stream to people who subscribe to participating cable and satellite plans. There is no other option to access the live stream*, even if you were, say, willing to pay for it separately.

Olympic Equestrian Coverage on Network TV

As you may have gathered, this writer is a cord-cutter. If you are also one of the growing number of consumers who don’t subscribe to cable or other pay TV services, but you do have a DTV antenna to grab network television out of the very air, you’ll be able to watch show jumping on NBC on August 14, 16, 17 and 19 during the network’s daytime coverage. See below for more detail.

UPDATE: cutcabletoday.com reports that you can get access to all of the Olympic coverage from the cable networks (see below) without a cable subscription. For U.S. viewers, a service called Sling will give you access to coverage on USA and MSNBC for $25/month, and there is a 7-day free trial available. Another option is PlayStation Vue. I can’t vouch for these services, but if you try them for this Olympics, let us know what you think. Read more on cutcabletoday.com

Olympic Equestrian TV Schedule

NBC will be providing some coverage of all three equestrian sports through its cable partners, USA and MSNBC. There will even be some live coverage of the events, but nothing broadcast during primetime, so set your DVRs now (or start coming up with excuses for all the hooky you’re about to play.)

Thanks to USEFNetwork.com for compiling the information for this schedule.

Date Time (ET) Event Network
Saturday, Aug. 6 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eventing – Dressage USA
Sunday, Aug. 7 4:15 – 4:45 p.m. Eventing – Dressage MSNBC
Monday, Aug. 8 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Eventing – Cross Country USA (LIVE)
Tuesday, Aug. 9 9 – 11:30 a.m.;
1 – 1:55 p.m.
Eventing – Stadium Jumping USA (LIVE)
Thursday, Aug. 11 3:45 – 4:30 p.m. Team Dressage – Grand Prix MSNBC
Sunday, Aug. 14 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Individual Jumping NBC
Monday, Aug. 15 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Individual Dressage Final – Freestyle USA (LIVE)
Tuesday, Aug. 16 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Team Jumping NBC
Wednesday, Aug. 17 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. Team Jumping Final NBC
Friday, Aug. 19 10:00 – 10:40 a.m.
3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
Individual Jumping NBC (Live 10:00 – 10:40 a.m.

Olympic Equestrian Online Streaming

If you’re in the U.S., the best option for watching the equestrian events is by using the livestream on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. You’ll be able to watch all of the equestrian events live and in their entirety, and you won’t have to worry about the coverage cutting away to men’s swimming or women’s beach volleyball just when the dressage is getting good.

As stated earlier, you do need to subscribe to a participating pay TV service in order to access the livestream. You’ll also need adequate internet speed to support streaming.

To find out when the equestrian events are available to watch on NBCOlympics.com, see the full Olympic schedule here.

For Canadian viewers, livestreaming will be available through olympics.cbc.ca. Read more about how to watch the Olympics in Canada from the CBC here.

Can’t Get Enough Equestrian?

Don’t forget about the one final horse sport of the Summer Olympics: Modern Pentathlon. This event tests athletes in five very different sports: fencing; swimming; riding (show jumping); running; and shooting. Athletes will ride borrowed horses, which often makes for an especially interesting competition.

The riding rounds for modern pentathlon take place on August 19 and 20, starting at 1:00 p.m. ET both days.

*Technically, using a cable-subscribing friend’s account info would work to access the livestream. We would never advocate this, of course, but we also aren’t going to stop you.

Leslie Potter is Managing Editor of HorseChannel.com. She enjoys TV but has never and will never pay for cable. Stop trying to make her do it, Olympics. Follow her on Twitter: @LeslieInLex.

56 COMMENTS

  1. Not having proper coverage of all equestrian events? Bull-shit. But what else is new? U.K. and Europe show all equestrian disciplines, and IN primetime, but North America just cares about beach volleyball, etc. Dumb it all down, as usual!

  2. All equestrian enthusiasts, young or more mature want and need more coverage of all of the varied events. Whether you are a participating rider taking lesson, own your own horse or are a life long lover of all things horse related, we eagerly await the chance to watch world class competitors in every aspect of the equine sports. Please give us more. We will watch!

  3. So frustrated with the lack of equestrian coverage in North America. Plus, I am stuck subscribing to Comcast and they offer NOTHING in the way of equestrian channels, plus charge extortionist rates with their virtual monopoly.
    Finally, the Attorney General in Washington is going after them. About time!!!!

  4. One reason why equestrian sports aren’t covered as much as other sports, it is considered not a sport in the sense of the word. Everybody thinks the horse does all the work and the rider just sits on top. The non-horsey people don’t realize that horses have a mind of their own, or they spook at noises that they’ve never encountered which throws the performance off. It takes a professional rider, one who works out to remain strong, a rider who spends hours and hours each done honing his or her skills and the art of keeping a horse sharp. Whether it’s dressage, jumping, cross-country or whatever, it’s a grueling sport with no guarantees.

  5. Linelle- I don’t know for sure, but anyone in Canada should be able to watch online at olympics.cbc.ca. We’ve updated this article with a link for more information about livestreaming the Olympics in Canada.

  6. as usual NBC doens”t do a very good job of programming. Just let the events be on a free channel or at the very least one channel that most viewers can catch them on.

  7. I really think it is sad that the equestrian events never get proper coverage no matter what the equestrian competition is. if there would be more coverage i do believe it would promote the sport more and as a result there would be more interest.

  8. Thank you so much, Leslie, for the schedule and the access info. During this morning’s Beach Volleyball game, an announcer mentioned, “Equestrian, a CLASSIC Olympic event,” and cut away for a whole 15 seconds to a paddock shot. Nothing against BV, but, c’mon!

  9. I agree that the equine events need more coverage. I enjoy watching the other events but the equine events is what got me into the Olympics.

  10. I think its terrible they won’t televise the equestrian events on no pay TV. Maybe they think we’re all rich, ha,ha. The last thing I’ll do is pay for access. I’d rather turn off it all.

  11. I’ve watched a lot of NBC’s Equestrian coverage on the USA channel & have NEVER seen a commentator. I truly believe the 2 commentators aren’t even in the stadium – they are NEVER shown & a couple of times it has seemed likely that they are simply commenting on the same video we’re watching. What kind of coverage is that?

  12. For years I’ve wanted to watch the equestrian team on tv. But yet it’s never on unless it’s in the am. Super early.
    There are a ton of equestrian who would love to watch.

  13. I tried the olympics.cbc.ca site, there are lots of videos, but when trying to play any of them I get “video not working or unavailable in your are” AFTER their commercials play! So the commercials work, but not the videos.

  14. As to television coverage, stumbled into Team Dressage just after 1pm Pacific time, on MSNBC. Complete surprise. It started much earlier. Best coverage overall has been streaming online with USA channel and replays. NBC.com announces live streaming for events and then not available. Frustrating!

  15. This is so sad that they have to make us pay to watch what most of the world gets free. Germany it is free. Late hours but they get it live. I am so discussed with they way networks try to block out many of the events that we should be able to see free. How cares about opening and closing programs, lets see the events and with out switching to other events right in the middle of the viewing.

  16. I had to subscribe to Playstation Vue to get the dressage, despite the fact that I’m a Comcast customer, I don’t get USA, and I refuse to give them another nickel in their giant money grab. This is why monopolies are bad. Getting ready to cut the cord very soon. Once I could get to the NBC Olympics channel on Roku, and authenticate with the PSVue credentials, I could watch it on my tv, and dressage was glorious, so proud of our US team.

  17. So far I’m glad I got to see the Equestrian events on my Cable networks especially(USA) Eventing cross country, that I already have in my Cable package. MSNBC cinchy on coverage.
    I also understand the frustrations that other people are going through. I wanted to live stream on my computer, but would have go through some hoops. I didn’t feel comfortable enough disclosing the info they wanted. So I stayed with the TV coverage. The studio they are using is in the States.
    I “ll watch more when someone post stuff on FB and YT. One the things I missed.

  18. I guess there just isn’t enough skin being shown by the riders of all the equestrian events and that’s why they are so hard to find on any of the channels that I can get. Pretty sad.

  19. It’s a shame you have to search for Equestrian events so hard! THEN when you find an event..it’s not on the channel listed or @ the time listed! Too much Beach Volleyball, Soccer and Basketball!

  20. I can not get any information due to my set up. My tv and internet are two separated systems. I would not support any of the Olympic events ever again. No reason to make it next to impossible to see.

  21. It stinks! I want to see the dressage especially, but never get to see more than a few minutes of it. I do not have cable either.

  22. I wait for the Summer Olympics for four years just to be able to see the best horses and riders in the world, only to be terribly disappointed each time. I might be able to catch glimpses of one or two events and that’s it. Next Olympics I probably just won’t bother.

  23. There are millions of us who are horse owners and are interested in the equestrian competitions in the Olympics. We should be able to watch the coverage during prime time and more often rather than at 6 in the morning.

  24. I have recorded every hour of Olympics and fast forwarded to find the Equestrian events and so far have only seen 1 short Dressage event. Why is it impossible to find these events. I’d even watch them after the fact, if I could find them

  25. The coverage is horrible!!! Hard to find if they even have any. The horse world is world wide, why isn’t the coverage more complete? Get really tired of seeing, ping pong, field hockey, water polo, or… whole channels devoted to Olympic? golf and tennis. The equestrian events are on almost every day, but rarely actually get to see any. WHY????

  26. I think the TV coverage of the equestrian events have been woefully inadequate!! I want to see every event!!! And I want to see polo matches on the Horse channel—please!!!!

  27. So very disappointed, tuned in a little before 1 for individual jumping, but found it was synchronized swimming, then it went to golf. Almost 2 pm and still no jumping, has not even been mentioned
    Emailed NBC for what good it will do.

  28. NBC Olympic coverage is horrible. Schedule things around certain events only to find they never cover them, like Equestrian events (Aug 14 1:00). Skipped it entirely. Stick to the schedule NBC.

  29. The Equestrian portions stink!!1 Don’t cover all of the event from start to finish. They chose which horse and riders we got to see. There were some 60 horses for Eventing, only saw half. then the dressage started, wow, got to see a whopping 6 horses. Also, coverage showed times but no Equestrian. They keep going off to other sports. Some one else needs to cover Olympics that knows what they are doing, when they say you get to see something then you should be able to see it.

  30. So disappointing this coverage, cannot get the full Equestrian events and just brief showings. Shame on NBC for this shabby coverage. Blah.

  31. I’m s disappointed in NBC also. Have been trying to find the equestrian events. Where was the coverage. I had been waiting all year to see the equestrian events and am very disappointed.

  32. I am angry that the Olympic committee wasted so much time on Michael Phelps, when the time could have been used to air more equestrian events.

  33. Disappointed once again, tuned in for team jumping around 12:30 as scheduled but instead of starting coverage was ending. Don’t know why I bother.

  34. I am extremely disappointed in the lack of equestrian coverage. In my opinion, there has been way too much time spent on volleyball, track & field, and swimming. There are many other events to cover NBC! I am very sorry that I did not know about the live streaming until the second week of competition. I really wanted to see the dressage events. I wasn’t even aware they had taken place until I saw a clip of a horse and rider in a commercial.. I waited all year for that event!! I am pretty disgusted overall with the coverage of these 2016 Summer Games………

  35. The coverage for the team jumping was awful. The jump off for Silver wasn’t even shown, cut to track. Totally amateurish for a big name company, it’s quite obvious they haven’t a clue about equine sports. Add to that the coverage of the Eventing, the commentary left a lot to be desired. NBC needs to eference the BBC coverage of the 2012 Olympics which was outstanding.

  36. NBC cut off the last 15 minutes of the individual jumping, switching to basketball. Had to go online to see who won.
    They inserted commercials that blasted noise at the end. They would never do this to any other sport.

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