Olympics on TV 2021: where to watch Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - full schedule and UK time difference explained

UK viewers will be able to watch the action across multiple broadcasters this year

Arriving a year later than planned, the Summer Olympics have officially got underway today (21 July), with the first day of action arriving two days before the Opening Ceremony on Friday (23 July) night.

The 2020 Olympics are being held in Tokyo, with the capital seeing some of the best athletes in the world compete across two weeks of sporting action.

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Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Games will take place without spectators at Olympics venues in Tokyo. Medal ceremonies will also be held with various restrictions including athletes putting on their own medals, the International Olympic Committee said.

(Graphic: JPIMedia)

Here’s all you need to know about how to watch the Tokyo 2021 Olympics on TV

Where to watch the Olympics in the UK?

The 2020 Olympic Games will be available to watch via two broadcasters in the UK.

The BBC is set to cover over 350 hours of uninterrupted coverage live and free-to-air. As well as broadcasting on BBC One and Two, the Games will be available to watch on BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.

(Graphic: Kim Mogg / JPIMedia)

If you are looking to watch every single minute of the games, Tokyo 2020 will also be available to watch in their entirety on Eurosport as well as online streaming platforms Eurosport Player and Discovery+.

Viewers can add a Eurosport subscription to your Sky, BT or Virgin contract, or get access to the Eurosport Player direct for £6.99 per month or £39.99 a year.

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Will there be an Olympics highlight show?

(Graphic: JPIMedia)

Japan is eight hours ahead of British Summer Time, meaning a lot of the action will be on through the night in the UK.

Due to the tricky time difference between Japan and the UK, there will be plenty of opportunities to watch highlights throughout the Games.

As well as sporadic highlights dotted across BBC One and Two throughout the day, there will be a daily Today at the Games show, broadcasting around 7pm or 7:30pm every night of the Olympics.

When is the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony?

A general view of the new National Stadium (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday 23 July.

The ceremony will start at 8pm Japanese time, meaning it will kick off at 12pm in the UK.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ceremony will be slightly different with a limited number of athletes entering the stadium, and no spectators will be watching live.

Full Olympics 2020 Schedule

The 2020 Summer Olympics will see the introduction of five new sports in this year’s games: baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing.

Baseball and softball were previously included in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Here is a full schedule for when each sport is taking place:

– Opening ceremony – Friday 23 July – Tokyo Stadium

– Archery – 23-31 July – Yumenoshima Park Archery Field

– Artistic gymnastics – 24 July – 3 August – Arlake Gymnastics Centre

– Artistic swimming – 2-7 August – Tokyo Aquatics Centre

– Athletics – 30 July to 8 August – Tokyo Stadium (track and field), Sapporo Odori Park (marathons and race walks)

– Badminton – 24 July – 2 August – Musashino Forest Sport Plaza

– Baseball/softball – 21 July – 7 August – Fukushima and Yokohama

– Basketball – 25 July – 8 August – Aomi Urban Sports Park and Saitama Super Arena

– Beach volleyball – 24 July – 7 August – Shiokaze Park

– Boxing – 24 July – 8 August – Kokugikan Arena

– Canoe slalom – 25-30 July – Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre

– Canoe sprint – 2-7 August – Sea Forest Waterway

– Cycling – BMX 29 July to 1 August, Arlake Urban Sports Park – road cycling, 24, 25 and 28 July, Musashinonomori Park and Fuji International Speedway – track cycling, 2-8 August, Izu Velodrome, Shizuoka

– Diving – 25 July – 7 August – Tokyo Aquatics Centre

– Equestrian – 24 July – 7 August – Equestrian Park (dressage, eventing and jumping), Sea Forest Cross-Country Course (eventing)

– Fencing – 24 July – 1 August – Makuhari Messe Hall

– Football – 21 July – 7 August – Tokyo Stadium, Sapporo Dome, Miyagi Stadium, Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Saitama Stadium and International Stadium Yokohama

– Golf – men’s 29 July – 1 August, women’s 4-7 August – Kasumigaseki Country Club

– Handball – 24 July – 8 August – Yoyogi National Stadium

– Hockey – 24 July – 6 August – Oi Hockey Stadium

– Judo – 24-31 July – Nippon Budokan

– Karate – 5-7 August – Nippon Budokan

– Marathon swimming – 4-5 August – Odaiba Marine Park

– Modern pentathlon – 5-7 August – Musashino Forest Sport Plaza (fencing) and Tokyo Stadium

– Rhythmic gymnastics – 6-8 August – Arlake Gymnastics Centre

– Rowing – 23-30 July – Sea Forest Waterway

– Rugby Sevens – 26-31 July – Tokyo Stadium

– Sailing – 25 July – 4 August – Enoshima Yacht Harbour

– Shooting – 24 July – 2 August – Asaka Shooting Range

– Skateboarding – street 24-25 July, park 4-5 August – Arlake Urban Sports Park

– Sport climbing – 3-6 August – Aomi Urban Sports Park

– Surfing – 25 July – 1 August – Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, Chiba

– Swimming – 24 July – 1 August – Tokyo Aquatics Centre

– Table tennis – 24 July – 6 August – Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

– Taekwondo – 24-27 July – Makuhari Messe Hall

– Tennis – 24 July – 1 August – Arlake Tennis Park

– Trampoline gymnastics3 – 0-31 July – Arlake Gymnastics Centre

– Triathlon – individual 26-27 July, mixed relay 31 July – Odaiba Marine Park

– Volleyball – 24 July – 8 August – Arlake Arena

– Water polo – 24 July – 8 August – Tatsumi Water Polo Centre

– Weightlifting – 24 July – 4 August – Tokyo International Forum

– Wrestling – 1-7 August – Makuhari Messe Hall

– Closing ceremony – 8 August – Tokyo Olympic Stadium