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How to watch the Paralympics, even without cable

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Paralympic athlete Tsuchida Wakako passes the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Tokyo Olympics may have wrapped up, but the Paralympic Games in Tokyo are just around the corner.

The games (which were also postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic) for athletes with different physical disabilities, many of whom use wheelchairs, start on Aug. 24 with the opening ceremony. Over two weeks of archery, swimming, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and more will once again be broadcast through NBC.

But to catch any of the 1,200 hours of events, you need to figure out your streaming situation.

If you have a TV with a cable subscription, you just need to turn on the TV. Through Sept. 5, there will be 200 hours of events on NBC, NBCSN, and the Olympic Channel. NBCSN will show Paralympics coverage entirely from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. ET everyday. NBC will show pre-recorded footage during primetime evening hours.

NBCSN will have live coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies on Sept. 5 — which is at 7 a.m. ET and the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. PT for the West Coast.

For those able to mooch off of someone's cable subscription, you can watch live events, highlights, and other footage on NBCOlympics.com or the NBC Sports app.

If you have internet-based TV services, like any of these below, you can also watch NBC and other channels with Paralympics coverage. You could consider subscribing just for a month or signing up for a trial period to catch the Paralympics and then cancel.

For non-cable subscribers, it's once again trickier to catch the games, especially for live coverage, since there's a huge time difference between the U.S. and Japan. Your main option is to download NBC's streaming app, Peacock.

Peacock will have a curated selection of events, including medal rounds for men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball, women’s sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby, and marathon races. Everything will be free on the Peacock app, which is free to download.

If you have a TV but no cable, you can buy a TV antenna and watch your local NBC affiliate for primetime programming each evening.

Let the (streaming) games begin!

This week it was confirmed that the Paralympics would also be spectator-free like the Summer Games. So you'll keep seeing empty stadiums and stands.

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