How to watch the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Ella Bates-Hermann/Stuff
No spectators, no cheering, and socially-distanced athletes: this is what a mid-pandemic Olympics looks like.

It has been delayed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but at last it is almost time to unleash your inner armchair expert and enjoy 16 days of some of the best athletes in the world in competition.

Here’s how you can watch coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics from July 23 to August 8 on Sky TV and free to air on TVNZ 1.

The Opening Ceremony will begin at 10.50pm on Sky TV’s Tokyo Gold channel (SS53) on Friday, July 23. It will also screen free to air on TVNZ 1. Both channels will have build-up coverage before the ceremony officially starts.

The Paralympics will screen on TVNZ Duke from August 24 to September 5.

Tokyo 2020 TVNZ 1 Olympic reporters, Guy Heveldt, Chris Change, Kimberlee Downs and Rapaera Tawhai.
Supplied
Tokyo 2020 TVNZ 1 Olympic reporters, Guy Heveldt, Chris Change, Kimberlee Downs and Rapaera Tawhai.

TVNZ 1’s coverage

  • Each day, TVNZ 1 will have 12 hours of free-to-air content presented by Toni Street, Scotty Stevenson and former track and field Olympian Sarah Cowley Ross. The coverage will focus on live events featuring New Zealand athletes.
  • Programming will usually start at 12.30pm on weekdays and noon on weekends and continue until 6pm. The coverage will break for 1 News At 6pm and Seven Sharp and resume until around 2am. Tokyo is just three hours behind New Zealand.
  • Coverage will start earlier on days when Kiwi triathletes and marathon runners are competing.
  • Further scheduling information can be found at tvnz.co.nz. TVNZ 1’s coverage will be livestreamed but will not be available on TVNZ OnDemand.
  • Most coverage will be live but if there is a schedule clash with two or more New Zealand athletes competing, TVNZ 1 will screen one event live and have delayed coverage for any other events.
  • During periods where there are no New Zealand athletes competing, TVNZ 1 will play delayed coverage of international events of note.
  • 1 News journalists Kimberlee Downs, Chris Chang, Guy Heveldt and Rapera Tawhai will be in Japan to report on the Games.

READ MORE:
* New Zealand's top medal prospects at the Tokyo Olympics: Our countdown concludes
* New Zealand's top medal prospects at the Tokyo Olympics: Our countdown continues
* Seven gold medals forecast for New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics

So what is happening to my regular TV shows?

  • Soap fans need not worry about missing out on their usual fix. Coronation Street and Emmerdale will move to TVNZ 2 for the duration of the Olympic Games. Coronation Street will air at 9.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but there won’t be any day-time repeats during the Games. Emmerdale will screen at 1pm on TVNZ 2 each weekday. The Lotto draw will also move, temporarily, to TVNZ 2 for the Games.
  • Te Karere will move to 11.30am weekdays on TVNZ 1 throughout the Games.
  • The Chase will still air in the morning, unless an event takes precedence, but the 5pm screening will take a break during the Olympics.
Laura McGoldrick, Goran Paladin and Stephen McIvor will present Olympics coverage on Sky Sport’s Gold Channel.
Supplied
Laura McGoldrick, Goran Paladin and Stephen McIvor will present Olympics coverage on Sky Sport’s Gold Channel.

SKY TV’s coverage

  • Sky’s Tokyo Gold Channel (SS3/SS53) will be presented by Stephen McIvor, Goran Paladin and Laura McGoldrick and will feature all the high-profile events from the Olympic Games.
  • Including the Gold Channel, Sky will have 12 Olympic channels featuring live content between noon and 2am New Zealand time.
  • Coverage will be available to watch through your Sky Box or you can stream on Sky Go and Sky Sport Now.
  • Sky TV’s Rikki Swannell, Kristina Eddy, Storm Purvis and Kirstie Stanway will be reporting live from Tokyo.
  • Sky subscribers can also access the Sky Olympic Video Player app which offers content from every event. The app will be available for all Sky customers to download from the Apple and Google stores from July 19.
  • A 24-hour Olympic News channel will be available through the Sky Olympic Video Player and some segments from the News channel will also be available on channel Tokyo 5 (SS7/SS57).

Gold Channel’s live highlights

(All events subject to change. New Zealand athletes noted.)

David Nyika is among those competing for NZ in the Tokyo Olympics.
Mike Walen/Getty Images
David Nyika is among those competing for NZ in the Tokyo Olympics.

Day one (Saturday, July 24)

Rowing – With three New Zealand crews competing; Cycling – Men’s Road Race with George Bennett and Patrick Bevan; Boxing – With David Nyika; Swimming – Men’s heats with Lewis Clareburt and Zac Reid.

Day two (Sunday, July 25)

Surfing – First time at the Olympics; Rowing – including the eights; Swimming – Women’s heats with Ali Galyer and Erika Fairweather; Canoe Slalom – Women’s K1 heats with Luuka Jones; Football – Men’s, New Zealand v Honduras.

Day three (Monday, July 26)

Triathlon – Men’s; Rugby – Men’s competition starts; Rowing – Men’s and women’s; Swimming – Women’s heats with Eve Thomas, Hayley McIntosh and Erika Fairweather; Mountain Bike – Men’s Cross Country with Anton Cooper.

Day four (Tuesday, July 27)

Triathlon – Women’s; Rugby – Men’s pool play and quarterfinals; Rowing – Semis and finals; Canoe Slalom – Women’s K1 semis and final; Swimming – Heats with Zac Reid; Football – Women’s, New Zealand v Sweden.

It’s hoped NZ will snag a bunch of gold medals during the Olympics.
Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
It’s hoped NZ will snag a bunch of gold medals during the Olympics.

Day five (Wednesday, July 28)

Rowing – Semis and finals; Swimming – Heats with Lewis Clareburt; Canoe Slalom – Heats with Luuka Jones and Callum Gilbert; Rugby – Men’s semis and medal matches.

Day six (Thursday, July 29)

Rowing – Finals; Rugby – Women’s competition starts; BMX – Women’s with Rebecca Petch; Shooting – Women’s Trap; Swimming – Heats with Eve Thomas.

Day seven (Friday, July 30)

Rowing – Finals; Swimming – Finals; Rugby – Women’s pool play and quarterfinals; Athletics – Women’s, with Val Adams, Maddison-Lee Wesche and Camille Buscomb; Men’s, with Hamish Kerr and Connor Bell.

Day eight (Saturday, July 31)

Triathlon – Mixed relay; Rugby – Women’s semis and medal matches; Athletics.

Day nine (Sunday, August 1)

Equestrian – Eventing Cross Country; Athletics – Women’s, with Julia Ratcliffe and Lauren Bruce; Sailing – Nacra and Laser medal races.

Lisa Carrington is among NZ’s gold medal prospects.
Andrew Cornaga/Photosport
Lisa Carrington is among NZ’s gold medal prospects.

Day 10 (Monday, August 2)

Canoe Sprint – with Lisa Carrington; Sailing; Track Cycling – first day of competition; Equestrian –Eventing; Weightlifting – Women’s, with Laurel Hubbard.

Day 11 (Tuesday, August 3)

Canoe Sprint; Sailing; Track Cycling; Athletics.

Day 12 (Wednesday, August 4)

Canoe Sprint; Sailing; Track Cycling.

Day 13 (Thursday, August 5)

Athletics; Canoe Sprint; Cycling.

Day 14 (Friday, August 6)

Track Cycling; Athletics – Men’s with Quentin Rew; Hockey – Women’s.

Day 15 (Saturday, August 7)

Athletics – Women’s marathon; Canoe Sprint; Track Cycling.

Day 16 (Sunday, August 8)

Athletics – Men’s marathon; Track Cycling; Closing Ceremony.