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The best second-screen apps for watching the 2016 Olympics

Michael Ansaldo | Aug. 4, 2016
Enhance your viewing experience with behind-the-scenes video, athlete's social feeds, and more.

The 2012 Summer Olympics spawned a digital deluge. There were reportedly 15 million downloads of the official London Olympics app, and 60 percent of visits to the  Olympics website came from mobile devices. Social media buzzed with hundreds of millions of tweets and comments.

Thanks to that second-screen surge, Rio 2016 is poised to be the first multi-platform Olympics. To make sure you don’t miss a second of complimentary content, we’ve compiled the most essential free apps to download. Whether you just want to stay on top of stats and scores, get an insider view of events, or follow your favorite athletes, you won’t miss a moment of Olympic action once competition begins on August 5.

NBC Olympics: Rio News & Results

NBC Universal (NBCU) is the exclusive broadcaster of the 2016 games, and its free official app should be the hub of your second-screen experience. It provides coverage of the 2016 U.S. trials, athlete bios and profiles, video features, Olympic Talk reports and analysis, and full Rio Games competition schedules. And that’s all before the Opening Ceremony.

nbc olympics

NBC Olympics: Rio News & Results is your one-stop second screen app.

Once the games begin, you’ll also get real-time results and medal standings with alerts and notifications; TV and live-streaming schedules; and video highlights, news articles, and photo galleries for all 34 Olympic sports.

This year’s app also sees the return of Primetime Companion, a second-screen feature that syncs with the NBC broadcast and lets you immerse yourself through polls, trivia, slideshows, videos and athlete bios. You can also share your Olympic viewing experience with friends through a set of integrated social tools.

(Android, iOS)

The Olympics

Want to relive Mark Spitz’s ’72 seven-gold-medal sweep or the women’s soccer team’s overtime gold win in 2004? You can do it with this app, your own personal Olympic archive.

the olympics

The Olympics is an archive of the modern games’ greatest events and Olympians.

Linking to the official Olympics website, the app gives you fingertip access to Olympics programmes going back to 1896. Relive every triumph, upset, and record-breaking performance through a treasure trove photos, videos, and stats that span the modern games. You can scroll through a curated gallery of the greatest Olympians or search for medalists by games, country, and athlete.

With its emphasis on history along as well as the latest IOC news and results from the Rio games, this app provides enriching context for your Olympics viewing.

(Android, iOS)

NBC Sports

NBCU will air 6755 hours of Olympic programming across its channels and digital platforms. Chances are you won’t be near your TV or computer for all of them. This app is your ticket to Olympic viewing on the go.


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