The Roar
The Roar


2016 Olympics TV Guide

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro and will run from August 5-21. Here is our full TV Guide on how to watch every event at the Olympic Games in Australia.

The Games will be broadcast by the Seven Network, who will spread the coverage over their three television channels. Between Channel Seven, 7Mate and 7Two, more than 900 hours of Olympic footage will be shown on free-to-air TV over the course of the Games, at an average of more than 50 hours per day.

» View the Olympic Medal Tally here
» Full Australian Olympic team for the Rio Olympics
» All the latest highlights from Rio

In an unusual approach for Australian television coverage of a major sporting event, Seven has opted to be the sole broadcaster of the Rio Olympics by also securing the subscription rights to the Games. They will stream every event online and on the Olympics on 7 app, which will be available from August 1.

Head to the Seven website or the App for live streaming of the events, where a number live streams will be available at any one time.

As yet there is no guide as to which events will be on which channel (the main channel will have a roaming broadcast, while 7Mate and 7Two will also roam, but be more dedicated to showing more time of individual events) but we are assuming that information will be released on August 1. As events go live, the website and App will be updated with the live events. The coverage will begin on 4 August with the Football preliminaries.

Coverage of the opening ceremony will begin on Saturday, August 6, from 6am (AEST). The Olympic Games opening ceremony is set to start at 9am Australian time on the first day, with events proper to kick off the day after. A brief outline of the times for the major medal events is as follows, and make sure you refer to our Olympics events guide to figure out which days these will be broadcast:

Sport Medal event/race start time (AEST)
Track Cycling 6:00 AM
Hockey 6:00 AM
Rugby Sevens 8:00 AM
Athletics 9:00 AM
Swimming 11:00 AM
Golf 8:30 PM
Rowing 9:30 PM
Canoe/Kayak 10:00 PM

The free content available through the Olympics on 7 app and the website will be:
– Up to 900 hours of Seven’s Olympic Games broadcast, basically the feeds being broadcast on 7’s main channel, 7TWO and 7mate
– 300 hours of additional live bonus sports events streams – not on broadcast television


A premium option for $19.95 upgrades the Olympics on 7 app and website, and gives users:

– Aceess to up to 36 different channels with over 3,000 total hours of HD coverage, live and on-demand
– Catch up and replay on demand – over 3,000 hours of catch up in HD
– 24/7 Olympic News Channel

We know that there will be over 900 hours of Olympics content broadcast on free-to-air television via the three channels mentioned above, but exactly what event will be on at any time we strongly recommend you look at our comprehensive events guide for the Rio Olympics, which has every single event and its Australian starting time. A printable version of this page can be found by following this link.

And remember, The Roar will have comprehensive highlights of the Olympics every day at Roar TV.

Between the free-to-air and subscription coverage, Australian audiences will be able to watch every event from every sport during every day of the Olympics.

Channel Seven first broadcast the Olympic Games way back in 1956, when Melbourne hosted with six hours of live coverage each day. This was the first time the Olympics had been broadcast into Australia, and there hasn’t been one missed since.

The network last had rights to the Games in 2008, when Beijing hosted although this was shared with the SBS who provided the broadcasts and commentary of the lesser known sports, allowing Seven to focus on the mainstream sports like swimming, athletics, rowing and cycling.

Silver, gold and bronze medals from Rio 2016


The current deal for the network goes through to 2020, with an option to extend to 2024. This includes all winter and Paralympic Games in between, with Rio being the first Paralympic broadcast on Seven.

At London 2012, the Nine Network and Foxtel shared rights to broadcast, with Foxtel providing plenty of hours through pay-tv.

With the exception of those in 2012, Seven have broadcast every Olympic Games to the Australian market since 1992 with Network Ten on board before that.

To see which events are on when, be sure to head over to The Roar’s comprehensive Olympic schedule. You can also download a printable version here.

Australian men's hockey team London 2012

While Sunrise, which will be shown as usual from 5:30-9:00am (AEST) on Channel Seven each day, clashes with some of those times, the Olympic coverage will continue as usual on 7Two and 7Mate.

While a number of events will take place at an Australian-friendly time, such as the second swimming (11am AEST) and athletics sessions (9am AEST) each day, a daily highlights show will be shown each day at 7pm (AEST) for viewers who were unable to catch the action as it happened.

The broadcast team for the Seven Network will be headed up by Bruce McAvaney, Hamish McLaughlan, Mel McLaughlan, Jim Wilson, Kylie Gillies and Todd Woodbridge.


The main commentators are led by the voice of cycling Phil Liggett who has covered 14 Games and 43 Tour de Frances, Brenton Speed, Mitchell McCann, David Christison and Johanna Griggs among others.

They will also be joined by a number of former Olympians which includes Steve Hooker, Tamsyn Lewis, Dave Culbert, Pat Welsh, Basil Zempilas, Giaan Rooney, Nathan Templeton, Scott McGory, Drew Ginn, Andrew Gaze, Lauren Jackson, Loudy Wiggins, Rechelle Hawkes, Russell Mark, Vicki Roycroft and Debbie Watson.

Radio rights for Rio are also owned by Rio, with Southern Cross Austereo – the home of the Triple M and Hit stations – broadcasting via the airwaves for the Games.