Update: NBC has confirmed with BarBend that there will be no TV subscription authentication necessary to watch weightlifting trials; anyone in the U.S. with the app should be able to watch whether or not they’re a cable subscriber. They’ve also clarified streaming support for connected TV devices like Apple TV and Roku.
USA Weightlifting Nationals and Olympic Trials are a combined event this year — or at least they’re taking place on the same days (May 5-8) and at the same place (Salt Lake City, Utah). The event will feature the nation’s best lifters vying for Rio Olympic spots — so it promises to be one of the most high-stakes and exciting US weightlifting events in recent memory.
But while you can watch many great competitors at the Nationals competition on USAW’s site (live stream link at the bottom of this article), the Olympic Trials portion is another story.
If you want to watch the likes of Kendrick Farris, Mattie Rogers, Spencer Moorman, and Wes Kitts battle it out for a shot at making the Olympic team, get ready to head to your smartphone — you’ll need to download an NBC app.
Olympic Trials will only be streamed on NBC’s Sport’s Live Extra app, available on Google Play and in the iTunes App Store. The app has mixed reviews. At worst users complain about freezing streams, lag time with occasional crashing, and repetitive ads; at best, it’s a convenient option to stream live sports from anywhere in the U.S.
And while many of NBC Sports Live Extra’s offerings require cable authentication — from their site: “The vast majority of live streaming content on NBC Sports Live Extra will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite and telco customers via TV Everywhere.” — NBC has confirmed with BarBend that this will NOT be required to watch the weightlifting trials. Anyone in the United States should be able to watch through the app.
Basically, it will depend a lot on factors including your network connection and the production/streaming side. For best results, you’re going to want to be connected to a WiFi network.
One of the best things about combined Nationals/Olympic Trials will be a Q&A session hosted by USAW and three-time Olympic Champion Pyrros Dimas. That will take place Thursday at 6:30pm local time in the warm-up room; as of now, it seems like that will only be available to those in attendance.
Want more info on the competitors and who has the best chance to qualify for the Rio Olympics? Check out Weightlifting Correspondent Mike Graber’s rundowns of qualification for both the US men and women.
Get the Nationals live stream on USAW’s site here.