Gymnastics is one of the most popular sports to watch. But outside of Olympic gymnastics, it can be hard to know where to watch it — with or without cable. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
In a hurry? A lot of gymnastics (including the Olympics) is broadcast by NBCUniversal. NCAA gymnastics is mostly on ESPN channels. These are our favorite services for watching gymnastics:
- FuboTV: This sports-focused streaming service gives you 110+ live channels. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
- Hulu + Live TV: Gives you 85+ live TV channels in addition to ESPN+ and more.
- FloGymnastics: This specialty streaming service gives you access to gymnastics you won’t find anywhere else.
If you are looking for specific information about the Olympics, see our round-up of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Table Of Contents
Gymnastics, more specifically artistic gymnastics, has been one of the most popular sports at the Olympics since 1976, when Nadia Comaneci, a Romanian, earned the first perfect 10.0 score recorded at the Games. In fact, it was displayed as 1.00 on the in-arena scoreboard as a perfect score had not been anticipated. Today, gymnastics remains an essential part of the Olympics while other championship events are also held in the United States and around the world.
If you are based in the US and looking to watch gymnastics at the Olympics, NBCUniversal is where your focus should be. In fact, many of those events are broadcast on NBC, necessitating just an antenna for you to be able to watch. Peacock Premium ($4.99/mo) is another place where you can view plenty of gymnastics coverage at the Games.
But there is much more to gymnastics than the Olympics. Read on to learn more.
Gymnastics is a sport that combines artistry with athleticism, similar to figure skating in that sense. Gymnasts dance, jump, swing, roll, and otherwise move their bodies on a floor and around different pieces of equipment.
This sport actually has ancient origins. Most historians believe that it originated in ancient Greece because it is mentioned in the writings of Aristotle, Homer, and Plato.
Gymnastics has also been a part of the Olympics since the inaugural edition was held in 1896.
Types of Gymnastics
Today, there are three main types of gymnastics that are competed at the Olympics. One is artistic gymnastics, and that is the form that most think of when they are simply speaking of “gymnastics.”
Another is rhythmic gymnastics, which involves a rope, ribbon, ball, hoop, or clubs. A third is trampoline, in which athletes attempt to execute challenging skills while jumping on one.
Types of Events
In artistic gymnastics, competitors compete in numerous events. Women take part in four: balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars, and vault. Men do six: floor exercise, horizontal bar, parallel bars, pommel horse, still rings, and vault. At the Olympics, men’s and women’s teams also participate in all-around events.
In rhythmic gymnastics, there are two competitions at the Olympics, both competed in by women, a team event and an individual event. Meanwhile, in trampoline, there is one event for men and one for women.
The Olympics is where gymnastics receives its most interest. This multi-sport competition is normally held every four years. Team USA will be competing:
- 2024: Paris
- 2028 Los Angeles
- 2032 Brisbane, Australia.
Over the years, famous gymnasts have included Olga Korbut, Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles.
As of October 2021, the USA women’s gymnastics team consisted of Ciena Alipio, Simone Biles, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Skye Blakely, Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Kayla DiCello, Amari Drayton, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Kara Eaker, Armine Barutyan, Addison Fatta, Jen Fatta, eMjae Frazier, Donna Strauss, Olivia Greaves, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Shilese Jones, Emily Lee, Judy Sun, Sunisa Lee, Emma Malabuyo, Grace McCallum, Konnor McClain, Riley McCusker, Zoe Miller, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Ava Siegfeldt, Jake Lee, MyKayla Skinner, and Leanne Wong.
As of March 2022, the USA men’s gymnastics team consisted of Cameron Bock, Alex Diab, Vitaliy Guimaraes, Asher Hong, Paul Juda, Ian Lasic-Ellis, Riley Loos, Brody Malone, Yul Moldauer, Stephen Nedoroscik, Curran Phillips, Colt Walker, Shane Wiskus, Alec Yoder, and Khoi Young.
As far as top countries in artistic gymnastics at the Olympics go, through the 2020 Games, Japan has the most men’s medals with 101 and is trailed by the former Soviet Union’s 94 and the US’s 63. On the women’s side, the Soviet Union has set the pace with 88 while Romania, a country with little recent success, is second with 62. The US is also third in this table, with 54 medals.
However, devoted gymnastics fans know that the Olympics are not the limit of this sport’s reach. Most notably, seven different types of World Championships are held for various gymnastics disciplines. They all take place either every two years or more:
- Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships
- Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships
- Artistic Gymnastics World Championships
- Parkour World Championships
- Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships
- Trampoline and Tumbling Gymnastics World Championships
- World Aesthetic Group Gymnastics Championships.
National championship events also attract interest in some countries, such as the USA Gymnastics National Championships.
In addition, women’s college gymnastics within the US has taken off and is performed in front of large crowds. Several SEC schools regularly garner attendances of around 10,000. And the non-SEC Utah Utes have even surpassed that, generally averaging around 15,000 per home meet.
Men’s college gymnastics also garners interest, albeit not as much as the women’s teams do.
Heading into the 2022 seasons, Georgia and Utah have the most women’s team national championships with 10 and 9, respectively. Penn State and Oklahoma both have 12 men’s championship trophies.
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Gymnastics on Television
Simply having access to your local NBC affiliate will garner you plenty of gymnastics coverage at the Olympics as this is one of the most-watched Olympic sports in the US. NBC has responded to that interest by giving it prominent primetime coverage on a regular basis.
NBC Sports also has the domestic broadcasting rights for the USA Gymnastics National Championships and showcases some of it on NBC as well. This also includes qualifying events often shown on Olympic Channel. Meanwhile, various world championship events are also shown on NBC-related outlets.
As for women’s college gymnastics, ESPN owns the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships rights. There, the semifinals are broadcast on ESPN2 while ABC shows the team finals. For regular-season meets, the SEC Network is a particularly good place to go as so many of the country’s top teams are a part of that conference.
Meanwhile, you can watch the NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships through NCAA.com (free) and Big Ten Network-related outlets, including the channel by that name and BTN+ ($14.95/mo).
There are various ways of streaming gymnastics. There are two specialty services and then some live TV services.
FloGymnastics ($29.99/mo) provides a significant selection of gymnastics meets for subscribers to watch. These include Big Ten meets and various professional competitions, including junior events at the USA Gymnastics National Championships, which are accessible to everyone, and senior events at that competition for subscribers who are not located in the US.
Peacock Premium ($4.99/mo) is where you can watch numerous gymnastics events, ranging from those taking place at the Olympics to various world and national championship competitions.
There is no DVR but you can watch on up to three devices at once. For more details see our Peacock review.
Live TV Streaming Services
All of these services provide access to some or all of the channels to watch gymnastics.
- FuboTV: Offers NBC, ESPN, and Big Ten Network as well for $69.99/mo. But if you want to watch ESPNU and SEC Network, you need to also get its Fubo Extra add-on ($7.99/mo) or its Sports Plus with NFL RedZone add-on ($10.99/mo). (FuboTV review)
- DIRECTV STREAM: The former AT&T TV’s base plan ($69.99/mo) provides you with access to ABC, NBC, USA, and CNBC, so you should be all set if you are looking to watch televised professional gymnastics competitions. However, if you also want the Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and ESPNU, you will need to make the bump up to its Choice plan ($89.99/mo). (DIRECTV STREAM review)
- Sling TV: Get the NBC and ESPN channels for $50/mo with the Orange & Blue plan. Get ESPNU, Big Ten, and other league channels with the Sports Extra add-on for $15/mo. (Sling TV review)
- Hulu + Live TV: This is a solid option for securing access to NBCUniversal and ESPN channels for $69.99/mo. It also includes an outstanding on-demand library, ESPN+, and Disney+. (Hulu + Live TV review)
- Vidgo: For $59.95/mo, you get ABC, NBC, ESPNU, SEC Network, and Big Ten Network. It does not offer any NBCUniversal channels, however. (Vidgo review)
- YouTube TV: Provides access to local affiliates of national broadcasting networks and national sports channels for $64.99/mo.
Devices to Live Stream Gymnastics
FloSports, Peacock, and the Live TV streaming services all support the following devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile
- Apple TV
- Web Browsers.
Most also support Android, LG, Samsung, and VIZIO smart TVs. And the Xbox One gaming system is widely supported.
See our individual reviews for the full list of supported devices.
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Simply put, NBCUniversal is where US-based fans can find most of the gymnastics coverage that they are looking for, particularly if that solely involves the Olympics but even if it also branches out to national and world championship events. ESPN channels are where you can see most NCAA events. We recommend Hulu + Live TV for this purpose.
If you want to watch smaller events, you should sign up with FloGymnastics.
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