How to watch Modern Pentathlon at Olympics 2020: key dates, live stream and more

Athletes compete in the swimming element of modern pentathlon
(Image credit: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

For sports fans after something different at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the modern pentathlon is like an ultra-high-stakes version of game shows like Takeshi’s Castle, where participants have to navigate various tricky courses just to get to the final. Follow our guide below as we explain what modern pentathlon is and how to watch an Olympics modern pentathlon live stream.

Live stream modern pentathlon at 2020 Olympics

Dates: Thursday, August 5 - Saturday, August 7

Venue: Musashino Forest Sport Plaza and Tokyo Stadium

FREE live streams: BBC iPlayer (UK) | 7Plus (AUS) | CBC (Can) | TVNZ (NZ)

US coverage: NBC channels (or Sling TV / Fubo TV)

Watch anywhere: try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free

This sport sees athletes competing in five disciplines: fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, and laser run (shooting and cross-country running, combined).

Russia’s Aleksander Lesun and Australia’s Chloe Esposito won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and they hope to repeat the feat this time. But five years is a long time, and they’re going to face stiff competition from all corners. Look out for France’s Valentin Belaud (2019 World Champion) and Elodie Clouvel (Rio Olympics silver medallist).

In this article, we look at the key event dates and how you can watch modern pentathlon at Olympics 2020 live and online. For additional information on the other games, read this detailed guide on how to get an Olympics live stream for all this summer's gold-tinted sporting action.

Olympics 2020 modern pentathlon: key dates and times

  • Women's Individual - Fencing Ranking Round: Thursday, August 5 from 1:00pm JST / 5:00am BST / 12:00am ET
  • Men's Individual - Fencing Ranking Round: Thursday, August 5 from 4:30pm JST / 8:30am BST / 3:30am ET
  • Women's Individual - Swimming 200m Freestyle Heat 6: Friday, August 6 from 3:00pm JST / 7:00am BST / 2:00am ET
  • Women's Individual - Riding Show Jumping: Friday, August 6 from 5:15pm JST / 9:15am BST / 4:15am ET
  • Women's Individual - Laser Run: Friday, August 6 from 7:30pm JST / 11:30am BST / 6:30am ET
  • Men's Individual - Swimming 200m Freestyle Heat 6: Saturday, August 7 from 3:00pm JST / 7:00am BST / 2:00am ET
  • Men's Individual - Riding Show Jumping: Saturday, August 7 from 5:15pm JST / 9:15am BST / 4:15am ET
  • Men's Individual - Laser Run: Saturday, August 7 from 7:30pm JST / 11:30am BST / 6:30am ET

Free Olympics modern pentathlon live stream

Catch a modern pentathlon Olympic live stream where you are with many native broadcasters offering free coverage across the Olympics schedule. In the UK, BBC and BBC iPlayer will be broadcasting live coverage of key events, while Channel 7 in Australia, and its online counterpart, 7Plus, lead the charge with the most comprehensive live stream across all events.

Other countries with free Olympic live streams include RTE in Ireland, TF1 in France, and ARD and ZDF in Germany.

How to watch your Olympics live stream when abroad

No matter where you are around the world, there should be an Olympic Games stream to ensure you can watch Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, whether paid-for or free. However, you may find your preferred domestic coverage is geo-restricted when abroad, or that your place of work, college, or school has prevented the ability to access your chosen service and watch online.

Thankfully, there's any easy work-around. Simply download a VPN and you can spoof your device into appearing as if it's located somewhere else. Essentially, then, you can appear as if you're where your coverage is geo-locked to and watch as if you're right at home.

Use a VPN to watch Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from anywhere

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Three simple steps to using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions:

1. Download and install a VPN - our recommendation is ExpressVPN

2. Connect to the relevant server location - launch the VPN app, click on 'choose location' and select the right location, i.e. UK for iPlayer, US for Sling TV

3. Head to the chosen broadcaster's live stream - so if you're from the UK, just head to BBC iPlayer

Team GB's modern pentathlon athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

(Image credit: Harry Trump/Getty Images for British Olympic Association)

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FREE Olympics modern pentathlon live stream in the UK

extensive free coverage

The BBC will be providing extensive free coverage throughout the 2020 Olympics, so UK residents are spoilt for choice, with BBC One, BBC Two, and <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">iPlayer offering live streams. However, for once, BBC is not the be-all-and-end-all. 

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Discovery+ has the majority of the rights to stream this years Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Eurosport also an option for an Olympic live stream. 

You'll need the Entertainment & Sport pass for £6.99 per month or £29.99 per year. Try before you buy with the 3-day free trial, and watch from your phone, laptop, or Smart TV. 

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Eurosport is also £6.99 per month, or £29.99 a year.

If you’re abroad for the Olympics, access your favorite home streaming services by downloading and <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">installing a VPN. That way, you won’t miss any events.

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How to watch Olympics modern pentathlon in the US with and without cable


Those in the US with a cable subscription can access full Olympic coverage via <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">NBC, either online or on TV. But don’t worry if this isn’t included in your cable setup; you can also head to streaming services like Peacock, Sling TV and Fubo TV. 

While <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Peacock offers a free service with plenty of on-demand TV shows and movies, you’ll need to upgrade to a Premium account ($4.99/month) or an ad-free Premium Plus account ($9.99/month) to live stream the 2020 Olympics - and even this coverage is limited.

Alternatively, Sling TV’s streaming service will also be broadcasting the 2020 Olympics with all NBC and NBCSN's coverage available via the platform. Subscribe to the <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""">Sling Blue package (usually $35 a month) which includes NBCSN, and you can currently get your <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">first month for just $10

You can use Google Chrome Browser, Samsung TV, iOS, Android, and other devices to access these platforms.

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How to watch Olympics modern pentathlon in Canada


Those living in Canada benefit from a choice of channels airing the Olympics, as coverage is split across CBC, TSN, Sportsnet, and TLN.

If you don’t have cable, you still have options. CBC, TSN, and Sportsnet also provide standalone streaming services. CBC is great value, offering a free first month and then a low monthly subscription cost of just CA$4.99. That said, you can get a ton of free Olympic coverage on CBC, too, via <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">its website and app.

Alternatively, <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">TSN is more expensive at CA$4.99 per day or CA$19.99 per month, and Sportsnet Now will also set you back CAD 19.99 a month.

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How to live stream modern pentathlon at the Olympics for FREE in Australia

free coverage of the 2020 Olympics

Modern pentathlon fans in Australia can benefit from Channel 7’s free coverage of the 2020 Olympics or use its online streaming service, <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">7plus, which offers extensive, 24/7 coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

This is available on the majority of web-enabled devices, but you can check out the website for further information. 

Not in Australia? <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Use a VPN if you're away from home, in order to tap into your local Olympics coverage.

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How to watch Olympic modern pentathlon in New Zealand


New Zealand also has free Olympics coverage in 2021 thanks to broadcaster TVNZand its <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">TVNZ OnDemand streaming service, with Olympic coverage airing 24/7 on TVNZ 1 and online.

If that isn't quite enough, then Sky Sport is also carrying the action, with a weekly pass costing from $19.99.

Other 2020 Olympics broadcasters around the world

With many countries around the world taking part in the Olympic Games, you can find a broadcaster to watch Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in most countries, whether free or platforms that charge.

For those countries we haven't mentioned above, Wikipedia's dedicated page allows you to see a breakdown of Olympic Games TV channels to tune into.

Nikshep Myle is a freelance writer covering tech, health, and wellbeing. He has written for popular tech blogs like Tom's Guide, GadgetReview, SlashGear, and Creative Bloq, and has extensively reviewed consumer gadgets. When he’s not writing, you’ll find him meditating, gaming, discovering new music, and indulging in adventurous and creative pursuits.