For an entire month every four years, the FIFA World Cup dominates the sporting spotlight. And for both diehard or fair-weather soccer fans cheering on their country (or another one if theirs didn’t make the cut like the U.S. men’s team), it’s an electrifying four weeks. If you can’t be there in person, here is how you can watch the 2018 World Cup via TV and live streams — and everything else you need to know.
How to watch the World Cup 2018 on TV
If you are watching from the U.S. and haven’t cut the cord, you have a few options, depending on your language preference. For English, 2018 World Cup games will be televised on Fox Sports and FS1 (a television schedule can be found here). If you want to watch in Spanish, the NBC Universal owned Telemundo and NBC Universo will broadcast World Cup games. (The 2018 World Cup schedule can be found here.) Fox Sports GO and FoxSports.com are also streaming the World Cup, and you can sign in via your TV provider to watch on the go.
How to watch the World Cup 2018 via live streaming
For those without cable or satellite television, you’ll be able to watch World Cup games through a streaming service that carries Fox, FS1 or Telemundo like Sling TV, YouTubeTV, FuboTV, DirectTV Now, etc. Though some like Sling and DirectTV Now offer short free trials, the aforementioned streaming services all require subscriptions, so you will need to shell out between $25 to $45 per month, depending on the package you get.
You’ll also need to make sure that whatever streaming service you sign up for is compatible with your cable box alternative — a Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku device, Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-Ray player, game consul, etc.
How to watch the World Cup 2018 for free
There are several options if you are a cord cutter who doesn’t want to pay for a streaming service to watch the World Cup. First, you can buy a digital antenna, which should be able to pick up Fox and allow you to watch games on live TV. Second — though the 2018 World Cup games are airing early given the time difference — you can always look up local bars showing World Cup games. How much you spend on booze and bar food is up to you.
When is the first World Cup game of 2018?
The first World Cup game of 2018 is between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and it begins at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT. It’s the only match being played on Day One. The matches begin in earnest on June 15 with games between Spain and Portugal, Morocco and Iran, and Egypt and Uruguay.
The World Cup 2018 schedule
The schedule can be found on the FIFA World Cup website. The 64 World Cup matches are broken up into two phases: the group phase and the knockout phase.
Teams have been organized into eight groups (A through H), during which they play teams from their group. Winners in those groups move onto the knockout phase. You can see the group phase matchups here and knockout phase dates and times here.
The World Cup 2018, beyond football fandom
As previously mentioned the FIFA World Cup is also a huge business venture across industries. Despite the amount it takes to organize present a World Cup, FIFA can rake in a profit. During the 2014 Brazil games, FIFA brought in a revenue of $4.8 billion. The organization spent $2.2 billion and made $2.6 billion in profits. The overall revenue came from TV rights ($2.4 billion), sponsorships ($1.6 billion), and ticket sales ($527 million).