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The 2014 FIFA World Cup is about to start in Brazil this week, and with it, fans around the world will be scrambling to watch games while at work, on the go, or even at home after they cut the cord and got rid of their cable subscription. Luckily, there are a number of streaming options out there, and plenty of opportunities for cord cutters to make sure they’re in on the action.
For everything you need to know about the when and how, check out our ultimate 2014 World Cup viewing guide:
When to watch: the 2014 World Cup schedule
The official FIFA website hosts the schedule for all matches as currently standing, and also offers a handy tool to help you switch between local time in Brazil and your own time zone.
Where to watch if you’re in the U.S.
ESPN: The sports network will be streaming all 64 games from the first kick-off to the finale through its WatchESPN apps, which are available for iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, Kindle Fire tablets and Windows 8 tablets and PCs. Users can also access the stream through the WatchESPN website as well as through dedicated apps for Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku streaming boxes, Apple TV, Xbox One and Xbox 360, and both the Android and iOS app can cast the streams to Google’s Chromecast streaming stick. ESPN will offer these streams in English, Portuguese and Korean, and online viewers will apparently be able to switch between multiple camera angles.
However, ESPN only makes these streams available to viewers that pay for TV service and have ESPN as part of their channel lineup. Streams are also limited to customers of pay TV providers that have so-called TV Everywhere deals with ESPN, which includes Comcast, AT&T, Dish and Cox, but not DirecTV and a few others. Check ESPN’s website to see if your operator is on ESPN’s friendlies’ list, otherwise you’ll have to check for other options.
Univision: Spanish-language broadcaster Univision will also stream each and every game on its website as well as through dedicated apps for iPhones and iPads as well as Android phones and tablets. Univision’s broadcasts as well as the apps themselves will be in Spanish, so it may be time to polish up your vocabulary, especially if you’re a cord cutter: Univision will stream the first 56 games without the need to sign in with a pay TV provider login. However, the quarterfinals, semifinals and the finale will only be made available to customers of pay TV providers the network has a deal with, which at this point include AT&T, Bright House, Optimum, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, but not Comcast.
And there is a silver lining for cord cutters: Univision will broadcast all of the games for free, over the air via local Univision affiliates, so all you need is an antenna. Fifty-six games, including all of the ones that have streams restricted to pay TV customers, will be available via Univision over the air, and be simulcast on the Univision Desposportes cable network. Eight games will only air on the broadcaster’s UniMás network (and simulcast on the Galavisión cable network), which is available over the air in some, but not all markets. You can visit this channel calculator to see whether you have access to Univision and UniMás.
TuneIn: Can’t watch the games, but still want to follow along live? There’s always radio: ESPN Radio will be broadcasting all 64 games. You can listen to it via your local affiliate, or through TuneIn, which aggregates all the games on its site and also streams them through its iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
Where to watch if you’re in other countries
The World Cup is being broadcast by TV networks around the globe, many of which will also stream the games live online. We can’t possibly list links for every country on earth here, but you should check this Wikipedia article if you want to know which broadcaster has the rights for the event in your country. Here are a few select broadcasters from countries with English-language programming:
Australia: SBS will stream each and every game on its website as well as through its iOS and Android apps.
Carribean: Carribean sportscaster SportsMax is selling a World Cup live streaming pass for $15 for all 64 games, which gives access to live streams on mobile devices, connected TVs, game consoles and the web.
U.K.: The BBC and local broadcaster ITV streams each and every game for free and without the need for a pay TV subscription online. BBC games are accessible through the broadcaster’s iPlayer, which is available on the web as well for iOS, Android, Chromecast as well as a variety of game consoles, connected TV platforms and TV set-top boxes. ITV games are available through the ITV Player, which is available on the web as well as on Android and iOS. A detailed schedule showing which games air on which broadcaster is available on the BBC’s website (thanks, Grumbledook!).
We will update this list with other worthwhile links throughout the World Cup, and we’ve turned off comments because every time we publish one of these guides, we’re inundated by links to streams of questionable propriety and legality. However, feel free to contact us if you think we did forget something worthwhile.