After a gruelling qualification process lasting more than three years, the men’s football World Cup is well underway. 32 teams made it to Qatar for the first ever winter staging of the tournament, although the hosts are controversial for a variety of reasons.
Holders France and five-time winners Brazil made it to the last 16 with a game to spare, but plenty of high-profile nations found things much tougher going in the group.
England made Group B look relatively easy, though, with the USA joining them in the last 16. Here’s everything you need to know about watching all the upcoming World Cup matches live – wherever you are in the world.
Which World Cup matches are on TV?
Every single World Cup game is being broadcast live in the US and UK. Here are all the upcoming matches:
Fri 2 Dec
- Ghana vs Uruguay – 7am PT/10am ET/3pm GMT
- South Korea vs Portugal – 7am PT/10am ET/3pm GMT
- Cameroon vs Brazil – 11am PT/2pm ET/7pm GMT
- Serbia vs Switzerland – 11am PT/2pm ET/7pm GMT
Sat 3 Dec
- Netherlands vs USA – 7am PT/10am ET/3pm GMT
- Argentina vs Australia – 11am PT/2pm ET/7pm GMT
Sun 4 Dec
- France vs Poland – 7am PT/10am ET/3pm GMT
- England vs Senegal – 11am PT/2pm ET/7pm GMT
When is the next USA match?
The USA made it out of the group in second place behind England, and will play Group A winners Netherlands in the last 16. The match kicks off at 7am PT, 10am ET or 3pm GMT on Saturday 3 December.
When is the next England match?
England finished top of Group B, so will play Group A runners-up Senegal on Sunday 4 December. The match also takes place at 11am PT, 2pm ET or 7pm GMT.
How to watch the World Cup in the US
Fox Sports has exclusive rights to the World Cup in the US, with matches broadcast on both the main Fox Channel and Fox Sports 1.
It’s worth checking if these channels are already included in your cable subscription. If not, you can sign up via any of the following:
- DirecTV – from $69.99 per month
- Dish – from $69.99 per month
- FuboTV – from $69.99 per month
- Hulu – from $16.98 per month (with ads) or $23.98 per month (no ads)
- Sling – from $20 per month for first month, then $40 per month thereafter
- Vidgo – from $59.95 per month
Some of these services offer a free trial, so it’s worth checking before you subscribe. But even so, paying for just one month will cover the whole tournament.
All of the channels are available across all your devices, including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and more.
How to watch the World Cup in the UK
In the UK, coverage of the World Cup is split between the BBC and ITV, with both showing the final.
They’re free-to-air channels so don’t charge a subscription fee, although you’ll need a TV Licence to watch live. This costs £159 per year, but there’s no way to pay monthly.
Both the BBC and ITV make live coverage widely available. Aside from on the TV, they’re also available online and on most mobile devices.
Outside of the live games, the BBC and ITV have lots of other coverage of the World Cup available to watch online. If that’s not enough, World Cup sponsors Hisense release 15-20 minute recap of the action and atmosphere every day of the tournament. Known as FIFA World Cup Daily, each episode is filmed from an official fan park in Qatar, and they’re available to watch free on the FIFA website.
Can you watch the World Cup in 4K?
In most cases, yes, although there are caveats. The BBC has confirmed that it’ll be showing all the live games broadcast on BBC One in 4K HDR – including via BBC iPlayer. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case for ITV, with no games shown in 4K.
Fox Sports will broadcast every game in 4K HDR on your TV, but that’s not what you’ll get when streaming. Instead, it’ll be an upscaled version of the 1080p feed – this will be better than regular 1080p, but still not proper 4K.
Of course, you’ll need a TV (or computer, or even phone) that’s capable of outputting at 4K to actually see the benefit.
How to watch the World Cup outside the US or UK
If you’re based outside the US or UK, it’s worth checking which broadcaster has the rights to the World cup in your country. For example, it’s SBS in Australia, TF1 and beIN Sports in France and Viacom18 across the Indian subcontinent.
However, if you’re just visiting another country, accessing your UK-based subscription makes sense.
Until the end of 2020, it was pretty easy for British viewers to watch TV while outside the UK when travelling to another EEA member state. The providers had to allow customers to view content by law but Brexit means that’s no longer the case.
Now you’ll need to use a VPN (virtual private network) to set your location to the UK to unlock the content. The same applies to US viewers wanting to watch the Premier League beyond what is shown on American networks.
Our pick is NordVPN, which also tops our overall best VPN round-up due to its ease-of-use, security features and excellent value for money.