The U.S. men’s soccer team is sitting out the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia — but fans of the beautiful game in the States will be able to watch along with the rest of the world in a myriad of ways.
This year’s World Cup kicks off on Thursday, June 14, and runs through the final on July 15. Both Fox Sports and Telemundo will carry all 64 matches on TV, and they’ll also be live-streamed on digital platforms.
On TV, Fox Sports will deliver an unprecedented 38 games on Fox broadcast stations — which may have been optimistic, given the U.S. team’s failure to qualify for the tournament. The remaining 26 matches will air on Fox Sports 1 (FS1). Telemundo Deportes will air 56 Spanish-language broadcasts on Telemundo stations and eight on NBCU’s Universo cable channel. Fox’s single-page calendar with the 2018 World Cup broadcast schedule is available at this link. Telemundo’s complete programming schedule is available at this link.
While all the World Cup action — and other related programming — will be available online, to access it both Fox Sports and Telemundo will require users to log in with pay-TV provider credentials.
Here’s how to watch online:
- Fox Sports will deliver all matches live-streamed at FoxSports.com and via Fox Sports Go apps (for iOS and Android). The World Cup games also will be available on Fox.com and the Fox Now apps for authenticated subscribers of participating cable and satellite TV partners, along with match replays and live and on-demand episodes of “World Cup Tonight” and other programming.
- Fox Bonus Feeds: In addition to the main broadcast stream, Fox Sports will deliver five bonus feeds for each of the 64 FIFA World Cup matches. Those are Team Channels, encompassing three live video feeds (match simulcast, player and coach/bench) for each country’s team; Match 360, behind-the-scenes views two hours before each match kickoff; Tactical View, a feed from a camera positioned high above one of the goals to show all 22 players on the pitch; a Cable Cam, which is suspended above the pitch; and a highlights feed with a continuous loop showing significant plays as they happen from multiple angles and in super slow-motion.
- Telemundo’s coverage of the World Cup will be available via the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo apps (for iOS and Android) and Telemundo stations’ apps. In addition, the matches will be available via the NBC Sports app (for iOS and Android), as well as most connected-TV platforms, including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Xbox, Sony PlayStation, and Samsung Smart TVs.
Other ways to watch this year’s World Cup in the U.S.:
Internet TV Services: Cord-cutters have other options without subscribing to a traditional pay-TV service, as several internet TV services carry Fox broadcast networks and FS1. Those include Dish Network’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, Sony PlayStation Vue and FuboTV. (Note that not all packages include access to local Fox stations in all areas or FS1.)
Virtual Reality: Fox Sports is teaming with social-VR startup LiveLike to stream all 64 games of the World Cup in virtual reality, available in the Fox Sports VR app (for iOS and Android) with or without a headset. The content is available only to subscribers of participating pay-TV operators. With the app, users can view any match with their Facebook friends (or select a viewing partner at random) and set up avatars in a virtual “suite,” where they’re able to toggle between views or select a director’s cut that automatically selects the best camera angle for live game action. In addition, Facebook’s Oculus will stream four World Cup matches for free in its Oculus Venues social co-viewing app.
Correction: An earlier version of this article, based on a prior announcement from Fox Sports, incorrectly reported that the Fox Soccer Match Pass streaming-subscription service would live-stream the 2018 World Cup matches. In fact, Fox is not providing the World Cup broadcasts through Fox Soccer Match Pass, which does not require a pay-TV subscription.
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