FIFA World Cup 2018: How To Watch Live, Online And Free [Updated]

2018 World Cup Watch Online In AustraliaImage: Adidas

They don't call it the 'World Game' for nothing: Alongside the Summer Olympics, the FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet. Over four weeks, the best 32 teams in the world will compete in 64 games to determine a winner. Here's everything you need to know about watching the 2018 World Cup in Australia.

How To Watch The 2018 World Cup On TV

You will be able to tune into SBS's free-to-air channels to watch Australia and "game of the day" games live. In all, just 25 matches (from a total of 64) will be broadcast live. Here's the SBS broadcast schedule.

Update: SBS will now broadcast every match during the group stage. Details here!

How To Watch The 2018 World Cup Online

Unlike in previous years, Optus has snapped up the rights to stream the World Cup in Australia. (Sadly, this means you can't just rely on SBS for all your soccer needs.)

To watch online, you'll need the Optus Sport app which will set non-Optus customers back $14.99 a month. (Note: If you're already an Optus customer, you might be eligible for Optus Sport - check your inclusions.)

On the plus side, Optus will be streaming every single game of the World Cup live, so you don't need to swap between various platforms and services. Phew. Crucially, the app is compatible with Chromecast which means you can stream the matches directly to your big-screen television. There's also no lock-in contract, so you can cancel as soon as the World Cup finishes.

Update: Optus has elected to stream every group stage match for free. Details here!

Alternatively, you can watch select matches for free via the SBS 2018 FIFA World Cup webasite.

How To Watch The 2018 World Cup On Your Phone

Watching the World Cup on a tiny smartphone screen is bonkers but we understand it's sometimes your only option. The Optus Sport app is available to download from the iTunes and Google Play stores. Likewise, SBS's World Cup coverage is available on Android and iOS.

How To Watch The 2018 World Cup For Free

Sadly, this year's World Cup will not be broadcast in its entirety on free-to-air TV. (Optus didn't spend all that money for nothing!) As mentioned above, you will be able to watch 25 matches - including most of the big ones that people care about - on SBS.

If you don't care about watching live, the Optus Sport app will be providing free On-Demand match replays to non-subscribers. Simply download the app, sign up for a free account and you're set.

Five Ways To Watch The World Cup For Free In Australia

'.For the past few decades, it's been possible for Aussies to enjoy the FIFA World Cup without paying for the privilege - telly reception permitting, of course. This year, Optus has snapped up the rights to the event in Australia which means you can no longer rely on free-to-air TV. Fortunately, there are still options available for those who refuse to pay..'

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How To Watch The 2018 World Cup In HD

Want to watch the World Cup in HD? Of course you do! If you have a compatible laptop or HD TV, you can catch every SBS game in glorious high-definition. Click here for details.

How To Watch The 2018 World Cup On Foxtel

The short answer is: you can't. With SBS and Optus stitching up the rights to the World Game, this is one occasion when a costly Pay TV sports package won't come to the rescue. Tch.

How To Watch The 2018 World Cup On The Radio

SBS Radio will be providing live coverage of all 64 matches in multiple languages. Click here!

Where Is The FIFA World Cup 2018?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is being hosted in Russia. Scarily, there was talk of Australia boycotting the event over Russian spy allegations, but cooler heads prevailed in the end.

The Socceroos Might Not Play In The 2018 World Cup

'.We have some potentially devastating news for Socceroos fans. in response to the ongoing stoush between Russia and our international allies, the government has announced that Australia may boycott the upcoming World Cup in Russia as a retaliatory response. Here are the details..'

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FIFA World Cup 2018 Groups

The qualifying teams are divided into eight groups, followed by a series of knockout stages which begin on June 30. The initial groupings are deliberately skewed to give the best performing teams a higher chance of progressing. (Otherwise, you could end up with too many shock upsets.)

Here are the groups for the opening stage:

Image: FIFA

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

As you can see, Australia has it's work cut out for it if it wants to progress to the knockout rounds. Even drawing against France, Peru or Denmark is going to take a lot of skill, luck and mettle.

How To Just Watch Australia In The 2018 World Cup

If you're a fair-weather fan, you're probably only interested in watching the Socceroos play. It's highly unlikely that Australia will progress beyond the first stage, but that still means you have three matches to enjoy. Here are the times in each state and territory:

Game 1 (France vs Australia): Saturday June 16

  • Perth, WA: 6pm
  • Darwin, NT: 7:30pm
  • Adelaide, SA: 7:30pm
  • Brisbane, QLD: 8pm
  • Sydney, NSW: 8pm
  • Canberra, ACT: 8pm
  • Melbourne, VIC: 8pm
  • Hobart, TAS: 8pm

Game 2 (Denmark vs Australia): Thursday June 21

  • Perth, WA: 8pm
  • Darwin, NT: 9:30pm
  • Adelaide, SA: 9:30pm
  • Brisbane, QLD: 10pm
  • Sydney, NSW: 10pm
  • Canberra, ACT: 10pm
  • Melbourne, VIC: 10pm
  • Hobart, TAS: 10pm

Game 3 (Peru vs Australia): Wednesday June 27

  • Perth, WA: 10pm (June 26)
  • Darwin, NT: 11:30pm (June 26)
  • Adelaide, SA: 11:30pm (June 26)
  • Brisbane, QLD: 12am
  • Sydney, NSW: 12am
  • Canberra, ACT: 12am
  • Melbourne, VIC: 12am
  • Hobart, TAS: 12am

If you interest in the World Cup begins and ends with Australia, you can find out more about watching them live in our dedicated Socceroos guide.

How To Watch Australia At The 2018 World Cup

'.Football fever is about to sweep the nation once again as the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia. The Australian soccer team - the Socceroos - limped to the qualifying line, overcoming some pretty dismal performances along the way to qualify as one of the World's 'Best 32' teams. They've got some tough competition in the first Group Stage, taking on France, Denmark and Peru. How will they fare? Let's not discuss, let's just hope. Here's when and where to catch every game the Socceroos play in at the World Cup, live and free!.'

Read more

When Is The World Cup Final?

The World Cup 2018 Final will take place on Monday, July 16. Kickoff is scheduled for approximately 1am AEST.


Comments

    Umm I'm pretty sure the first game to kick off is Russia v Suadi Arabia at 1am on Friday.
    Plus the Eygpt v Uruguay game kick off time is 10pm AEST.

    Wait, so Optus has exclusive rights to most of the games, but they're not streaming them in HD?? Am I understanding this correctly??

      The Optus app claims the following

      The Optus Sport app and website has been built to support adaptive bitrates. This means that the video quality received by the device adapts automatically to match the bandwidth that the device is receiving, resulting in very little buffering, faster start times and an overall better experience for all types of connections.

      It tries to give you the best looking stream your data rate can handle.

      On top of that, it might depend on what you deem HD. Anything better than about 540p is HD in official terms, but I doubt many people would consider DVD level quality high def.

      If you're after 1080p or better though, I doubt you'll get it. But you might, if you're able to stream off your home wifi, I'm not sure. Then maybe cast to a chromecast or similar.

        I mean of course I'm talking about 1080p. Who the hell talks about 720p anymore? lol

          Who the hell talks about 720p anymore?

          Fully agree with you, but broadcasters still do. I assumed you meant 1080p, but broadcasters arent so open about it. They scream "its HD! It's HD!", and it is, but thats only because the definition is so low. So was just putting it out there that HD doesnt necessarily mean what you expect it to.

          When Foxtel starting doing HD broadcasts, not many people realised that the peak quality was 1080i. Not sure if its still that, but it wouldnt surprise me. People just assumed that HD meant 1080p standard, and it never did, simply because the jump from 1080i to 1080p was a surprisingly big leap in data to be transmitted, so they took the lower option.

    So optus sport $15 subscription is charging through itunes... so I'm assuming if you get a bunch of itunes credit with a discount... it will be cheaper

    Last edited 19/06/18 10:51 pm

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