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.
The easiest way to watch every World Cup game live is via the Optus Sport app – which will set you back a minimum of $30. If that sounds like too much money, you can try these other options instead. (None of them are perfect, but for the asking price they’re not bad!)
Watch the World Cup free: On SBS
Old faithful SBS hasn’t been shut out completely – you’ll still be able to watch every Socceroos match live and select “games of the day” on SBS’s free-to-air channels. 25 matches will be broadcast in total, which means you’re missing out on 39 games. Better than nothing.
Watch the World Cup free: Online
Again, SBS is your best bet here, with the 2018 FIFA World Cup website providing a live stream of the aforementioned games. You can also get mobile-optimised versions on Android and iOS. (As an added bonus, it’s also available in HD.)
Watch the World Cup free: Via Optus
As mentioned, the Optus Sport app isn’t free – a premium account will set you back $14.99 per month. However, there’s also a free version which includes on-demand replays of select matches, show highlights and access to interviews, press conferences and more.
The kicker is that most of the free content isn’t live. However, with many matches starting at ungodly hours in Australia, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – just set up your devices to avoid World Cup spoilers and watch the available matches at your leisure!
The match times for World Cup fixtures this year are a little less punishing for Aussie fans then they were four years ago, but if you're like me, you'll still probably watch some of the earlier games on your phone from the cosy comfort of bed.Read more
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a new mobile or internet provider, you may want to sign up for a plan that includes Optus Sport. You will need to pay for the plan of course, but you’ll also get free access to every World Cup game (plus a bunch of other sports.) Click here for the best available plans.
‘Watch’ the World Cup free: On the radio
Who needs pretty pictures when you’ve got perfectly good ears? SBS Radio will have live commentary of every game in multiple languages. Click here for more info!
Watch the World Cup free: Down the pub
For a pseudo stadium experience, it’s hard to look past a pub or sports bar. Here are all the venues that will be showing 2018 World Cup matches – simply type in your postcode to find the closest establishment to your location!
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.Read more