How to Watch All of the FIFA World Cup Without Cable

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The FIFA World Cup is wildly popular in the US and worldwide. And it starts Nov 21st, 2022! You can watch it all without cable. Read on to learn how.

In a hurry? You can watch the World Cup on the Fox Sports channels, which you can get with the following services:

  • FuboTV: Provides over 100 channels with a ton of soccer programming. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
  • Hulu + Live TV: Get the Fox channels as well as ESPN+ and more.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Features everything you need with plenty of options. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.

The FIFA World Cup is the world’s most popular single-sport event. It is held every four years and features the best men’s national soccer teams as evidenced by their performances in qualifiers that had been played over the previous years in addition to the host country or countries receiving automatic berths.

For the most part, this event can be easily watched throughout the world. For those in the US, you will want to secure access to at least two of Fox, Fox Sports 1, Telemundo, and Universo.

Some streaming services to consider include FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Vidgo.

FIFA World Cup 2018
Cropped from FIFA World Cup 2018 by Ali Asad under Pixabay License.

FIFA World Cup Overview

FIFA is short for Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or the International Federation of Association Football. It is the worldwide organizing body for the sport, and it oversees numerous world championships.

In addition to the FIFA World Cup, it also organizes the FIFA Women’s World Cup, U-20 and U-17 World Cups for both men and women, and the FIFA Club World Cup, its only club-based competition.

In addition, it teams up with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to organize Olympic competitions while FIFA-run beach soccer and futsal (indoor soccer) events are also held.

Its most significant former competition was the FIFA Confederations Cup, which involved these national teams: the six continental champions, the host country, and the defending World Cup winners. It was last held in 2017.

World Cup Qualifying

Much of the magic of the World Cup occurs in World Cup qualifying. In fact, in a way, the World Cup is a years-long event with the number making the finals arbitrarily chosen. All countries with national teams that are members of FIFA are eligible to participate, and all or nearly all do.

For the 2022 World Cup, qualifying began on June 6, 2019. Most of the qualifying phases involve home-and-away matches against teams in the same group. The number of games played per country varies. European sides played 8-10 in the group stage while those advancing to the playoffs added one or two more to that total.

World Cup Changes: 2022 to 2026

The World Cup will experience some significant changes between 2022 and 2026.

The 2022 event consists of 32 countries, which are divided into four eight-team groups. The first- and second-place nations from each advance to the round of 16, and the format is single-match elimination from that point on. The 2022 competition is also hosted by one country (Qatar), which has been the norm for this event.

However, in 2026, much changes. For one thing, 48 teams are taking part, a dramatic 50% increase. With that said, there will be a relatively minor increase in the number of European squads, from 13 to 16.

The real changes are occurring elsewhere, such as in Asia, Africa, and North America. Those three continents will receive nearly double the number of places that they were allotted for the 2018 event.

Another major change is that the teams will be divided into three-team groups. That will be the first time that a World Cup will consist of first-round groups not consisting of four nations since two of them in 1950 had three and two teams, respectively, due to withdrawals.

The 2026 World Cup will also be the first to be hosted by three countries (United States, Canada, and Mexico). The only previous World Cup that was hosted by more than one was in 2002 (Japan and South Korea).

How to Watch the FIFA World Cup

The World Cup is broadcast all over the world. How to watch it varies, however.

United States

Fox/FS1 and Telemundo/Universo own the broadcasting rights in the US. The Fox channels will air English-language commentary and the NBC channels will feature Spanish-language announcers.

Antenna

Several World Cup matches are shown on Fox and Telemundo, which are over-the-air networks. As a result, simply using an antenna will allow you to catch all of those games.

One note to consider for matches on both Fox and Telemundo is that the latter will always have on-site commentators while some Fox-broadcast games will have commentators who are off-site.

Fox will show 21 of the 48 group-stage matches in 2022 with the remainder being pushed to FS1. Conversely, Telemundo will broadcast as many group-stage matches as possible, 40, with eight being shown on Universo out of necessity because those occur while two matches are being played simultaneously.

From the Round of 16 through to the final, Fox will show 14 of 16 matches, all but two Round of 16 games, while Telemundo is broadcasting all 16 of those contests.

Streaming Services

All of these channels are available through streaming services:

  • FuboTV: This streaming service ($69.99/mo) is a great place to watch the World Cup as Fox, FS1, Telemundo, and Universo are all included in its base plan. It comes with 1,000 hours of cloud DVR and simultaneous streaming on 10 devices. (FuboTV review)
  • Hulu + Live TV: The base plan ($69.99/mo) provides access to Fox, FS1, and Telemundo. However, if you also want to gain access to Universo, you need to get the Espanol add-on ($4.99/mo) as well. The base plan comes with unlimited cloud DVR (9 month storage) and streaming on two devices at once. (Hulu + Live TV review)
  • DIRECTV STREAM: To get Fox and FS1 through DIRECTV STREAM, you just need its Entertainment plan ($69.99/mo). The Español add-on ($15/mo) including almost 60 other channels including Telemundo and Universo. All plans come with unlimited cloud DVR storage as long as you sign-up online and streaming on up to 20 devices at once. (DIRECTV STREAM review)
  • Sling TV: This is a great option if you also use an antenna. Sling TV offers great hardware deals that allow you to combine streaming and OTA channels in its app. Sling Blue includes Fox (select areas) and FS1 for just $35/mo. You also get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to 3 devices. (Sling TV review)
  • Vidgo: This streaming service is an option if your focuses are Fox and FS1 as it provides access to both in its base plan for $59.95/mo. Neither Telemundo nor Universo are carried by Vidgo. It also lacks a DVR but does allow you to stream on 3 devices. (Vidgo review)
  • YouTube TV: For $64.99/mo, this is a solid choice for watching the World Cup as it offers access to Fox, FS1, Telemundo, and Universo in its base plan.

Outside of the US

Each country has its own broadcasting rights arrangements with FIFA for World Cup coverage.

Canada

CTV, TSN, and RDS team up to provide coverage of World Cup matches to Canadians. Television ratings for the 2022 edition are expected to be especially high with Canada’s national team participating for the first time since 1986.

United Kingdom

BBC and ITV are sharing coverage in the UK, broadcasting matches for those in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Both are over-the-air channels.

Ireland

Those located in the Republic of Ireland should tune to RTE to watch coverage of World Cup games.

Australia

SBS is the FIFA World Cup rights holder in Australia. The network will broadcast all 64 matches with free access.

New Zealand

Sky Sport owns broadcasting rights for World Cup matches within the country of New Zealand.

Devices to Live Stream the FIFA World Cup

You can watch the World Cup on most streaming devices in use today. All the US-based services support these:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android mobile
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • iOS (iPhone,iPad)
  • Roku
  • Web browsers.

Most services also support Android TV devices and Samsung smart TVs. Additionally, FuboTV, Sling, Hulu, and YouTube support LG and VIZIO smart TVs and Xbox systems. Hulu and YouTube also support PlayStation consoles.

Complete details are available in our streaming reviews.

2022 FIFA World Cup Schedule

Group Stage

  • Mon Nov 21 5:00 am: Senegal v Netherlands
  • Mon Nov 21 8:00 am: England v Iran
  • Mon Nov 21 11:00 am: Qatar v Ecuador
  • Mon Nov 21 2:00 pm: USA v Wales/Scotland/Ukraine
  • Tue Nov 22 5:00 am: Argentina v Saudi Arabia
  • Tue Nov 22 8:00 am: Denmark v Tunisia
  • Tue Nov 22 11:00 am: Mexico v Poland
  • Tue Nov 22 2:00 pm: France v Peru/UAE/Australia
  • Wed Nov 23 5:00 am: Germany v Japan
  • Wed Nov 23 8:00 am: Morocco v Croatia
  • Wed Nov 23 11:00 am: Spain v Costa Rica/New Zealand
  • Wed Nov 23 2:00 pm: Belgium v Canada
  • Thu Nov 24 5:00 am: Switzerland v Cameroon
  • Thu Nov 24 8:00 am: Uruguay v South Korea
  • Thu Nov 24 11:00 am: Brazil v Serbia
  • Thu Nov 24 2:00 pm: Portugal v Ghana
  • Fri Nov 25 5:00 am: Qatar v Senegal
  • Fri Nov 25 8:00 am: Wales/Scotland/Ukraine v Iran
  • Fri Nov 25 11:00 am: the Netherlands v Ecuador
  • Fri Nov 25 2:00 pm: England v USA
  • Sat Nov 26 5:00 am: Tunisia v Peru/UAE/Australia
  • Sat Nov 26 8:00 am: Poland v Saudi Arabia
  • Sat Nov 26 11:00 am: France v Denmark
  • Sat Nov 26 2:00 pm: Argentina v Mexico
  • Sun Nov 27 5:00 am: Japan v Costa Rica/New Zealand
  • Sun Nov 27 8:00 am: Belgium v Morocco
  • Sun Nov 27 11:00 am: Croatia v Canada
  • Sun Nov 27 2:00 pm: Spain v Germany
  • Mon Nov 28 5:00 am: Cameroon v Serbia
  • Mon Nov 28 8:00 am: South Korea v Ghana
  • Mon Nov 28 11:00 am: Brazil v Switzerland
  • Mon Nov 28 2:00 pm: Portugal v Uruguay
  • Tue Nov 29 11:00 am: Netherlands v Qatar
  • Tue Nov 29 11:00 am: Ecuador v Senegal
  • Tue Nov 29 2:00 pm: Iran v USA
  • Tue Nov 29 2:00 pm: Wales/Scotland/Ukraine v England
  • Wed Nov 30 11:00 am: Peru/UAE/Australia v Denmark
  • Wed Nov 30 11:00 am: Tunisia v France
  • Wed Nov 30 2:00 pm: Poland v Argentina
  • Wed Nov 30 2:00 pm: Saudi Arabia v Mexico
  • Thu Dec 1 11:00 am: Croatia v Belgium
  • Thu Dec 1 11:00 am: Canada v Morocco
  • Thu Dec 1 2:00 pm: Japan v Spain
  • Thu Dec 1 2:00 pm: Costa Rica/New Zealand v Germany
  • Fri Dec 2 11:00 am: Ghana v Uruguay
  • Fri Dec 2 11:00 am: South Korea v Portugal
  • Fri Dec 2 2:00 pm: Serbia v Switzerland
  • Fri Dec 2 2:00 pm: Cameroon v Brazil

Round of 16

  • Sat Dec 3 11:00 am: Match 49
  • Sat Dec 3 2:00 pm: Match 50
  • Sun Dec 4 2:00 pm: Match 51
  • Sun Dec 4 11:00 am: Match 52
  • Mon Dec 5 11:00 am: Match 53
  • Mon Dec 5 2:00 pm: Match 54
  • Tue Dec 6 11:00 am: Match 55
  • Tue Dec 6 2:00 pm: Match 56

Quarter finals

  • Fri Dec 9 2:00 pm: Match 57
  • Fri Dec 9 11:00 am: Match 58
  • Sat Dec 10 2:00 pm: Match 59
  • Sat Dec 10 11:00 am: Match 60

Semi-finals

  • Tue Dec 13 2:00 pm: Match 61
  • Wed Dec 14 2:00 pm: Match 62

Third-Place Play-Off

  • Sat Dec 17 11:00 am: Match 63

World Cup Final

  • Sun Dec 18 11:00 am: Match 64

Wrapping Up

In order to view World Cup matches in the US, you have a few options.

An antenna will grant you access to games being shown on your local Fox and Telemundo affiliates. Meanwhile, streaming services provide access to all of the channels. For the FIFA World Cup, we recommend FuboTV.

FAQs

What times are 2022 World Cup matches being played?

With the 2022 World Cup taking place in the Middle East, match times will be early in the US, some kicking off at 5 am EST. On days when four matches are played, they will start at 5 am, 8 am, 11 am, and 2 pm EST. Meanwhile, all knockout phase contests will kick off at either 10 am or 2 pm EST.

Who has won the World Cup?

Only eight countries have ever lifted either the Jules Rimet Trophy (1930-70) or FIFA World Cup Trophy (1974-present). Brazil has set the pace by doing so five times while Italy and Germany have done so four times apiece. The latter once did this as a unified country and three times as West Germany. Argentina, Uruguay, and France have two championships apiece while England and Spain have both won one.

Why is the 2022 World Cup being played in the winter?

World Cups had always been played in the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months, but that changed in 2022. The original plan was for that edition to be played during the summer as well. But even with air-conditioned stadiums, Qatar’s summer daily high temperatures of 108 degrees caused the plan to be scrapped. The event was moved to the winter when highs are around 80 instead.

How can I watch other soccer leagues and events?

These guides provide detailed information:

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