2018 World Cup finals: how to watch France vs. Croatia onlineJuly 14, 2018
Are you ready for some football? No, it’s not time for the Super Bowl. It’s the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the biggest football (okay, fine, soccer) tournament in the world. This year’s tournament kicks off today in Russia. Matches will run over the course of the next month, leading up to the finals on July 15th at 11:00am ET / 8:00am PT.
Since the matches are taking place in Russia, the games will air pretty early if you live in the US, with the final — airing at 5:00pm local time if you’re in Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow —set for Sunday morning. So that means you’ll probably want a way to keep up with the matches when you’re away from your TV. You can check out the full schedule here to see when your favorite teams are playing. (Editor’s note: The Verge would never condone goofing off at work to watch some of the greatest soccer stars in the world play for glory and fame in a tournament that only takes place every four years because that would be irresponsible.)
So whether you’re enjoying the games at home, in a browser at your desk next to a spreadsheet, or you’re sneaking in a few minutes on your phone between meetings, here‘s everything you’ll need to stream the World Cup on all your devices.
Traditional broadcast TV / cable:
Fox has the broadcast rights for the entire 2018 World Cup in the US, and the network will divide the matches between the broadcast Fox and cable-only Fox Sports channels: 38 games will air on Fox, tending toward the more significant matches, while the other 26 matches will be available on Fox Sports. And if you just care about catching the final, climatic match between France and Croatia, you’ll want to head straight to your local Fox affiliate. For a full breakdown, check Fox’s schedule here.
If you have a cable login, you can also live stream all the matches online at Fox Sports’ website and the Fox Sports Go app (iOS / Android / Xbox One / Roku / Fire TV) for a variety of set-top boxes and mobile devices.
Additionally, for the first time, you’ll be able to watch the World Cup in glorious 4K and HDR — assuming you’ve got the right TV and cable provider. If you’ve got one of Hisense’s H6E, H8E, or Laser models, you can watch 4K HDR streams of every World Cup match with the Fox Sports World Cup app (you’ll still need a cable login, though). AT&T’s DirecTV network is broadcasting all games in 4K HDR, and Dish is showing 56 of the 64 games live in 4K HDR. Comcast Xfinity X1 customers will be able to watch on-demand a day later in 4K HDR, and Layer3 TV / Altice will also be broadcasting in 4K.
No cable? Try the internet:
If you don’t have a cable login, you’re not totally out of luck. Internet TV services like Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Fubo, and PlayStation Vue all offer Fox and Fox Sports, so you‘ll still be able to watch all the matches if you’re a subscriber. Again, if you just care about the final, that’s on Fox, so make sure your service offers it in your area before you sign up.
Most of these services also offer free trials: Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Now, Fubo, and YouTube TV all give you one free week, and PlayStation Vue gives you five days. That’s not nearly long enough for the full tournament, but if you combine a couple of them, you might be able to make it to the finals in July. Or you could just pay for a month of service and then cancel it afterward, which is probably easier.
That’s right, for the first time, you’ll also be able to enjoy a few select World Cup matches in VR through the Oculus Venues service: the Germany vs. Mexico game at 11AM ET on June 17th, Portugal vs. Morocco at 8AM ET on June 20th, Brazil vs. Costa Rica at 8AM ET on June 22nd, and England vs. Panama at 8AM ET on June 24th. Venues is supported by the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go.
Additionally, the Fox Sports VR app will have other World Cup games available for US viewers, although you’ll need to log in with a cable provider to view them.
Update, July TKTK 11:30AM: Updated post in preparation for the World Cup finals on July 16th.
Update, June 15th 11:30AM: Added information about 4K HDR streaming options for the World Cup.
Correction, June 14th 2:15PM: The article originally said that Fox’s Soccer Match Pass app would be streaming the World Cup. But the company has declined to stream the games through that subscription service. You’ll need cable credentials to watch via the Fox Sports app.