World Cup 2018 TV Guide: Where to watch in the UK and how to stream it in 4K
James R | On 13, Jun 2018
This Thursday sees the FIFA World Cup 2018 arrive on UK TV screens, kicking off a month of football beamed into our living rooms live from Russia. 32 teams, including England, will compete to take home the World Cup, with Germany looking to defend its title against the likes of Brazil, France and Argentina. Now in its 21st year, TV coverage has gotten seriously advanced, with this year promising everything from HD and live-streaming to 4K and VR. So where can you watch the 2018 World Cup? When are the matches shown on TV? And how can you stream it in Ultra HD? Here’s our comprehensive World Cup TV guide to help.
When is the World Cup on?
The World Cup kicks off officially at 4pm on Thursday 14th June, with the opening ceremony and initial match (between Russia and Saudi Arabia). It will run for four weeks until Sunday 15th July, when the final takes place at 4pm.
Which UK channels are broadcasting it?
The World Cup is split between the BBC and ITV. BBC One and BBC Two will be airing games, with the Red Button also available to watch games kicking off at the same time. ITV 1 will be home to the majority of ITV’s matches, with ITV 4 broadcasting games kicking off at the same time. ITV will be screening the opening match, while England’s opening two games and possible quarter-final will be live and exclusive on the BBC. Both broadcasters will be airing the final.
Where can I stream the 2018 World Cup online?
Both the BBC and ITV have their own online catch-up services that will let you stream the matches live. ITV Hub (www.itvhub.com) will be streaming all of the matches, regardless of whether they are on ITV 1 or ITV 4. BBC iPlayer (www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer) will also be streaming each BBC game live, with live video also available on the BBC Sport website.
BBC Sport’s digital service will offer video highlights for every game and goal available at the final whistle. Viewers can go back ‘live’ with BBC Rewind to watch England face current group opponents Belgium and Tunisia in the 1990 and 1998 World Cups. BBC Sport’s social media channels will also share in-match updates and breaking news on Twitter, highlights from every game on YouTube, daily World Cup stories available on Snapchat, a mixture of news and video action on Facebook, plus former England star and Arsenal Women player Alex Scott will host a series of Instagram stories.
ITV Hub and the ITV Sport YouTube channel will be home to a short round-up video on every match day, including goals, funny moments, pundit comments and classic moments from previous tournaments.
The BBC coverage will be led by Gary Lineker, with additional reporting from Gabby Logan and Dan Walker. Pundits in the studio with Gary will include Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Neville, Frank Lampard and guests such as Didier Drogba and Pablo Zabaleta.
ITV’s coverage will be captained by Mark Pougatch, alongside Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Ian Wright, Roy Keane and Lee Dixon, plus Eniola Aluko, and guests such as Patrice Evra, Henrik Larsson, Martin O’Neill and referee Mark Clattenburg.
Where can I watch the World Cup in HD?
Normal TV broadcasts of each match will be available in HD, and this will be standard across every match on Freeview, Freesat, Sky, BT TV, TalkTalk TV and Virgin Media. BBC iPlayer also streams content in HD. ITV Hub does not support HD live-streaming as standard.
Where can I watch the World Cup in 4K?
Sadly, neither the BBC nor ITV are able to broadcast in 4K, although you can see the World Cup in HD through their traditional channels.
However, the BBC is breaking ground for the tournament by showing 29 of its allocated World Cup matches in 4K (the games being shown on BBC One) – and, even better, in HDR too. (The BBC will use the Hybrid Log-Gamma version of HDR it invented with Japanese broadcaster, NHK.)
You will need a compatible Ultra HD TV and a high speed internet connection (at least 40Mbit/s for the full 3840 pixel Ultra HD or 20Mbit/s for 2560 pixel Ultra HD). The bad news? There are only a limited number of spaces available for each game on a first-come, first-served basis. The 4K stream will be available from the BBC iPlayer home screen as soon as programme coverage begins until the trial is full for that match.
ITV Hub does not support 4K or HDR.
Where can I watch the World Cup in VR?
All 33 BBC matches will be available through a dedicated BBC Sport VR app. The app will be available for free on Apple (iOS 10 and above), Android (Android 5 and above), Gear VR, Oculus Go and PlayStation VR. Anyone with a smartphone or compatible VR headset can open the app and find themselves inside their very own luxury private box in a Russian stadium.
If there’s a game on, they can watch from the best seat in the ground by heading over to the box’s giant viewing window and looking out onto the pitch. A range of live match stats will also pop-up from the virtual coffee table, while viewers can also switch their view and choose to sit behind either one of the goals to watch the action up close. When there are no games taking place, fans can watch a daily highlights package and other on-demand content on one of the virtual big screen TVs available in other areas of the private box.
What time are the World Cup matches taking place?
You can see our full TV guide to the 2018 World Cup below, including the date, time and teams for each fixture, plus what channel it’s being broadcast on. Search for a particular team, date or channel 4 to find a specific game.
|Group Stage||Thu 14-Jun||Russia v Saudi Arabia||1600||ITV|
|Group Stage||Fri 15-Jun||Egypt v Uruguay||1300||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Fri 15-Jun||Portugal v Spain||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Fri 15-Jun||Morocco v IR Iran||1600||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sat 16-Jun||France v Australia||1100||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Sat 16-Jun||Peru v Denmark||1700||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Sat 16-Jun||Argentina v Iceland||1400||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sat 16-Jun||Croatia v Nigeria||2000||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sun 17-Jun||Brazil v Switzerland||1900||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sun 17-Jun||Costa Rica v Serbia||1300||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sun 17-Jun||Germany v Mexico||1600||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Mon 18-Jun||Sweden v Korea ReP||1300||ITV|
|Group Stage||Mon 18-Jun||Belgium v Panama||1600||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Mon 18-Jun||Tunisia v England||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Tue 19-Jun||Poland v Senegal||1600||ITV|
|Group Stage||Tue 19-Jun||Colombia v Japan||1300||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Tue 19-Jun||Russia v Egypt||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Wed 20-Jun||Uruguay v Saudi ArabiA||1600||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Wed 20-Jun||Portugal v Morocco||1300||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Wed 20-Jun||IR Iran v Spain||1900||ITV|
|Group Stage||Thu 21-Jun||France v Peru||1600||ITV|
|Group Stage||Thu 21-Jun||Denmark v Australia||1300||ITV|
|Group Stage||Thu 21-Jun||Argentina v Croatia||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Fri 22-Jun||Nigeria v Iceland||1600||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Fri 22-Jun||Brazil v Costa Rica||1300||ITV|
|Group Stage||Fri 22-Jun||Serbia v Switzerland||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Sat 23-Jun||Germany v Sweden||1900||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sat 23-Jun||Korea Rep v Mexico||1600||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sat 23-Jun||Belgium v Tunisia||1300||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Sun 24-Jun||England v Panama||1300||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Sun 24-Jun||Poland v Colombia||1900||ITV|
|Group Stage||Sun 24-Jun||Japan v Senegal||1600||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Mon 25-Jun||Uruguay v Russia||1500||ITV|
|Group Stage||Mon 25-Jun||Saudi Arabia v Egypt||1500||ITV 4|
|Group Stage||Mon 25-Jun||IR Iran v Portugal||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Mon 25-Jun||Spain v Morocco||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Tue 26-Jun||Denmark v France||1500||ITV|
|Group Stage||Tue 26-Jun||Australia v Peru||1500||ITV 4|
|Group Stage||Tue 26-Jun||Nigeria v Argentina||1900||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Tue 26-Jun||Iceland v Croatia||1900||BBC Two|
|Group Stage||Wed 27-Jun||Serbia v Brazil||1900||ITV|
|Group Stage||Wed 27-Jun||Switzerland v Costa Rica||1900||ITV 4|
|Group Stage||Wed 27-Jun||Korea Rep v Germany||1500||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Wed 27-Jun||Mexico v Sweden||1500||BBC Two|
|Group Stage||Thu 28-Jun||England v Belgium||1900||ITV|
|Group Stage||Thu 28-Jun||Panama v Tunisia||1900||ITV 4|
|Group Stage||Thu 28-Jun||Japan v Poland||1500||BBC One|
|Group Stage||Thu 28-Jun||Senegal v Colombia||1500||BBC Two|
|Last 16||Sat 30-Jun||France v Argentina||1500||ITV|
|Last 16||Sat 30-Jun||Uruguay v Portugal||1900||ITV|
|Last 16||Sun 1-Jul||Spain v Russia||1500||BBC One|
|Last 16||Sun 1-Jul||Croatia v Denmark||1900||ITV|
|Last 16||Mon 2-Jul||Brazil v Mexico||1500||BBC One|
|Last 16||Mon 2-Jul||Belgium v Japan||1900||BBC One|
|Last 16||Tue 3-Jul||Sweden v Switzerland||1500||ITV|
|Last 16||Tue 3-Jul||Colombia v England||1900||BBC One|
|Quarter-Finals||Fri 6-Jul||Uruguay v France||1500||BBC One|
|Quarter-Finals||Fri 6-Jul||Brazil v Belgium||1900||BBC One|
|Quarter-Finals||Sat 7-Jul||Sweden v England||1500||ITV|
|Quarter-Finals||Sat 7-Jul||Russia v Croatia||1900||ITV|
|Semi-Final||Tue 10-Jul||France v Belgium||1900||ITV|
|Semi-Final||Wed 11-Jul||Semi-Final 2||1900||BBC One|
|Third-Place||Sat 14-Jul||Belgium v England||1500||ITV|
|Final||Sun 15-Jul||France v Croatia||1600||BBC One / ITV|