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From TV to mobile, online and radio, there are many ways to follow the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. Here's our guide to how you can catch all the action...

After months of anticipation, the day is finally upon us. In a few hours, we'll see the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup take place in Russia, with 32 teams looking to lift the 2018 World Cup trophy on 15th July.

Over the next month, we'll see Germany defend their crown with the likes of Argentina, Brazil, France and Spain snapping at their heels. And who knows, maybe even England.

As is now typical for major sporting events, this year's World Cup TV coverage will be bursting at the seams with technical innovation, from 4K broadcasts to virtual reality, and there are plenty of ways to keep abreast of the action, whether you're at home or out and about.

So if you're looking to catch the action on your TV, watch online or listen to the radio, here's what you can expect from the coverage in Russia 2018.

MORE: How to watch the Champions League final for free - TV, 4K, online, mobile

World Cup TV schedule

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday June 14th at 4pm BST, with Russia hosting Saudi Arabia in Moscow. ITV will show that match plus the opening ceremony.


vs. Tunisia - Monday 18th June, 7pm, BBC

vs. Panama - Sunday 24th June, 1pm, BBC

vs. Belgium - Thursday 28th June, 7pm, ITV


Complete World Cup UK TV schedule

Thursday 14th June Russia v Saudi Arabia (A) 4pm (ITV)

Friday 15th June Egypt v Uruguay (A) 1pm (BBC One)*

Friday 15th June Morocco v Iran (B) 4pm (ITV)

Friday 15th June Portugal v Spain (B) 7pm (BBC One)*

Saturday 16th June France v Australia (C) 11am (BBC One)*

Saturday 16th June Argentina v Iceland (D) 2pm (ITV)

Saturday 16th June Peru v Denmark (C) 5pm (BBC One)*

Saturday 16th June Croatia v Nigeria (D) 8pm (ITV)

Sunday 17th June Costa Rica v Serbia (E) 1pm (ITV)

Sunday 17th June Germany v Mexico (F) 4pm (BBC One)*

Sunday 17th June Brazil v Switzerland (E) 7pm (ITV)

Monday 18th June Sweden v South Korea (F) 1pm (ITV)

Monday 18th June Belgium v Panama (G) 4pm (BBC One)*

Monday 18th June Tunisia v England (G) 7pm (BBC One)*

Tuesday 19th June Poland v Senegal (H) 1pm (ITV)

Tuesday 19th June Colombia v Japan (H) 4pm (BBC One)*

Tuesday 19th June Russia v Egypt (A) 7pm (BBC One)*

Wednesday 20th June Portugal v Morocco (B) 1pm (BBC One)*

Wednesday 20th June Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (A) 4pm (BBC One)*

Wednesday 20th June Iran v Spain (B) 7pm (ITV)

Thursday 21th June France v Peru (C) 1pm (ITV)

Thursday 21th June Denmark v Australia (C) 4pm (ITV)

Thursday 21th June Argentina v Croatia (D) 7pm (BBC One)*

Friday 22nd June Brazil v Costa Rica (E) 1pm (ITV)

Friday 22nd June Nigeria v Iceland (D) 4pm (BBC One)*

Friday 22nd June Serbia v Switzerland (E) 7pm (BBC One)*

Saturday 23rd June Belgium v Tunisia (G) 1pm (BBC One)*

Saturday 23rd June Germany v Sweden (F) 4pm (ITV)

Saturday 23rd June South Korea v Mexico (F) 7pm (ITV)

Sunday 24th June England v Panama (G) 1pm (BBC One)*

Sunday 24th June Japan v Senegal (H) 4pm (BBC One)*

Sunday 24th June Poland v Colombia (H) 7pm (ITV)

Monday 25th June Uruguay v Russia (A) 3pm (ITV)

Monday 25th June Saudi Arabia v Egypt (A) 3pm (ITV4)

Monday 25th June Spain v Morocco (B) 7pm (BBC One)*

Monday 25th June Iran v Portugal (B) 7pm (BBC Four)

Tuesday 26th June Denmark v France (C) 3pm (ITV)

Tuesday 26th June Australia v Peru (C) 3pm (ITV4)

Tuesday 26th June Nigeria v Argentina (D) 7pm (BBC One)*

Tuesday 26th June Iceland v Croatia (D) 7pm (BBC Four)

Wednesday 27th June South Korea v Germany (F) 3pm (BBC One)*

Wednesday 27th June Mexico v Sweden (F) 3pm (BBC Two)

Wednesday 27th June Serbia v Brazil (E) 7pm (ITV)

Wednesday 27th June Switzerland v Costa Rica (E) 7pm (ITV4)

Thursday 28th June Japan v Poland (H) 3pm (BBC Two)

Thursday 28th June Senegal v Colombia (H) 3pm (BBC One)*

Thursday 28th June England v Belgium (G) 7pm (ITV)

Thursday 28th June Panama v Tunisia (G) 7pm (ITV4)

Last 16  

Saturday 30th June 1C v 2D (Match 50) 3pm (ITV)

Saturday 30th June 1A v 2B (Match 49) 7pm (ITV)

Sunday 1st July 1B v 2A (Match 51) 3pm (BBC One)*

Sunday 1st July 1D v 2C (Match 52) 7pm (ITV)

Monday 2nd July 1E v 2F (Match 53) 3pm (BBC One)*

Monday 2nd July 1G v 2H (Match 54) 7pm (BBC One)*

Tuesday 3rd July 1F v 2E (Match 55) 3pm (ITV)

Tuesday 3rd July 1H v 2G (Match 56) 7pm (BBC One)*


Friday 6th July Winner 49 v winner 50 (57) 3pm (BBC One)*

Friday 6th July Winner 53 v winner 54 (58) 7pm (BBC One)*

Saturday 7th July Winner 55 v winner 56 (60) 3pm (ITV)

Saturday 7th July Winner 51 v winner 52 (59) 7pm (ITV)


Tuesday 10th July Winner 57 v winner 58 7pm (ITV)

Wednesday 11th July Winner 59 v winner 60 7pm (BBC One)*

Third-place play-off   

Saturday 14th July Losers of two semi-finals 3pm (ITV)


Sunday 15th July Winners of two semi-finals 4pm (BBC One* & ITV)

*These 29 BBC One matches will be broadcast in 4K on BBC iPlayer. 

MORE: BBC confirms World Cup fixtures

Watch the World Cup on TV

If you're catching the action on your sofa in the UK, then you'll have a choice between the BBC and ITV. You could even irritate your friends and family by switching between the two to see if there's a difference in picture quality.

SD and HD broadcasts come as standard. But what about 4K matches? Well, the BBC is showing 29 of its allocated World Cup matches in 4K HDR. ITV, on the other hand, isn't providing a 4K option.

The BBC is promising "24/7 World Cup action" with 33 live matches in total in HD across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four. 

You'll find a catch-up and highlights package of the previous day's action on BBC Two, with full match replays of the day's best match after midnight on the same channel. Matches played simultaneously can be accessed through the Red Button on the BBC, while for ITV they're being shown on ITV 4.

The BBC's presenters and pundits include Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Neville, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott, Jurgen Klinsmann, Didier Drogba and Pablo Zabaleta.

ITV has signed Gary Neville as a pundit. Joining him is a lengthy list that includes Ryan Giggs, the all-singing and dancing Patrice Evra, Roy Keane, Lee Dixon, Ian Wright, Glenn Hoddle and Martin O'Neill.

Henrik Larsson, Slaven Bilic and Eniola Aluko will also provide their views. Mark Clattenburg will be there too, offering his take on refereeing decisions, which should be lively given the tournament's use of the VAR system.

Jacqui Oatley and Mark Pougatch are on presenting duties, with Clive Tyldesley and Jon Champion commentating on the action.


How to watch the World Cup in 4K Ultra HD on BBC iPlayer

Best TV deals 2018

More after the break

Watch the World Cup in Ultra HD 4K

This will be the first true 4K Ultra HD World Cup. Brazil 2014 had several matches produced in 4K but 2018 sees FIFA team up with Sony to deliver all 64 matches in native 4K HDR.

Each stadium has 37 cameras shooting footage, eight of which will are outputting in UHD/HDR, the UHD broadcast benefitting from immersive audio.

FIFA still hasn't confirmed whether Dolby Atmos or DTS:X will be offered but at the time of writing it looks set to be broadcast in just standard stereo. Dolby's object-based surround audio has been used by BT and Sky for sporting events in the past.

Sky Germany is showing 25 matches in 4K, while Switzerland is on board, too. Hisense, one of the tournament's key sponsors, has revealed US customers can watch 4K games via its special app.

One stumbling block for 4K in the UK, was that neither the BBC nor ITV had the means to broadcast 4K content.

Until now that is.

The BBC made headway in developing its 4K pipeline, successfully trialling Blue Planet II on iPlayer back in 2017. Blue Planet II was broadcasted via the iPlayer in Hybrid Log Gamma HDR, a format developed by the BBC and Japanese state broadcaster NHK.

Following that trial, the BBC ran its first ever live 4K sport broadcast in April 2018, streaming a rugby league match in Ultra HD and HDR on the iPlayer beta app. This was followed by another 4K iPlayer trial, this time on the right sport - the second-half of the football FA Cup Final was in UHD and HLG on iPlayer.

The BBC's recently announced 4K World Cup trial does come with a few caveats.

The 4K stream is available to tens of thousands of viewers, but it's being offered on first-come, first served basis. As soon as the quota is filled, any latecomers will be unable to view it.

The Beeb will broadcast 33 matches in HD, but only 29 of those will be available in 4K. This is due to some matches taking place simultaneously across other BBC channels and matches on BBC One have the priority. You will need a compatible 4K TV with the latest iPlayer app, and you can find out which models are included on the iPlayer website. HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) will be used to improve the picture quality on both HDR and SDR enabled devices.

Footage will be beamed at 50 frames per second, with a 40Mbit/s connection required for the full fat 3840 pixel UHD experience, or 20Mbit/s for a 2560 pixel UHD stream. Unfortunately, the BBC has confirmed neither Atmos nor DTS:X will be available.

Elsewhere, NHK has made a firm commitment to developing 8K TV or Super Hi-Vision, as it's also called. Yes, 8K. It was announced in 2015 that NHK and FIFA had plans to produce matches in 8K for this World Cup.

There's been no more news ahead of kick-off, but it's anticipated that NHK will use the World Cup as another proving ground for its 8K pipeline. Both FIFA and NHK have prior form in this respect, as the 2015 Women's World Cup saw several games produced in 8K.

MORE: What is 4K Ultra HD TV? Everything you need to know

Follow the World Cup online

Your best options for watching the World Cup online will be BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport app and the ITV Hub.

As mentioned above, BBC's online content will be on the iPlayer, and in 4K with compatible TVs. The 33 live games in HD across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four will be streamed on BBC Sport online and on BBC iPlayer. This includes England's opening two games and a possible quarter-final tie. 

BBC Sport's digital service delivers HD video coverage of all the corporation's matches and you'll find highlights on here as well as on the BBC's YouTube channel.

When it comes to catching up on live sports, the iPlayer tends to carry content for at least seven days after its initial transmission and we can't imagine the ITV Hub straying far from that, although that will depend on broadcast rights for the tournament.

The iPlayer is ad-free (but don't forget to pay your licence fee), and while the free version of ITV's Hub player carries ads, for £4 you can sign up to ITV Hub+, available across desktop, iOS and connected TVs.

The fee removes ads and lets users download shows through the iOS app (iOS 10 and above). Like Now TV, there's no contract and you can leave whenever you want.

As the official TV sponsor of the tournament, Hisense has a special app for some of its US models that will stream matches in 4K.

There's also FIFATV on YouTube. It has highlights packages, along with interviews, previews and full replays of classic matches from previous World Cups.

But if that doesn't float your boat, Copa90 will offer engagement on the World Cup from a supporter's perspective, with interviews and short productions on fan culture.

MORE: Hybrid Log Gamma explained – the new HDR TV broadcast format

Watch the World Cup on mobile & VR

On mobile, you'll find content on BBC's iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITV's Hub player and YouTube, mirroring the coverage we've mentioned above, as well as plenty of activity across social media.

The BBC Sport app will push alerts (if you choose to opt-in) for goals, half and full-time results, and even starting line-ups.

FIFA will have its own official app where you can keep track of scores, read live blogs, see photos, watch match highlights and exclusive videos.

And for those hoping to keep track of the ins-and-outs of the tournament through podcasts, there should be plenty to satisfy your interest.

The likes of Football Weekly, The Football Ramble and The Totally Football Show will feature a regular dose of round-ups, previews and reviews, dissecting the tournament's most notable topics and trends.

As well as confirming matches in 4K, the BBC caught everyone by surprise in announcing it's bringing the World Cup to VR audiences through a dedicated app. Called BBC Sport VR - FIFA World Cup, it's free to download now on Apple (iOS 10 and above), Android (Lollipop and above), Gear VR, Oculus Go and PlayStation VR.

Anyone with a compatible app and VR headset will find themselves in their own luxury private box in a Russian stadium. Whenever there's a game on, it can be seen from a giant window that lets the viewer feel as if they're in the stadium from the comfort of their own sofa. A connection of at least 10Mbit/s is recommended for VR.

Listen to the World Cup on radio

On the UK radio side there are two options. You have talkSPORT, whose coverage includes exclusive interviews and live commentary of every match.  On the other side you have BBC's ad-free coverage courtesy of BBC 5 Live, which will also cover all the matches. 

MORE: Best internet radios 2018

Get ready…

So, we're just hours away. And we have some exciting new ways of enjoying the action, plus the tried and trusted methods, whether it's on TV, online, on mobile or the good ol' wireless. 

The only question remains, who's going to win it? Step forward Gareth Southgate and England, of course…