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How to watch the World Cup for free in the UK: BBC, ITV, online stream and games

07:00 GMT 06/12/2022
Callum Wilson Phil Foden England Iran 2022 World Cup
How to stream every world cup match for free in the UK

You will be able to stream every 2022 World Cup match for no extra charge if you live in the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland),

The FIFA World Cup is being held in the Northern Hemisphere's winter months for the first time in football history.

Additionally, it is the first time the tournament has taken place in a middle eastern nation.

The likes of Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain and of course, England, have been taking to centre stage for what is shaping up to be a historic World Cup.

This article will explain exactly where and how football fans will be able to keep up with every second of the action in the UK.

Where can I stream the World Cup?

Broadcasting rights have been equally split between the BBC and ITV for the 2022 World Cup.

This means that, so long as you are covered by a tv license, British viewers can stream the World Cup at their convenience.

The BBC will air 33 live matches during the month-long tournament.

Alongside the actual games, they will broadcast highlights, pre and post-match analysis and other supplementary content in the match build-ups.

You can access this through BBC iPlayer.

Their coverage will feature opinions and insights from the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Micah Richards and Alex Scott.

ITV will exclusively show 32 fixtures in Qatar. They too, have a streaming service with which you can see the action unfold.

Follow this link for ITVX.

ITV viewers can also expect pre and post-match analysis and daily social media content to aid fans' festive binge. Punditry will feature some of football's past legends, such as Ian Wright, Roy Keane and Gary Neville.

You can find a full list of ITV and BBC fixtures here.

Will every World Cup game be free to watch in the UK?

Yes, due to OFCOM broadcasting protections in Britain, the entirety of the World Cup schedule will be shown on free-to-air television. This also affords ITV and BBC's streaming platforms the same rights.

For viewers tuning into the matchday action, you must ensure that you are covered by a TV license. A common misconception is that licensing laws only apply to television, this is incorrect.

A UK TV license covers you for streaming services and for every mobile device you use. The maximum fine for illegally streaming, downloading or recording content is £1,000, plus any legal compensation you may be ordered to pay.

You can pay for a TV license here.

How to stream the World Cup for free outside the UK?

Wherever you are located, there is a reasonable chance that your national broadcaster/broadcasters will be showing the World Cup, at least in part.

In the US for example, the tournament will be available through the Fox streaming network. Another option is the American streaming service Peacock.

These are subscription models, which will not be free to air.

If you reside in other countries, there is the possibility that there is no easily accessible World Cup coverage.

On the other hand, you might be a British citizen, abroad at the moment, for whatever reason.

The good news is you can still watch BBC iPlayer and ITVX outside of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

It is possible, by downloading or purchasing a VPN (a virtual private network) to watch the matches outside of the UK.

A VPN allows you to negate GEO-locational barriers by changing your IP address. For instance, if you were on a business trip in Madrid, you could still appear to be streaming from your home address in Bristol. This would allow you to still access the full UK World Cup broadcasting calendar.

For more information, read this VPN explainer article here.