It’s World Cup season. Awesome. How can I watch matches on my Windows 10 computer?
It is a wonderful thing when every four years the FIFA World Cup rolls around. 32 of the best soccer teams in the world compete to figure out which is the best team on the planet at the beautiful game. It’s the most popular, most viewed sporting event in the world. But seeing it via the Internet is surprisingly difficult even in 2018, even with so many streaming options available. Part of that is because it’s so insanely expensive to get the rights to the games that the broadcaster in each country – Fox Sports in the United States of America – jealously guard their programming to maximize viewership and thereby their return on investment.
One option is to just go to Fox Sports and sign up to access their streams on your computer. To do that, it looks like you have to have a cable service that includes Fox Sports already, like Roadrunner, Xfinity, Comcast or similar. None are going to be particularly inexpensive but it still gives you some options and as streaming TV evolves, we’ll be seeing more. Which ain’t going to get you the final match in mid July, is it? 🙂
So let’s look at a few other options…
First you can get all sorts of dubious and likely illegal access by doing a search for “watch free fifa world cup:
I am not a fan of services that try to sidestep the entirely reasonable limitations that Fox Sports has put on their streaming content after their billions invested in coverage and don’t endorse these sort of sites, but if that’s your thing, well, good luck.
Another possibility, YouTubeTV:
Depending on where you live, paying the $40/mo for access to YouTubeTV might not get you live Fox sports on the main Fox channel, which is where all the FIFA World Cup action is at this point in the season. You can check the YouTubeTV lineup for details on that.
I mentioned it earlier, but you can also head over to Fox Sports and check out highlights without necessarily streaming the live events, if that’s something you can live with:
Again, if you already have Cable TV you might – or might not – be able to access the live event stream directly from Fox Sports. Try it.
Yet another option is to pop open the Microsoft Store and simply search for TV:
The reality is that, as we Internet old timers say, they’re ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. You aren’t going to bump into an app that lets you stream all the World Cup matches live for free. Perhaps someday…
However, let’s dig into Sling TV as an option because, as you can see, I already have it installed on my own Win10.1 system. Sling TV is the streaming side of Dish Network’s program offerings and like YouTubeTV it also has some weird restrictions around accessing live Fox programming. No other networks, just Fox.
Like any other app, click on it to learn more, then click “Download” to have it installed on your computer. Eventually you’ll get here:
Just click on “Launch” to fire it up. Pay attention too, because a little pop-up window will appear on the lower right of your screen offering the darn useful option of pinning the new app to Start (or you can click the above button too, of course):
Either way, launch Sling TV on your Windows computer and it’ll be ready to enjoy. Heck, there’s even a convenient “Sports” icon on the left side the brings up all the 2018 FIFA World Cup options:
But no live games if they aren’t on FS1 or FS2. On the other hand, once the games have occurred many of them are available to view, along with a ton of analysis, commentary and historical World Cup content. And the results will surprise you – your computer is a darn capable TV screen too:
Unfortunately, I have no great answer to your “how do I watch World Cup online for free” because there really aren’t any great answers. I have, however, laid out a bunch of options that I hope will give you the ability to pick and choose which will work best for you.
Oh, and GO ENGLAND!