How to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Australia

Cancel your plans for June and July (and be ready to fork out if you want to see everything).

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Football! Soccer! The world game! ...Sport!

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is upon us (in case you hadn't heard). But whether you bleed yellow and green or just want to jump on the bandwagon, this year's world cup isn't just about sitting down in front of TV (however: Best TVs for watching the World Cup 2018).

2018 is the year of streaming, and we've got it wrapped up for you.

World Cup basics (aka the Cheat's Guide)

The 2018 FIFA World Cup comes around every four years, and this year it will feature 32 teams and 64 games across four weeks.

June 14 to July 15 


Who's playing?

  • Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
  • Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
  • Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
  • Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
  • Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
  • Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
  • Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
  • Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

What names should I watch for (aka the Real Newcomer's Guide)?

  • Lionel Messi has done everything in his career -- short of winning a World Cup for Argentina
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, fresh off his fifth UEFA Champions League victory, is hoping to capture Portugal's first World Cup title
  • Neymar leads Brazil, which hasn't won the World Cup since 2002, and 16 years qualifies as a long World Cup drought for the practitioners of The Beautiful Game

The 2018 FIFA World Cup groups. 


Watching in Australia

SBS is no longer the home of (all the) soccer. Optus is streaming every single game of the World Cup live and on demand through its Optus Sport app. SBS is promising every Socceroos match live, as well as a live "game of the day" on non Socceroos days -- you can watch via free-to-air TV or streaming. 

To kick off, here are the must-see Socceroos games (but fingers crossed we go beyond the first round):

Match 1 -- Australia vs. France
Saturday June 16 at 8 p.m. AEST (6 p.m. AWST, 7.30 p.m. ACST)

Match 2 -- Australia vs. Denmark
Thursday June 21 at 10 p.m. AEST (8 p.m. AWST, 9.30 p.m. ACST)

Match 3 -- Australia vs. Peru
Wednesday June 27 at 12 a.m. AEST (June 26 at 10 p.m. AWST, 11.30 p.m. ACST)

Click here for the full schedule of matches.

When does the knockout stage begin?

Things start to get serious at the end of June. The group stage runs from June 14 to June 28, and then the knockout stage begins on Saturday, June 30, when the winners advance and the losers go home.

When's the final?

The final match is set to start at 1 a.m. AEST on Monday, July 16. That's certainly a cracking reason to stay up late on Sunday night. You can watch that match through streaming or on free-to-air TV.

How to watch every game (for $30)

Senegal vs. Poland? Argentina vs. Iceland? If you're a football die-hard, you need the Optus Sport App.

  • All 64 games live and on-demand
  • Catch-up content and highlight reels
  • Watch on phone, tablet, web browser, Apple TV or Chromecast
  • Available to Optus and non-Optus customers
  • AU$15 per month (AU$30 for the full World Cup run)

Download the Optus Sport app on iTunes or Google Play.

How to watch just the big matches (for free)

SBS has the rights to 25 games, including every Socceroos game, the Semis and the Final.

  • 25 games live (on TV or streaming)
  • Includes every Socceroos game, the Semi-Finals and Final
  • Match of the Day (chosen by SBS)
  • 6.30 a.m. AEST match replays
  • FIFA World Cup Today wrap-up show 5.30 p.m. AEST every match day
  • HD streaming
  • Available on SBS free-to-air TV, the SBS On Demand mobile app, the 2018 FIFA World Cup official app, SBS's The World Game website and radio (radio features all 64 games live)

Download the SBS On Demand app on iTunes or Google Play.

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