World Cup 2014: How to Watch the Action on TV, Online or Up in the Air
With fans around the globe transfixed by the World Cup, life in offices and homes across the U.S. is coming to a standstill as everyone is glued to the action on the pitch.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are airing all 64 matches live along with a total of 290 hours of broadcasting from Brazil. But there are many more ways to watch on smartphones, tablets, computers -- or even 30,000 feet up in the air.
ESPN Television Channels
ESPN has exclusive U.S. domestic rights to the 2014 FIFA World Cup for all languages apart from Spanish, and ESPN International has the nonexclusive rights in Brazil. All the matches are aired live in HD, with 43 on ESPN and 11 on ESPN2. In addition, over 50 matches will air in Portuguese on ESPN Deportes.
The sports network is serving up 74 hours of live ESPN domestic programming from their tropical studio on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro at the Clube dos Marimbas yacht club. ESPN Radio is also presenting live audio of all live matches and news.
ESPN's broadcast partner, ABC, is airing 10 matches, beginning with Colombia vs. Greece and Uruguay vs. Costa Rica on Saturday. The World Cup Title match will also air on July 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET/ 11:30 a.m. PT on ABC.
All the matches are being streamed live on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app for tablets, smart phones and set-top boxes. Visit ESPN.go.com to select a cable or satellite provider and log in. Participating providers that have the "TV everywhere" agreements with ESPN are AT&T U-Verse, BEK TV, BendBroadband, Bright House Networks, Charter Direct, Comcast, DISH, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Phone and Yadtel.
ESPN announced on Friday that it has partnered with Google to feature live matches, in-progress and postmatch highlights. Internet searchers will be able to access video replays of the best goals — or worst dives — right after they happen and quickly access links via ESPN FC. This is the first time that ESPN and Google have joined forces, John Kosner, executive vp ESPN digital and print media, said in a statement to THR.
During the tournament, search results from World Cup-related queries will feature a fresh detailed timeline of match stats during the game — including goals, penalties, red cards and more — in Google Search. Within the timeline, the biggest moments will feature companion video that users can view on ESPNFC.com shortly after they happen.
The Spanish-language channel has the U.S. Spanish-language rights for the 2014 World Cup and is streaming every match from the first two rounds for free on its website and the Univision Deportes mobile app.
Cable-competitor Aereo is another option for those without a TV subscription. The service costs $8 per month, but the company offers of a 30-day free trial, which would last until the end of the tournament on July 13. Aereo works on iOS devices such as the iPad and the iPhone, the Apple TV (via AirPlay), and Roku. For details of the service's coverage area, click here.
In-Flight Sport 24 Channel
Sport 24, a 24/7 live sports channel exclusive to the in-flight industry, will air the World Cup matches, marking the first time that air travelers can watch the live action from their plane seats. Coverage of the 64 matches will be produced by FIFA TV's broadcast production team in Brazil before being tailored for in-flight viewing and distributed by IMG Media.
Sport 24 is available across the following airlines: Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Garuda, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Abu Dhabi Presidential Fleet. But be sure to check with the airline before takeoff for coverage details.