The FIFA World Cup 2022 soccer tournament starts on Sunday, November 20, and runs through December 18 with the final game scheduled that day at 10 a.m. ET.
Below are 10 things you need to know before tuning in or streaming up all the action from Qatar.
1. Which teams will play in the World Cup?
There will be 32 teams competing in eight categories. The United States is in group B with England, Wales and Iran. Brazil, France, Argentina, England and Spain are among the favorites to win it all. You can see the complete list of teams and one analyst’s tournament odds here.
2. Which channels will show the games? And what times will they play?
Fox, FS1, Telemundo and Universo will broadcast the games on cable and satellite and multi-channel live streaming services that carry those channels. (There will be 36 Fox games and 56 Telemundo games available via antenna. Universo, also available via an antenna, will do eight games. FS1, only available via a pay TV service, will do 28 games.)
The English-speaking broadcasts will be on Fox and FS1 while Telemundo and Universo will offer the Spanish-language feeds. You can see a schedule here.
The majority of the group matches will feature start times of 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET.
3. Where can you watch the games on streaming?
The Fox Sports app will stream all 64 World Cup games in English while the first 12 matches will be available in Spanish (simulcast from Telemundo) to Peacock subscribers on the free tier. The remaining 52 games (beginning on November 24) will be available to Peacock Premium subscribers. (Peacock Premium costs $4.99 a month.)
As noted, multi-channel live streamers such as YouTube TV and Hulu Live will also show the games on Fox and FS1.
By the way, if you have streaming issues, check out this article.
4. Can you watch the games for free?
Yes. Your local Telemundo channel, which can be accessed with an antenna in most areas, will show 56 of the 64 games in Spanish for free; eight will be on Universo (also available via antenna) due to competing start times.
The local Fox network affiliate will have 36 games for free (again with an antenna). You can see a schedule here.
The Fox Sports and Fox Now apps will show the games for free, but you will need a subscription (and user name and password) to a pay TV service such as cable or satellite, or a live streaming service that carries Fox.
The first 12 World Cup matches in Spanish (simulcast from Telemundo) will be available to Peacock subscribers on the free tier while the remaining 52 games (beginning on November 24) will be available to Peacock Premium subscribers. (Peacock Premium costs $4.99 a month.)
5. Is there any other way to watch the games for free?
Tubi, the free live streaming service owned by Fox, will offer every game of the tournament for free. However, the games will not be live on Tubi. The streamer will add replays of the games for free after they are played. They will be available on demand and part of Tubi’s free World Cup channel which also features highlights and analysis of the event.
(You have to create an account to watch the Tubi World Cup channel, but no credit card or subscription is required. You can see the channel here. In addition to the 2022 World Cup action, Tubi is showing past games and related documentaries. You can learn more about Tubi here at CutYourTVBill.com.)
6. Will the World Cup be available in 4K?
Yes. The Fox Sports app will stream every match live in native 4K. (Native 4K means that the game will be produced on site in 4K and transmitted to the home in the format as well. Fox normally upscales its live 4K sporting events, producing them on site in 1080p HDR and upgrading them to 4K for home transmission. But the World Cup will be native 4K, which some videophiles say delivers a sharper picture.)
The pay TV services that are expected to carry the games in 4K on special 4K channels are DIRECTV, Dish, Comcast, Verizon, Optimum, YouTube TV, and FuboTV. (In FuboTV markets where the Fox affiliate is provided with your programming package.) Check your on-screen guide for more details.
7. Will Telemundo show the World Cup in 4K?
Telemundo will offer more than 2,000 hours of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar live action and related programming on Telemundo, Universo, Peacock, TelemundoDeportes.com and the Telemundo Deportes app.
But a Telemundo spokesperson tells the TV Answer Man that the network will not do the games in 4K.
8. Is there any other way to watch the World Cup in 4K?
Yes. Tubi’s game replays will be available in 4K.
9. Will DIRECTV offer its usual interactive features for the World Cup?
Yes. DIRECTV (but not DIRECTV Stream) will offer a multi-display channel on channels 205 and 600 that will show several matches at the same time. The Sports Mix channel is similar to those DIRECTV has done for such events as Wimbledon, The Masters and the Olympics.
If you click the red button on your DIRECTV remote while watching the World Cup Mix channel, you will be able to access more World Cup information such as group stages, upcoming schedules, results, box scores, the tournament bracket and knockout round facts.
10. Do you have any more viewing tidbits about the World Cup?
Yes I do. Comcast announced this week that it will provide the World Cup in Dolby Vision 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range). The cable operator says its Xfinity TV service will be the only place in the United States that will offer the event in Dolby Vision HDR. (A Dolby Vision-enabled 4K TV will be required along with the Comcast X1 4K-enabled set-top.)
The cable operator will also provide a World Cup channel destination which can be accessed by saying ‘World Cup’ or ‘Copa Mundial’ into the Xfinity X1 voice remote. At the World Cup channel, you will find an interactive tournament bracket that will enable you to track the latest schedule, scores and standings, and prepare for upcoming matches with the ability to set recordings or reminders.
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— Phillip Swann