Hey World Cup fans, kick back and watch the world’s biggest single-sport competition from the comfort of your laptop. Held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first of 64 matches which kicked off on June 12.
This year’s championship is more digitally interactive than ever before. With apps and beefed-up streaming services, here’s how to keep up with the game’s hectic schedule.
The Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil will host matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
IMAGE: NABOR GOULART/ASSOCIATED PRESS
To watch the games live on TV, here are the channels you should tune into:
USA: ESPN, ABC and Univision
UK: BBC and ITV
For a full list of countries and their corresponding networks that have licensing rights to broadcast the games, check out this resource provided by FIFA. For a full schedule of all of the games, check out this detailed list on ESPN. Sports Interaction also has a beautiful interactive schedule.
After you’ve familiarized yourself with players’ backstories and learned how to pronounce their difficult names, follow this guide for the worldwide web of the World Cup. It’s important to note that mega TV networks mainly hold all the rights to streaming the games online. (Though there are plenty of other sites that might stream the matches, they’re not always legal.)
SEE ALSO: World Cup Stars: 20 Electrifying Players You Need to Know
ESPN, the all-sports-all-the-time network, is all over the event. The channel will not only present all of the games live on TV via ESPN (43 matches), ESPN2 (11 matches) and ABC (10 matches), it will livestream all 64 games online. Every game will be available via the WatchESPN site and app, which is available for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Chromecast and more.
The 10 games that air on ABC will be available via WatchABC. However, these online services are only available for those who already have cable and pay for access to the network.
Another site making the games available is Univision. The Spanish language network will air 56 games on Univision Deportes, its sports channel, as well as via its UD app. Like ESPN, the service is only available to subscribed viewers.
Across the pond, the BBC iPlayer and ITV will also be streaming the games for viewers in the United Kingdom, starting with the first match England plays against Italy on June 14. Both services have apps and sites that will stream the matches live.
Canadian viewers can check out CBC, which will stream all of the games live on its site, in addition to replays which will be available on demand. Unlike ESPN, it’s a free service.
The network SBS has secured the rights to stream all 64 games online for Australian viewers, in addition to providing accompanying apps and radio broadcast.
Twitter: If you’re truly addicted to the social site, you can’t watch a major telecast without constantly checking your feed. So keep up with the sport via Twitter by following certain hashtags. The site Fanbrandz has put together a fun, handy guide to tags you should expect, like #GoSocceroos (for Australian fans), #EmBuscaDoHexa (for Brazilian fans) and #Bleus (for French fans).
It’s also worth checking out the official FIFA World Cup account, which keeps up a pretty active flow of tweets.
Plenty of players also use Twitter themselves. Here’s our guide to the most-followed World Cup players currently using the social site.
Make sure to “like” ESPN FC, the network’s channel dedicated to the beautiful game. The World Cup also has an official page of its own, full of behind-the-scenes photos and interviews with soccer stars.
Finally, the FIFA World Cup has an official Instagram page where it posts all kinds of fun photos of players and fans.
Six second videos will give you quick doses of the beautiful game. Vine has a World Cup-themed page with all kinds of video posts about the upcoming matches.
Apps to Follow the World Cup
ESPN’s app for the World Cup features in-depth analysis and commentary from their team of experts. Customize the experience by choosing your favorite teams to follow and set detailed alerts for everything from in-game substitutions to sore updates to team stats. Users in the U.S. can also see exclusive video highlights from the games. The free app is available for iOS and Android.