How to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Australia

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How to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Australia

What happens if we make it through?

To progress out of the group phase, Australia needs to finish first or second in their group.

Based on the latest FIFA world rankings, Australia’s Group C is actually the toughest at the tournament. France are ranked seventh in the world, Peru 11th and Denmark 12th. The Socceroos are down at number 36.

Should the Socceroos manage to top the group, they would face a round of 16 elimination match against the second-placed team from Group D. If they finish second in the group, they would play the winner of Group D.

Group D consists of Argentina (ranked fifth), Croatia (20th), Iceland (22nd) and Nigeria (48th).

What are the other key dates?

The quarter-finals will take place from the July 7 and 8, with the semi-finals on July 11 and 12.

The third place playoff will be on July 15.

The final will then take place on Monday July 16 at 1:00am AEST.

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.

The Optus Sport app

*. [Updated] Optus Chief Executive Officer Allen Lew has today announced that Optus will offer Optus Sport to all Australians ❤ FOR FREE ❤ until 31 August.

Optus has announced Tuesday it is will stream every match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup this June through July, with all Australians able to access the games, regardless of whether they’re an Optus customer.

The Optus Sport app (previously only available to select Optus customers) will be the only way Australians can watch all 64 matches in the World Cup. SBS has the broadcast rights to 25 games, but Optus will have exclusive rights to a further 39 matches (as well as the games SBS broadcasts).

The games will be stream live and on-demand, and you’ll be able to watch through the app on phone, tablet, web browser, Apple TV or Chromecast by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. It’ll cost you AU$15 a month — the full World Cup runs over two months, putting the bill at AU$30.

You can check out the full FIFA World Cup 2018 draw here (PDF)

World Cup basics  

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