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World Cup 2018 live stream: How to watch the games online if you’re a cord cutter

World Cup 2018 live stream: How to watch the games online if you’re a cord cutter
[Photo: U.S. Department of State/Wikimedia Commons]

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off this week, and soccer-loving cord cutters everywhere are discovering the horrors of having to re-learn how to watch TV.

If you’re a cable-free consumer who is looking to live-stream the soccer matches in the United States, you’re at the mercy of one of two U.S. media giants: 21st Century Fox or NBCUniversal. The former owns Fox Sports and FS1, and controls the exclusive English-langugae broadcasting rights to the World Cup games in the United States. The latter owns Telemundo, which has the rights to broadcast the games in Spanish. That means you’ll need paid access to one of those networks to live-stream the action—which is happening at a dozen venues throughout Russia.

The good news is, many popular streaming services offer those networks as part of their sports-plus packages, and some of those services offer free introductory access, so you can snag a free week or month. I’ve rounded up a few options below:

  • Stand-alone streaming services: For cord cutters, this is probably going to be your best bet. Sign up for a streaming service that offers Fox Sports, FS1, or Telemundo in your area. Dish Network’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and FuboTV are all good options. Remember to check your zip code before signing up, because not all networks are available in all areas.
  • Mobile apps: Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and Telemundo are live-streaming the games via their mobile apps. For this option, you’ll need access to a pay-TV login from a cable, satellite, or telecom company. Maybe you can borrow one from a friend or parent.
  • Fox Sports or Telemundo online: Again, if you have access to a pay-TV login, you can just use those credentials to access World Cup live streams just by visiting the websites of Fox Sports (for English) or Telemundo (for Spanish).

Today’s round of games includes Argentina versus Iceland at 9 a.m. ET; followed by Peru versus Denmark at noon; and Croatia versus Nigeria at 3 p.m. ET. Check out the full schedule here and happy streaming.

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