After 31 days, 63 games, countless tears, and at least one teeth-grinding YouTube TV outage, it all comes down to this.
The FIFA World Cup will come to a close today as France takes on Croatia for the 2018 World Cup Final. The two teams are set to face off at 11 a.m. ET at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. I make no predictions about the outcome, except to say the game is likely to draw a massive U.S. audience, even though traditional TV ratings have been down significantly compared to the 2014 World Cup.
Part of that drop can be attributed to the absence of the American team this time around, but that’s not the whole story. The tournament’s Russia location is less time-zone-friendly for U.S. viewers than Brazil was four years ago, and of course a lot more viewers are now streaming the games on smart TVs, computers, or mobile devices—which is more difficult to count via standard methodologies for TV ratings. One estimate from Conviva showed that viewers streamed some 23.3 million hours during the quarter-finals alone, CNBC reported.
If you’re one of those U.S. viewers who have been watching the games online, you probably already know the drill: You need access to a live stream provided by Fox Sports (for English-language coverage) or Telemundo (for Spanish-language coverage). I’ve rounded up lots of ways to do that here. You can also just visit the Fox Sports or Telemundo websites and use your pay-TV credentials.
For cord-cutters without a TV or cable login, your best bet is to sign up for a standalone streaming service that offers Fox Sports or Telemundo. Some of the most popular services include:
Some of these services may be offering free promotions, and they’re usually easy to cancel. Local restrictions may apply, so it’s best to type in your zip code to check and see which channels are offered in your area.
As for me, I’ll be sleeping in, but good luck to both teams!