Want to watch every game from the 2010 World Cup for free? Here’s a guide to some of the best resources for watching the tournament on your computer. There’s only six weeks to go now until the big kick-off, so it’s worth getting acquainted with these apps and web services now. Then you’ll be all set for when the first game, South Africa v Mexico, comes around on June 11.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) streaming services are probably the most popular way to watch live football matches for free. The World Cup will be streamed via apps such as Sopcast, TV Ants, and TVU Player. You can find links to the live streams from a range of listings sites, including football4less.com, Roja Directa, and LiveFooty. For more details, have a look at the post I wrote on how to watch live matches over P2P.
Watching the World Cup on Justin.tv should be a less fiddly option than using a P2P client. Just hit the Live Channels button and then choose Sports. You’ll find a Soccer section in here where you’ll be able to access live World Cup games for free. The quality is generally pretty good, although you might encounter some buffering problems during the big matches. Justin.tv even has an iPhone app, which allows you to view matches on the go via 3G or Wi-Fi.
The BBC has made an audacious decision to stream all of its World Cup games live and for free on the Internet. The corporation doesn’t have the rights to show every match but at least for the ones it does broadcast you should be assured of a high quality live streaming experience. The only problem is that this service is only available to people living in the UK. If you’re outside of Great Britain, you could try connecting using a proxy server such as DaveProxy. However, a more reliable way to access the BBC’s live World Cup coverage outside of the UK would be to connect via a VPN service. VPNUK offers services that start from around $6.50 per month.
If you’re living in the US, you may be able to watch live games on ESPN360. This too is free, although it’s only available to subscribers of certain high speed internet service providers, such as Adelphia, Bend Broadband, Charter, Mediacom, Mid-Hudson Cablevision, Susquehanna, US Cable, and Verizon. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch then be sure to get the ESPN 2010 World Cup app. Although it doesn’t offer live video streaming, the application does provide live audio streams, as well as live scores, gamecasts, and scoring alerts.
Twitter has opened up a whole new way of accessing live football. Not only can you use it to follow people who post live text commentary but the Twitter search tool is great for finding free video feeds. It’s not the most reliable option, and it can be a haven for spammers, but it’s worth pursuing if all other options fail you.
OK, so FIFA.com isn’t going to stream all the World Cup matches live, but it’s worth visiting if you just want to catch up on the highlights of the latest games. The official site will post up extended video highlights of each match one hour after the game has finished. Of course, it’s also the best place to go for competition schedules, results and stats.