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The Roar


World Cup TV guide: How to watch every 2018 FIFA World Cup match on television

World Cup TrophyWant to watch every match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on your telly? You’ve come to the right place – our World Cup TV guide has all the info you could possibly need to watch every game of the tournament on TV in Australia.

The World Cup will begin on June 14 in Russia, with the Socceroos beginning their campaign three days later on the 17th. There are two ways to watch the tournament on your telly in Australia. One of those is via free-to-air channel SBS, though this will not give you access to every game, and the other requires a paid subscription.

Previously, Optus Sports now had the exclusive rights to air all 64 matches. While SBS still had some rights, they were not able to show every fixture as they had done in the past.

But a torrent of complaints from Australian fans beset by constant playback errors and poor streaming quality put enormous pressure on Optus to forfeit their exclusive rights and, eventually, that’s just what they did.

They’d previously surrendered only the group stage matches to SBS, but now every single remaining match of the World Cup will be avaailable to watch on SBS as well.

So you know what games you can watch where, we’ve got you covered with The Roar‘s ultimate World Cup TV guide for both free-to-air and pay TV.

And to check out the exact kick-off times for every match of the tournament, head over to our 2018 World Cup schedule.

How to watch on free-to-air TV

Unfortunately, you will not be able to watch every game without a paid subscription. However, there is a way to view some games for free.


SBS were set to broadcast 25 of the 64 World Cup games, including all Socceroos games. Included in SBS’s rights are the opening match of the entire tournament, the game of the day – every day, two quarter-final matchups, the semi-finals, and the final. On June 18, it was announced SBS would cover every match for the next 48 hours due to the failings of Optus and their streaming platform.

SBS World Cup TV guide

Date Kickoff time (AEST) Fixture
Fri June 15 1:00 AM Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Sat June 16 4:00 AM Portugal vs Spain
Sat June 16 8:00 PM Australia vs France
Mon June 18 1:00 AM Germany vs Mexico
Mon June 18 10:00 PM Sweden vs South Korea
Tue June 19 1:00 AM Belgium vs Panama
Tue June 19 4:00 AM Tunisia vs England
Tue June 19 10:00 PM Colombia vs Japan
Wed June 20 1:00 AM Poland vs Senegal
Wed June 20 4:00 AM Russia vs Egypt
Wed 20 Jun 10:00 PM Portugal vs Morocco
Thu 21 Jun 1:00 AM Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia
Thu 21 Jun 4:00 AM Iran vs Spain
Thu 21 Jun 10:00 PM Denmark vs Australia
Fri 22 Jun 1:00 AM France vs Peru
Fri 22 Jun 4:00 AM Argentina vs Croatia
Fri 22 Jun 10:00 PM Brazil vs Costa Rica
Sat 23 Jun 1:00 AM Nigeria vs Iceland
Sat 23 Jun 4:00 AM Serbia vs Switzerland
Sat 23 Jun 10:00 PM Belgium vs Tunisia
Sun 24 Jun 1:00 AM South Korea vs Mexico
Sun 24 Jun 4:00 AM Germany vs Sweden
Sun 24 Jun 10:00 PM England vs Panama
Mon 25 Jun 1:00 AM Japan vs Senegal
Mon 25 Jun 4:00 AM Poland vs Colombia
Tue 26 Jun 12:00 AM Uruguay vs Russia
Tue 26 Jun 12:00 AM Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Tue 26 Jun 4:00 AM Iran vs Portugal
Tue 26 Jun 4:00 AM Spain vs Morocco
Wed 27 Jun 12:00 AM Denmark vs France
Wed 27 Jun 12:00 AM Australia vs Peru
Wed 27 Jun 4:00 AM Nigeria vs Argentina
Wed 27 Jun 4:00 AM Iceland vs Croatia
Thu 28 Jun 12:00 AM Mexico vs Sweden
Thu 28 Jun 12:00 AM South Korea vs Germany
Thu 28 Jun 4:00 AM Serbia vs Brazil
Thu 28 Jun 4:00 AM Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Fri 29 Jun 12:00 AM Japan vs Poland
Fri 29 Jun 12:00 AM Senegal vs Colombia
Fri 29 Jun 4:00 AM Panama vs Tunisia
Fri 29 Jun 4:00 AM England vs Belgium
Knockout Stage
Knockout Stage
Sun 1 Jul 12:00 AM France vs Argentina
Sun 1 Jul 4:00 AM Uruguay vs Portugal
Mon 2 Jul 12:00 AM Spain vs Russia
Mon 2 Jul 4:00 AM Croatia vs Denmark
Tue 3 Jul 12:00 AM Brazil vs Mexico
Tue 3 Jul 4:00 AM 1G vs 2H
Wed 4 Jul 12:00 AM Sweden vs Switzerland
Wed 4 Jul 4:00 AM 1H vs 2G
Sat 7 Jul 12:00 AM W49 vs W50
Sat 7 Jul 4:00 AM W53 vs W54
Sun 8 Jul 12:00 AM W55 vs W56
Sun 8 Jul 4:00 AM W51 vs W52
Wed 11 Jul 4:00 AM WQF1 vs WQF2
Thu 12 Jul 4:00 AM WQF3 vs WQF4
Third-placed playoff
Sun 15 Jul 12:00 AM LSF1 vs LSF2
World Cup final
Mon 16 Jul 1:00 AM WSF1 vs WSF2

If you can’t get to a TV to watch SBS, you can also catch their coverage online for free. The World Game app and official World Cup app will allow you to watch their 25 games, while if you miss any of these matches, you will be able to catch a free replay on SBS On Demand.

If you decide to watch SBS’s coverage, you’ll be able to listen to exclusive commentary from veteran football caller Martin Tyler. The channel’s coverage will also include the likes of Craig Foster, Lucy Zelic, David Zdrilic, David Basheer and Craig Moore.

If you are unable to get yourself in front of a screen and view these games, SBS is broadcasting all 64 games over their radio service.

How to watch on Optus Sport


Optus will show each and every 2018 World Cup match, as well as plenty of pre- and post-match coverage, interviews and features on their 24/7 football channel.

Their commentary team includes former Socceroos Mark Schwarzer, John Aloisi, Tony Popovic, Brett Emerton, Paul Okon, and more.

Of course, all this doesn’t come for free; in order to access all 64 matches, you will need to purchase an Optus Sport subscription.

If you already have an Optus 12-month or 24-month postpaid phone plan, select 12-month data-only plan, or select 24-month tablet plan, then Optus Sport is already included and you can watch every single World Cup game.

If you’re a current Optus user but don’t have any of these plans, you can add on Optus Sport for $14.99 per month.

Non-Optus customers can also independently subscribe to Optus Sport for $14.99 per month.

If you do not want to purchase any of these plans, you can access Optus Sport with a free two-week trial. Once this trial is over, however, you will need to pay for one of the above-mentioned services to watch all the 2018 World Cup games.

Optus Sport is accessible on Apple and Android devices, Fetch TV, Chromecast, and through your web browser.


(Photo: Flickr)

As soon as more information about the Australian TV coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup comes to light, we’ll update this page with all the latest details.