UK World Cup TV schedule

ITV and the BBC have sat down and agreed the schedule of matches they will each air during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. ITV will show the opening game between Russia and Saudia Arabia on 14 June, but the networks will go head-to-head when they both broadcast the final live from Moscow on Sunday, 15 July at 16:00.

Following the group stage ITV has the first pick in the last 16. The BBC will have the first two choices of quarter-final games, including England’s if they progress that far.

In the UK most of the games – with a few exceptions – will kick off daily at 13.00, 16.00 and 19.00.

The full UK TV schedule for the 2018 World Cup at the group stage (times are for the UK) is:

Thursday, June 14

  • Russia v Saudi Arabia Moscow 4pm ITV

Friday, June 15

  • Egypt v Uruguay 1pm BBC
  • Morocco v Iran 4pm ITV
  • Portugal v Spain 7pm BBC

Saturday, June 16

  • France v Australia 11am BBC
  • Argentina v Iceland Moscow 2pm ITV
  • Denmark v Peru 5pm BBC
  • Croatia v Nigeria 8pm ITV

Sunday, June 17

  • Costa Rica v Serbia 1pm ITV
  • Germany v Mexico Moscow 4pm BBC
  • Brazil v Switzerland 7pm ITV

Monday, June 18

  • Sweden v South Korea 1pm ITV
  • Belgium v Panama 4pm BBC
  • Tunisia v England 7pm BBC

Tuesday, June 19

  • Colombia v Japan 1pm BBC
  • Poland v Senegal 4pm ITV
  • Russia v Egypt 7pm BBC

Wednesday, June 20

  • Portugal v Morocco 1pm BBC
  • Uruguay v Saudi Arabia 4pm BBC
  • Iran v Spain 7pm ITV

Thursday, June 21

  • France v Peru 1pm ITV
  • Denmark v Australia 4pm ITV
  • Argentina v Croatia 7pm BBC

Friday, June 22

  • Brazil v Costa Rica 1pm ITV
  • Nigeria v Iceland 4pm BBC
  • Serbia v Switzerland 7pm BBC

Saturday, June 23

  • Belgium v Tunisia 1pm BBC
  • Germany v Sweden 4pm ITV
  • South Korea v Mexico 7pm ITV

Sunday, June 24

  • England v Panama 1pm BBC
  • Japan v Senegal 4pm BBC
  • Poland v Colombia 7pm ITV

Monday, June 25

  • Saudi Arabia v Egypt 3pm ITV
  • Uruguay v Russia 3pm ITV
  • Iran v Portugal 7pm BBC
  • Spain v Morocco 7pm BBC

Tuesday, June 26

  • Denmark v France 3pm ITV
  • Australia v Peru 3pm ITV
  • Nigeria v Argentina 7pm BBC
  • Croatia v Iceland 7pm BBC

Wednesday, June 27

  • South Korea v Germany 3pm BBC
  • Mexico v Sweden 3pm BBC
  • Serbia v Brazil 7pm ITV
  • Switzerland v Costa Rica 7pm ITV

Thursday, June 28

  • Japan v Poland 3pm BBC
  • Colombia v Senegal 3pm BBC
  • Panama v Tunisia 7pm ITV
  • England v Belgium 7pm ITV

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World Cup Final sets TV viewing records

WC Trophy FinalThe World Cup final on 13 July between Germany and Argentina set an all-time ratings record in Germany. An estimated 34.65 million people watched the game on public broadcast network ARD, beating the previous record, also set during the World Cup,  Germany’s 7-1 semifinal victory over Brazil on broadcast network ZDF, which had reached nearly 32.6 million viewers on average.

The final is now the highest-rated program ever in Germany since audience data has been collected. The game had a share of 86.3 percent of all Germans watching TV at the time, which is also one of the highest figures ever.

The numbers do not include fans who watched at public viewing sites, such as in bars or on big screens in outdoor locations around Berlin and other cities, a popular viewing option in Germany.

In comparison to the final, Germany’s quarterfinal against France had drawn 26.3 million viewers in Germany, the Round of 16 game against Algeria had reached 28.2 million, while the team’s first match of the World Cup against Portugal drew 26.4 million, followed by a 2-2 draw against Ghana that averaged 24.5 million viewers.

Prior to the 2014 World Cup the previous audience records were reached in 2010 when the World Cup semifinal between Germany and Spain drew 31.1 million viewers.

Numbers for the US show the country’s growing interest in “soccer”. The final averaged an impressive 26.5 million viewers on ABC and Univision, according to Nielsen — higher than the 24.7 million who watched the USA-Portugal match on 22 June. Both ABC (17.3 million) and Univision (9.2 million) registered their largest audiences ever for a World Cup game

To put it in context, the figure of 26.5 million is a larger audience in the US than the deciding game for the most recent World Series on Fox (19.2 million) and the NBA Finals on ABC (18.0 million). It also beat the BCS Championship game in college football on ESPN in January (25.6 million).

For ABC, the 17.3 million ranks third among all English-language soccer matches in the US, behind only the 18.2 million for USA-Portugal match and the 18 million for the Women’s World Cup Final against China in 1999.

In addition to the TV broadcast, the final match on WatchESPN generated 1,800,000 live unique viewers, 112,100,000 live minutes viewed and the highest time spent per viewer (63 minutes) of any match of the 2014 World Cup.

Univision, which had set a  US Spanish-language World Cup ratings record in each round of the tournament, ended up about 35% ahead of 2010 in average viewership. The network’s coverage reached 80.9 million viewers, 65% more than 2010 (49.1 million).

In the UK a peak television audience of more than 20 million viewers watched Germany win – the vast majority of them on BBC1. The game was seen by a peak of 16.7 million viewers on BBC1 at 10.30pm on Sunday. Another 3.8 million viewers were watching at the same time on ITV, for a peak audience across both channels of 20.5 million. ITV’s five-minute peak, across the entire game, came towards the end of normal time with 4 million viewers at 9.45pm.

BBC1’s audience was down on the 2010 final, which averaged 12.7 million viewers across the entirety of the BBC’s coverage. ITV was up marginally, from 2.8 million.

The final was the biggest UK TV audience since the Summer Olympics 2012 closing ceremony in London. On a combined basis, the audience share peaked at more than 75 percent of people watching TV in Britain at the time, up from 72.7 percent for the last World Cup final.

In France, the final averaged 13.6 million viewers, on TF1 with a peak audience of 15.3 million. A 61 percent share.

BBC picks to screen Brazil x Germany semi final

BBC has chosen the semi-final between Brazil and Germany to screen at 21.00 on Tuesday, 8 July. ITV will screen the semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands or Costa Rica at 21.00 on Wednesday, 9 July.

The actual final, on Sunday, 13 July, will be broadcast live on both BBC One and ITV, while the 3rd place play-off the day before will be shown, as in 2010, by ITV.

UK TV schedule for World Cup round of 16 on BBC and ITV

BBC World Cup studioThe BBC and ITV have agreed the split of live games for the Round of 16 stage at the World Cup in Brazil.

Played over four consecutive nights from 28 June  to 1 July, both broadcasters will each screen four second round matches  exclusively live.

BBC had the first, third, fifth and seventh pick and ITV second, fourth, sixth and eighth choice.

The break down and time of broadcast in the UK is:

Saturday, 28 June
Brazil v Chile, 5pm, BBC
Colombia v Uruguay, 9pm, ITV

Sunday, 29 June
Netherlands v Mexico, 5pm, ITV
Costa Rica v Greece, 9 pm, ITV

Monday, 30 June
France v Nigeria, 5 pm, BBC
Germany v Algeria, 9pm, ITV

Tuesday, 1 July
Argentina v Switzerland, 5pm, BBC
Belgium v USA, 9pm, BBC

Following the Round of 16, ITV will have first pick of the quarter finals on 4 and 5 July, while the BBC has first choice of the semi-finals to be played on 8 and 9 July.

The actual final, on Sunday, 13 July, will be broadcast live on both BBC One and ITV, while the 3rd place play-off the day before will be shown, as in 2010, by ITV.

Global TV ratings high for the opening of the World Cup

OpeningESPN has reported that the opening match between host Brazil and Croatia had the largest audience it has ever recorded for a World Cup opener since the channel began tracking the data in 1998. It was 52 percent up on the opening match in 2010 between South Africa and Mexico.

Of the top ten metered markets in the US, the strongest performance was in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., followed by Boston, Los Angeles and New York.

Spanish-language channel Univision, did even better in numbers than ESPN, with an audience of 5.1 million viewers, compared to ESPN’s 4.4 million.

Final figures aren’t yet in for all territories but estimates suggest that in key international territories including Germany, Spain, France and the UK the TV ratings were very strong and up sharply on the opening match of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

15.87 million German viewers — 62.6 percent of the viewing public — tuned in to ZDF for the opening game, nearly double that of the 2010 match. In the UK, a total of 12.6 million viewers, or 52.9 percent of the audience, tuned in to ITV’s broadcast, with the average over the entire match of 11.2 million. To compare, the opening match in 2010 between South Africa and Mexico got 4.3 million viewers. In France, 8.7 million viewers saw the game, while in Italy the match drew 9.1 million viewers; in Spain 8.4 million, and in Holland 3.6 million.

In Brazil, Globo has reported that fully 60 percent of all connected devices, including television, mobile phones, tablets and computers, were tuned to the opening night match.

On Friday (13 June) a peak audience of 11 million tuned in to BBC One  to watch the Spain v Netherlands match, with an average audience 8.2 million across the entire game. Over on ITV, over 3 million viewers tuned in for both the Cameroon v Mexico and Chile v Australia matches.

BBC TV World Cup coverage

BBC World Cup studio

BBC World Cup studio

The BBC TV’s World Cup studio in Rio de Janeiro, overlooking Copacabana Beach, is open and ready for action.

During the group stages, the BBC will show the following games live, the others being broadcast by ITV:

13 June
Spain v Netherlands 8pm

14 June
Colombia v Greece 5pm
England v Italy 11pm

15 June
France v Honduras 8pm
Argentina v Bosnia 11pm

16 June
Iran v Nigeria 8pm
Ghana v USA 11pm

17 June
Brazil v Mexico 8pm
Russia v South Korea 11pm

18 June
Spain v Chile 8pm

19 June
Colombia v Ivory Coast 5pm
Japan v Greece 11pm

20 June
Italy v Costa Rica 5pm BBC

21 June
Germany v Ghana 8pm
Nigeria v Bosnia 11pm

22 June
Belgium v Russia 5pm
USA v Portugal 11pm

24 June
Japan v Colombia 9pm
Greece v Ivory Coast 9pm

25 June
Ecuador v France 9pm
Honduras v Switzerland 9pm

26 June
USA V Germany 5pm
Portugal v Ghana 5pm

BBC Radio 5 live will also be providing 24 days of live coverage and 61 live match commentaries and there will be live text commentary on all 64 matches throughout the tournament, available on the BBC Sport website and app for mobile, tablet and BBC Sport Connected TV App.

BBC picks Stevie Wonder’s “Another Star” as its World Cup Theme

The  BBC has chosen Stevie Wonder’s song Another Star to provide the theme tune for the BBC’s World Cup coverage. According to BBC Sport senior producer Ian Finch: “This song perfectly captures the feel-good, carnival atmosphere we will bring to our viewers during the World Cup this summer.”

The song, which in all its glory runs to over 8 minutes, was originally released in 1976 as a track on Wonder’s album Songs In The Key Of Life. It is the first time the musician, 64, has given his approval for one of his songs to be used in this way. Wonder is no stranger to Brazil having visited and perofmed in the country on a number of occasions.

The BBC will have comprehensive coverage of the World Cup, showing live matches on BBC One, BBC One HD and the BBC Sport website, with simultaneous games on BBC Three, BBC Three HD and the Red Button. BBC Two and BBC Two HD will host a morning catch-up highlights programme as well as full match replays of the game of the day.

The BBC has also announced that threeWorld Cup football matches will be streamed in ultra high-definition (UHD). The format, also known as 4K, offers four times the resolution of 1080p high definition video.

The matches – including a quarter final and the final will be one of the first times a live event has been streamed over the air in UHD in the UK. The live streams will be sent via satellite from Brazil, and then distributed via Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) and Internet Protocol (IP) but only to a handful of UHD TV sets in selected BBC Research and Development facilities.