The Definitive Guide to Watching the World Cup, Brought to You by Gizmodo UK

By Tom Pritchard on at

The World Cup starts today, and seeing as how football is the world's most popular sport (unless you could beating each other up for no good reason as 'sport') there are going to be a whole load of people watching the tournament. Especially in the countries that have sent teams to Russia in the hopes of winning.

Now if you've been online recently you'll have seen that every media outlet out there has been trying to boost their search rankings by publishing a guide to watching or streaming the World Cup. We're not exactly huge fans of football here at Giz UK, but we definitely didn't want to be left out to dry. We like improving our SEO too, and went ahead producing our own World Cup viewing guide in response, and tailored it to suit the our audience - people in the UK. So sit back and let us explain in great detail how you can watch the world's biggest single-sport tournament.

Watching Live on a Regular TV

  1. Make sure you have a TV. If you don't, buy one. It doesn't matter which one
  2. Make sure your house/flat has an aerial. If not, buy one you can hang out of the window. The weather is pretty warm, so it's not like you're going to want to close it for the next month
  3. Find plug the aerial cable into the back of your TV. If necessary move your TV or buy an extension cable
  4. Turn on the TV and use the built in tuner to sort out all your channels. if your TV doesn't have a tuner get back in your time machine and return to 2005 where you belong
  5. Look up the schedule, and make sure the channel is on a BBC or ITV channel at the right times. If you can't tell the time, please ask an adult for help
  6. Watch football, drink beers, shout a lot

Watching via a Fancy TV Subscription

  1. Make sure you have a TV
  2. Phone up Sky or Virgin and buy a package
  3. Get them to send someone round who will install everything
  4. Look up the schedule, and make sure the channel is on a BBC or ITV channel at the right times
  5. Watch football, drink beers, make jokes about Wayne Rooney to anyone who will listen

Streaming on a Mobile Device

  1. Make sure you have a smartphone or tablet device
  2. Make sure your device is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or mobile signal.
  3. Make sure you have enough data allowance and battery
  4. Download the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub apps
  5. Log in or sign up for accounts if you don't have them. You will need an email address for this part
  6. Look up the schedule and make sure the app is open at the right time, and on the live broadcast page
  7. Watch football, drink beers, call the manager a dickhead very loudly even though he can't hear you

Streaming on a TV

  1. Make sure you have a Smart TV or streaming box/dongle
  2. Download the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub apps. If they're not available, get a better device
  3. Log in or sign up for accounts if you don't have them. You will need an email address for this part
  4. Look up the schedule and make sure the app is open at the right time, and on the live broadcast page
  5. Watch football, drink beers, scream at the referee every 30 seconds

Listening on the Radio

Option 1:

  1. Find AM radio
  2. Fiddle with the frequency between 693 and 909 kHz until you find BBC 5 Live
  3. Look up the schedule and make sure the radio is on at the right time
  4. Listen to football, shout a lot, annoy everyone in the general vicinity

Option 2:

  1. Open BBC iPlayer Radio
  2. Click on the big '5' in the list of stations
  3. Look up the schedule and make sure the page is open at the right time
  4. Listen to football, shout a lot, complain your boss won't let you watch it on the TV during office hours

Watching in 4K

  1. Make sure you have a 4K TV with HDR that's supported by the BBC. If you're not sure, here is a list.
  2. Download the BBC iPlayer app to your TV
  3. Log in or sign up for accounts if you don't have them. You will need an email address for this part
  4. Look up the schedule and make sure the app is open at the right time. Places are limited, so it's a good idea to be ready and waiting a couple of hours early
  5. Make sure you select the right stream, and don't end up watching in boring old HD. It should be clearly labelled
  6. Watch the pre-match coverage, or do something else to occupy your mind. It's important you leave the stream on, or else you'll lose your spot
  7. Watch football, drink beers, marvel at the enhanced picture, complain ITV aren't doing this for their games

Watching in Virtual Reality

  1. Make sure you have an Oculus Go, Gear VR, PS VR, or an Android/iOS device with a headset case.
  2. Download the 'BBC Sport VR - FIFA™ World Cup Russia 2018' app from the relevant app store
  3. Look up the schedule and make sure the app is open at the right time.
  4. Watch football, drink beers, express wonder and make comments about how it's like you're really there.
  5. Complain ITV aren't doing this either.

Now that this is over we'll get serious and hopefully teach you lovely readers some things. In case you hadn't realised this whole article was a joke, poking fun at the various media outlets publishing trying to improve their SEO. In other words, crafting an article that's meant to deliberately tick a bunch of boxes on Google's ranking checklist in the hopes that it will improve their position in search results and generate more traffic. It's a pretty common practice, since being in good standing with Google (and other search engines) can bring in a lot of readers - and traffic those readers generate is the lifeblood of digital media.

You'll probably see a lot of UK-based outlets have been doing this as well, even though the answer for UK viewers can easily be condensed into the short sentence "turn on BBC or ITV". But those outlets have a global reach and have to cater to American audiences because there are more people over there, most of whom speak English. Plus given American's general apathy towards football, the fans may genuinely need some help tuning in. Our readership, on the other hand, is primarily made up of people from the UK - especially London. So we didn't really need to do this. But we didn't want to be left out, and figured we might as well try to have some fun with it.

So there you go, we just gave you quick lesson in Search Engine Optimisation, while also giving you an idiotproof guide to tuning into the World Cup. Now go off an enjoy all the ball-kicking.