The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to kick off today and for the next month everyone’s attention will be on what happens on the field across 64 games taking place in 12 Brazilian cities. Okay, so it may not be that big of a deal in the US, but for most of planet earth it’s the pinnacle of sporting events.
Some 2.2 to 3.2 billion people watched the last World Cup in 2010, according to FIFA estimates, and that number is sure to grow this year with more viewing options -- including, of course, streaming. So, how can you watch online?
In the US the World Cup will largely air on cable and online streaming requires a subscription with one of 14 cable companies carrying ESPN, which will air 43 matches; ESPN2 which will air 10; and ABC which has another 10. You do have one option in Univision if you don’t mind Spanish-speaking narrators.
Meanwhile on the other side of the pond, European networks will have open over-the-air broadcasts and free online streaming counterparts.
For instance, those in the UK can enjoy free streaming on the BBC and ITV, Germans will get the whole thing on ARD and ZDF, while Canadians, French and Dutch will get some games on CBC, TF1 and NPO.nl. Unfortunately, as usual, streaming will be restricted to people in those specific regions.
Accesing region-locked streams, for free
Now, it’s possible to access region-locked online content from anywhere using VPN, proxy or SmartDNS solutions but usually that requires a paid subscription if you’re expecting to enjoy decent speeds. Luckily, UnoTelly is on a giving spirit, and will offer a 40-day free trial during the World Cup.
Signup is pretty straightforward and there’s no tricky business involved -- as in, they don’t ask for a credit card to charge you after the free period is over once forget to cancel. Just provide your sign in credentials and you’re good to go. Similarly, setting your devices up is as easy as changing the default DNS.
The service has specific instructions for every supported platform and the company has laid out a helpful game schedule with links to every live stream. The inauguration event is due in just a few minutes and will be followed by the first match between Brazil and Croatia at 3.30pm ET.