Five Ways To Watch The World Cup Live

Claimed to be only second to the Olympics in worldwide audience and appeal, the 19th FIFA World Cup will kick off on June 11 (South African time), with whole nations stopping to watch their team try and win one of the most coveted trophies in world sport.

Only seven countries have ever managed to win the tournament – either from Europe or South America – but many other countries have caught up over the past two decades, including Australia, who are about to embark on their second consecutive campaign.

With 64 games to be played over a four week period, football fans are going to be in their own personal Nirvana as the tournament takes over their lives. And if you happen to be married to, or going out, with a rabid football fan, then technology is not your friend. In fact, there are more ways than ever to watch and listen to the game than ever before So we thought we'd have a look at some of the old and new ways you can watch the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Tim Cahill entertain, enthrall and inspire a new generation of football players and spectators.

1) Live On Television And Digital Radio
Thought we'd start with the tried and true. For those who were worried about pay TV putting its snout in the lucrative trough of the world's biggest game, you needn't worry. SBS will be providing coverage of all the games on its free-to-air channel. Most kick-offs will be at 9.30pm, 12am and 4am AEST, so Western Australians will have one over on their eastern seaboard cousins. As stated there will be 64 games to get through, which is a whopping 96 hours – not including extra time, penalty shootouts, sudden death phases, commentaries, highlight packages or discussion panels. SBS 1 radio will be offering up live commentaries in English, while SBS 2 will cover languages.

2) Live Streaming To Your Smartphone
Optus is a sponsor of the Socceroos, and also a supporter of the game in general. It is offering a service that will allow you to watch games via your smartphone. This means you will need a 3G connection and a data plan with plenty of GBs. Just watch out for Bill Shock, that nasty surprise you could get at the end of the month if you have exceeded your monthly data allowance without realising it. You will be charged, and we're guessing if you are going to watch a tonne of football matches on your handset, at 90 minutes-long each, that will chew through the data in no time.

3) Record to PVR
If your partner, husband or wife is totally addicted to the game and you are hoping going for a 10-day trek in the outback in the middle of the tournament might give you some respite from the game, you would be mistaken. Since the last world cup in 2006, personal video recorders, or PVRs have really taken off. In the old days of VCRs, you would be limited to three hours of taping ability, or if you had a really cool recorder, a tape could be stretched to record up to six hours. PVRs are a whole different kettle of fish. Some can record literally hundreds of hours of television, and you don't have to be Einstein or spend hours trying to get the times/settings right. Most come with an Electronic Programme Guide, or EPG, so it's just a matter of setting it to the programmes you want to watch.

4) Streaming Over the Internet
No Internet company in Australia has the rights to stream the games live over the internet, although there are a few sites set to do so outside our borders. If a website is hosted outside of Australia they can lock you out of the website because settings can tell where your ISP is sourced. However, there will be highlights packages on a myriad of sites – too many to name here – but just type in Google/Yahoo/Bing the words “FIFA 2010 World Cup Highlights” and you'll get more hits than a Beatles back catalogue.

5) Watch It At the FIFA Fan Zone
At the risk of being City-Centric (sorry Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide), Sydney has been chosen as one of six world cities to be a FIFA International fan fest sites (the others are Berlin, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Rome). With Sony being a major sponsor of the World Cup they will be showing off 3D highlights of 25 games on a massive 100m2 screen at what Sony is callings its 3D Zone in Darling Harbour. They are trying to create a party atmosphere, and to complement the huge screen, there will also be a floating stage and 60m2 screens at Cockle Bay, which will play live games as shown on SBS.

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