How watch Russia v Saudi Arabia online for free (World Cup 2018 opening game)

If you can’t make it to Russia this year for the FIFA World Cup 2018 matches, there’s a good chance you will be looking to get everything streaming online. Thankfully, you can watch the World Cup from a variety of sources, which we’ll detail out below. The games kick off on June 14, and you can watch anywhere in the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, Russia, and the Middle East.

This year, the FIFA World Cup is opening with Russia v. Saudi Arabia kicking off the games in what will likely be a very interesting match-up. Considering the games are taking place in Russia this year, the country will have the home-team advantage, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a large number of fans rooting strongly against them.

Don’t miss the Russia v. Saudi Arabia game, or any other World Cup 2018 games this year!

Here’s everything you need to know to stream across your devices.

Where to stream the FIFA World Cup 2018

Streaming rights belong to a host of different TV networks across the world this year. For the major English-speaking countries, you can find the Russia World Cup streaming in the following locations:

  1. US: Fox Sports
  2. Canada: TSN, CTV, RDS
  3. UK: BBC, ITV
  4. Australia: SBS, Optus Sport

Outside of that, the FIFA World Cup will be broadcasting in a large number of localized TV networks, some free, some paid.

How to stream the FIFA World Cup 2018: free and paid

Can you stream the FIFA World Cup free? Yes! But there may be some limitations depending on where you’re located.

FIFA World Cup 2018: free streaming option for everyone

One of the best free streaming choices to watch is on The World Game website. This site will be broadcasting the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as 25 other games (see the site for specific game details).

This site requires an Australian IP address, however, so you will need to utilize a VPN service if you’re outside of Australia. We recommend ExpressVPN for this to help you get past the content blocks. Outside of that, all you need to do is agree to the terms and give them your email address.

UK World Cup streaming options

If you’re in the UK, you’re in luck! The opening match and the Russia World Cup will be free to watch in its entirety. Your best two options are the BBC iPlayer and ITV. You can also use to stream the games, as TVPlayer streams broadcasts from both of those sources.

Traveling abroad? So long as you have a TV License, you can stream from any of those above sources, but you will need a VPN to do so. We recommend ExpressVPN, as it’s one of the few VPN services that work with the BBC iPlayer, all while maintaining fast streaming speeds through its servers and significant data protection for its users.

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US World Cup streaming options

In the US, your only option is going to be Fox Sports. You can stream from Fox Sports on a dedicated Fox Sports app. You can sign up for a subscription for Fox Sports Go and get access to the network without having a separate cable subscription as well.

Outside of that, most of the legally-available over-the-top internet TV bundle services also carry Fox Sports. Those include:

  1. Sling TV
  2. fuboTV
  3. PlayStation Vue
  4. DirecTV Now
  5. Hulu with Live TV
  6. YouTube TV

However, if you happen to be in the US while traveling and have access to a service that’s broadcasting FIFA, such as the BBC or ITV, you can utilize a VPN service to get the games. (Note that you will still need a TV Licence in order to watch the games through either iPlayer or ITV.)

An alternate option is to watch the World Cup on Kodi but be sure to use only official streams and avoid the pirated content that plagues Kodi. For even more streaming options ExpressVPN has a great guide to watching the World Cup.

Canada World Cup streaming options

Canadian residents can use one of three different services to watch the opening game for the FIFA World Cup 2018, and all other matches. TSN, CTV, and RDS will get you what you need.

TSN is going to be a good option if you already have the service. However, TSN will cost some money. You also can’t watch TSN without a cable subscription, so you’ll need to sign up for a cable service in order to access TSN. However, you can stream through the TSN Go app once you have your subscription and watch while on-the-go.

CTV also has a CTV Go app that will let you stream while outside of the house. With CTV, you will also need to have a subscription to a cable TV service in order to watch the games.

Finally, RDS will let you let watch the streams on their RDS GO app, but again, you will need a cable subscription paired with your account on the app.

Canadian residents who want to watch the opening match and the rest of the games for free may want to consider The World Game option listed above, at least for some of the games.

Australia World Cup streaming options

It’s good to be an Aussie this year for the world cup! SBS and Optus Sport will both be broadcasting the Russia World Cup, and you can enjoy free matches for both.

The World Game website will be your go-to source for free games from SBS, so we’ll just refer you back to there.

For Optus Sport, however, you will need to create an account and sign up for their free 14-day trial. Since the World Cup matches run from June 14 to July 15, you might need to switch over to a free service after your 14-day trial has expired.

Russia World Cup 2018: Free live streams for other regions

Still looking for more free streams? If you’re looking for commentary in your own language, or don’t mind commentary not in English, there are a large number of TV services in Arabic, German, Italian, Spanish, and more, that will have all of the World Cup games for free and streaming online.

Here are a few great choices:

  1. Arabic: KAN11, MAKAN 33, BTV
  3. French: TF1
  4. Italian: Mediaset
  5. Portuguese (Portugal): RTPSIC
  6. Russian: Perviy KanalVGTRKMatch TV
  7. Spanish (Argentina): TV Pública
  8. Spanish (Spain): Mediaset España TelecincoMediaset España Cuatro
  9. Dutch: DRNOS
  10. Bengali: BTV

Although these services are free, if you do choose to opt for one or the other, geographic content blocking will likely be in place. Make sure to choose a VPN that provides servers in the country you’re trying to reach and the capacity that will let you stream effectively without any buffering.


Comparitech does not condone or encourage any copyright violation, including streaming video from pirated sources. Although VPNs can skirt geographical restrictions and mask the user’s identity, please consider the local laws, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.