How to Watch the World Cup without Cable

by Adam Yamada-Hanff

If you want to catch all the action for this year's World Cup in Brazil, but don't have cable, how are you going to watch all the soccer matches?

Since about 2 million American Cut the Cord in 2013 and over 2/3 of Americans do not pay for cable or satellite TV service each month, I know there are a lot of people that are wondering the same thing, “How can I watch the World Cup?”  Have no fear for Adam is here and he's going to show you How to Watch the World Cup without Cable and for free! 🙂


ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation) will be showing the World Cup games over-the-air (OTA) in an agreement with ESPN.  Basically this means you can watch the games with a basic antenna and pick-up the digital TV signal to watch the World Cup games on your TV.

I prefer this Terk HDTVa Amplified Antenna which can pull over-the-air (OTA) signals from up to 50 miles away.  I've even gotten the Terk HDTVa to pull channels from surrounding areas like Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Delaware.  That is about a 50+ mile reception range of course your mileage may vary in terms of your location for signal quality and strength.  Also the downside with this Terk HDTVa antenna is the base is not that stable and tends to fall over often.  Honestly it is the best antenna I own for getting a ton of digital channels for free though.

Whats' the issue with watching the World Cup games on ABC?  Seems ABC executives have only decided to show them on the weekends.  By weekends it's really mostly on Saturday.  On Monday the Ghana vs USA game wasn't shown on ABC.  I guess they figured, “What Americans want to watch Soccer on a Monday?  Even when the US is playing!”  That game was only available on ESPN meaning you needed a cable subscription to watch it.   There is a solution, but it may not be ideal for everyone.

Hablas Espanol?

Why am I asking, “Do you speak Spanish?”  Well in the United States broadcasts rights for the World Cup were secured by two different media companies, ESPN and Univision.

ESPN has coverage of the World Cup but like I said you need a cable subscription.  Some basic cable subscriptions don't even include ESPN.  

For non-cable subscribers luckily Univision has the rights to broadcast all the games but… in Spanish.  ESPN has rights to show the games in English.  The Terk HDTVa antenna I have can pick-up the Univision signal (14.1) all the way from just outside Washington DC from where I live in Baltimore, MD.

You can check if you can pick-up Univision with an antenna by visiting TVFool.  It generates a pretty handy signal reception map showing which direction stations are in relation to your house.  You can use TVFool to lock in a certain a Univision signal.  If you are having trouble I'd recommend finding a forum to get reception help and posting your TVFool reception map.  There is also this FCC Digital TV map tool, but it blows in comparison to TVFool.

Univision is broadcasting ALL the World Cup games and in high definition.  A lot of cable subscriptions don't' include HD service.

If all the dealing with an antenna sounds too complicated for you or you can't pick-up a strong digital TV signal, you can livestream the World Cup with Univision for free. as well.  The quality will not be as good but it's obviously more convenient for some.  Here's how;

How to Watch the World Cup Online (with Univision)

Step 1- Visit Univision

Obviously you need to visit Univision's soccer portal.  (They call it football in case you were not aware like most other countries.)  Here is the link.

Step 2 – En Vivo Hoy (Live Now)

how to watch the world cupThere is a box to the right that says “En Vivo Hoy“, which means Live Now, on the futbol landing page for Univision.   This is where you can click to watch the watch and livestream all the World Cup games online.

Click the orange lettering where it says “Ver Partido en Vivo“, which means “watch live match” in English, for the Soccer (Futbol) game you want to watch and you will be taken to the live-streaming page.

Step 3 – Enjoy Livestreaming the World Cup

univision futbolThank god for Univision is all I can say.  If you don't know Spanish, it's a great time to brush up those language skills.   Honestly you'll get used to watching Soccer in Spanish. 🙂

Note: If the game isn't currently Live it will just show social media stuff.  If the game is in halftime you will see this screen.


There's always the Radio

Radio, what's a radio? 🙂

If you'd rather hear the announcers in English call plays and tells you what is going on, what you could do is listen to ESPN radio online.  In your area the ESPN sports affiliate station may not be broadcasting the World Cup matches live.  They did not here, even for the Ghana vs USA game.  So again you might need to turn to your computer to listen to the World Cup games.  I've done this while doing working on the computer.

Watching the World Cup without Cable (and for Free)

Yes, this is a bit of a round about way to watch, or listen, to the World Cup.  If you don't have cable these are the best ways I know to get coverage of all the Soccer action.  Remember the Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima is encouraging everyone to watch “Futbol” so you better do it.

I hope my guide on “How to Watch the World cup without Cable” was helpful.  If you received value and benefit from this article please share it and leave a comment below.  I'm always glad when I've helped people.

5 Reasons Why People LOVE Downton Abbey

 downton abbey season 3
Downton Abbey

This is sort of hard for me to admit (since I am straight guy) but  I like watching the wildly popular TV show Downton Abbey.  For those that don't know Downton Abbey is British TV show that airs on PBS and is written and created by Julian Fellowes.  The show revolves around a British great house and estate, Downton Abbey, and the family and servants that live in it.

The show has been ratings gold for PBS and there has been a lot of talk about why the show is so popular.  There are a lot of reasons why the show is excellent.  It includes a great group of actors including  Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, and others.   As well the writing by Julian Fellowes seems to be quite well researched and well done.

While I am not a psychology expert or TV junkie, this is my list of 5 Reasons Why People LOVE Downton Abbey:

1. Not Working Appeals to Us

One of the reasons Downton Abbey appeals to people is that the show revolves around British Lords and great estates.  These British families were so rich and well-off that they didn't have to work at all.  They inherited money and land which made them fabulously wealthy for generations.  Being known as a “Gentleman” basically meant you didn't work.  Working was seen as something only lower and middle class people did.  In the show this is reflected in many smart quips and lines.  Essentially the servants do most of the work running and maintaining the house while Lord Grantham and the Crawley family don't do much.  This lifestyle quit appeals to men and I assume women too.  Imagine not having to clean your house? Cook dinner? Wash dishes? That would be totally awesome and isn't something that American are use to seeing much.

2. The House

HighClere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed, is an amazing and impressive house and estate.  No matter what people say, everyone has thought or dreamed about what it would be like to live in a big and beautiful house.

3. Soap Opera

The best way to describe Downton Abbey is sort of like a soap opera, without the bad writing and bad actors.  Some of the plots and stories are a bit annoying but you watch, enjoy the show, and have fun anyway.

4. Time Capsule

Considering how advanced society and technology is in 2013 it is fun for people to get a glimpse into a different time period.   In the Downton Abbey Season 1 they installed electricity in the house as a ‘new thing' and later thee house had phones installed.  Seeing what technology was cutting edge back in the day is fun for a generation that is plugged in so much.  You always wonder, “How did people live without the internet ”  Hey, know you know.

5. Everyone Else is Watching

Basically everyone you know is watching and talking about the show.  So you got to keep up with pop culture, watch the show too, and say you like it.

highclere castle
Highclere Castle aka Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is now in Season 3 and takes place after World War 1.  Here is the description for Season 3 from the PBS website.

Downton Abbey has weathered the war, and the prospect of an impending wedding for Mary and Matthew brings great anticipation, as well as Cora’s mother from America, Martha Levinson. New World and Old World are about to clash as Martha tests tradition at Downton, and the patience of the formidable Lady Violet.

Aside from the sparks upstairs, a very real crisis threatens the foundation and future of Downton. Great houses have been crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I, and Downton may not be exempt. In response, Robert clings decisively to his duty to maintain the home at all costs. But in this changing landscape, nothing is assured, and even the Crawleys may be faced with a new battle to safeguard their beloved Downton.

You can catch the show on PBS on Sunday nights at 9PM.  Next week is the last Downton Abbey episode for Season 3.

What do you think of my list? Do you agree or disagree?  Do you love or hate Downton Abbey?  Leave a comment below and let me know!