Watching the world cup on TV

With a month of football ahead of us, being able to watch every game as it happens might not be possible unless you are a student, lazy bum, or planning on taking a month off fainting some rare disease that will miraculously disappear come the end of the tournament.

But beside the actual games, there is a plethora of analysis, extras, and everything else you can be sure that ITV and the BBC will throw at the event. 

The games

The opening games are equally divided between ITV and BBC in the UK with both showing them in HD. It's worth noting that ITV HD isn't available in Scotland or N.Ireland, but as both will offer the games in standard definition it's not that you'll miss them, just that you'll have to watch them as you have for every other World Cup previously.

The schedule for the first 48 group games are as follows:

Date

Time

Match

Broadcaster

Friday 11 June

3.00pm

South Africa v Mexico

ITV

7.30pm

Uruguay v France

BBC

Saturday 12 June

12.30pm

South Korea v Greece

ITV

3.00pm

Argentina v Nigeria

BBC

7.30pm

England v USA

ITV

Sunday 13 June

12.30pm

Algeria v Slovenia

BBC

3.00pm

Serbia v Ghana

ITV

7.30pm

Germany v Australia

ITV

Monday 14 June

12.30pm

Netherlands v Denmark

ITV

3.00pm

Japan v Cameroon

BBC

7.30pm

Italy v Paraguay

BBC

Tuesday 15 June

12.30pm

New Zealand v Slovakia

BBC

3.00pm

Ivory Coast v Portugal

ITV

7.30pm

Brazil v North Korea

ITV

Wednesday 16 June

12.30pm

Honduras v Chile

ITV

3.00pm

Spain v Switzerland

BBC

7.30pm

South Africa v Uruguay

BBC

Thursday 17 June

12.30pm

Argentina v South Korea

ITV

3.00pm

Greece v Nigeria

BBC

7.30pm

France v Mexico

BBC

Friday 18 June

12.30pm

Germany v Serbia

BBC

3.00pm

Slovenia v USA

BBC

7.30pm

England v Algeria

ITV

Saturday 19 June

12.30pm

Netherlands v Japan

ITV

3.00pm

Ghana v Australia

BBC

7.30pm

Cameroon v Denmark

ITV

Sunday 20 June

12.30pm

Slovakia v Paraguay

BBC

3.00pm

Italy v New Zealand

ITV

7.30pm

Brazil v Ivory Coast

BBC

Monday 21 June

12.30pm

Portugal v North Korea

BBC

3.00pm

Chile v Switzerland

BBC

7.30pm

Spain v Honduras

ITV

Tuesday 22 June

3.00pm

Mexico v Uruguay

ITV

3.00pm

France v South Africa

ITV

7.30pm

Nigeria v South Korea

BBC

7.30pm

Greece v Argentina

BBC

Wednesday 23 June

3.00pm

Slovenia v England

BBC

3.00pm

USA v Algeria

BBC

7.30pm

Ghana v Germany

ITV

7.30pm

Australia v Serbia

ITV

Thursday 24 June

3.00pm

Slovakia v Italy

ITV

3.00pm

Paraguay v New Zealand

ITV

7.30pm

Denmark v Japan

BBC

7.30pm

Cameroon v Holland

BBC

Friday 25 June

3.00pm

Portugal v Brazil

BBC

3.00pm

North Korea v Ivory Coast

BBC

7.30pm

Chile v Spain

ITV

7.30pm

Switzerland v Honduras

ITV

During the knockout stage of the tournament the split of games between the two broadcasters will depend on England's progression and so you'll have to keep an eye on the TV and news to find out what's on when.

Those games are on:

Round of 16

Date

Time

Match No.

Match


Saturday 26 June

4.00pm

49

Group A winner vs Group B 2nd place (Match 49)

8.30pm

50

Group C winner vs Group D 2nd place (Match 50)

Sunday 27 June

4.00pm

51

Group D winner vs Group C 2nd place (Match 51)

8.30pm

52

Group B winner vs Group A 2nd place (Match 52)

Monday 28 June

4.00pm

53

Group E winner vs Group F 2nd place (Match 53)

8.30pm

54

Group G winner vs Group H 2nd place (Match 54)

Tuesday 29 June

4.00pm

55

Group F winner vs Group E 2nd place (Match 55)

8.30pm

56

Group H winner vs Group G 2nd place (Match 56)

Quarter finals

Date

Time

Match No.

Match

Friday 2 July

4.00pm

57

Winner Match 53 vs Winner Match 54

8.30pm

58

Winner Match 49 vs Winner Match 50

Saturday 3 July

4.00pm

59

Winner Match 52 vs Winner Match 51

8.30pm

60

Winner Match 55 vs Winner Match 56

Semi finals

Date

Time

Match No.

Match

Tuesday 6 July

8.30pm

61

Winner Match 58 vs Winner Match 57

Wednesday 7 July

8.30pm

62

Winner Match 59 vs Winner Match 60

Match for third place

Date

Time

Match No.

Match

Saturday 10 July

8.30pm

63

Loser Match 61 vs Loser Match 62

Final

Date

Time

Match No.

Match

Sunday 11 July

8.30pm

64

Winner Match 61 vs Winner Match 62

The commentary

The BBC is wheeling out the likes of Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Alan Hansen, with Colin Murray presenting the BBC Two World Cup highlights. ITV will have Adrian Chiles, freshly departed from the BBC. ITV will also have the likes of Matt Smith, Marcel Desailly, Gareth Southgate and Kevin Keegan in the studio.

In game the BBC will have commentary from Match commentators are Guy Mowbray, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson, Simon Brotherton and Steve Bower, with co-commentary from Mark Lawrenson, Mark Bright, Mick McCarthy and Martin Keown.

ITV will have commentary from Clive Tilsley, Gareth Southgate, Peter Drury, John Champion, and Craig Burley.

Both ITV and the BBC will be offering extras on the Red button. On BBC 1 you'll be able to get access to 100 hours coverage including live games, rolling highlights and alternative commentary options, while End-of-group matches will be streamed concurrently on BBC Red Button.

ITV has yet to confirm its Red button offering, however says that it will be offering extras to viewers who want to go interactive.

Analysis

BBC is promising to get gadget fans excited using something they are calling, Libero; a 3D Matrix-style device, will be used to enhance their analysis. Libero claims to be the most advanced and sophisticated analysis system currently available. Able to generate arbitrary virtual camera images they say.

ITV too are promising new technology and gadget but just like any good manager and his final team keeping the tech under wraps for the time being (we will update when we hear more).

Around the games

You might think the World Cup is about football, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a host of stuff going on around the games with the BBC and ITV focusing on other programmes in and around the games.

BBC will use the BBC HD channel and BBC Four to offer stories around the games with a journey from Cape Town at the start of the tournament to Johannesburg for the final in a double-decker bus.

ITV has James Corden heading to South Africa for an entertainment programme, While the documentary crew is following Neil Morrissey and Richard Fox, in Men Brewing Badly, as the two take a truckload of their own brand beers, as well as some from other British Micro-breweries on a 3000 mile road trip from Dar Es Salaam, through the dangers and delights of Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and into South Africa, finishing at the World Cup.

Both will be bringing all the latest news from the England camp, and other stories as they happen.

The only other broadcaster out in South Africa from the UK will be Sky Sports News, who doesn't have the rights to show any of the games, but is sending a team out to South Africa to comment on the action. From Thursday 10th June Sky Sports News will broadcast up to eight bulletins each day from its base in Cape Town during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in ‘World Cup Report’. Presented by Ed Chamberlin and Simon Thomas its bulletins will include every England press conference live, reports from England’s training camp, and reports from other squads with special focus on players who play in the Premier League.

Catching up if you've missed a game

The BBC has said that it will be offering full replays of all BBC games on BBC iPlayer for seven days after the game as well as re-running the popular games on the BBC HD channel, although it hasn't confirmed which ones that will be.

ITV too will be showing all the games on the ITV player, as well as highlights of all the games so you can catch up on them if you've been forced to watch a soap and forgot to set your Sky+ or V+ HD box.

The fact that the games will be available on the iPlayer and ITV player means that Virgin Media customers will be able to get them on their televisions to play as re-runs if they've missed the match first time around for up to 7 days after the game first showed.

Sky will not be saving any games to its Anytime service, while Virgin Media won't be offering any on-demand options above and beyond the BBC iPlayer service.

Both ITV and BBC have yet to confirm whether or not you'll be able to series link the games - so you don't miss any - however it is presumed that you will be able to.

If you enjoyed this article, then head over to our World Cup Week homepage where you'll find a collection of features getting ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.