How do we watch the World Cup matches without ESPN123?
June 5, 2014 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Straightforward question: we'd like to be able to watch the 2014 World Cup soccer matches, especially towards the later stages. We have ultra-basic basic cable (over the air broadcast TV via cable, no cable box), fast internet, Netflix, Amazon Prime. Since this is mostly for my dad, a solution that doesn't involve too many technical steps would be better - I'm not averse to spending some cash on it, but the thought of paying even more money to Time Warner Cable fills me with murderous rage. Obvious solutions? Creative ideas?
posted by RedOrGreen to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The most obvious solution is to watch at a pleasant bar.
posted by CheeseLouise at 12:49 PM on June 5, 2014

The easiest, legalest solution is to upgrade your existing cable package, and then return it to the ultra-basic level after the tournament is over. Make sure that you aren't grandfathered in to some service level that is no longer available first.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:49 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Univision. Might be able to find ESPN radio on at the same time for English language commentary.
posted by mzurer at 12:51 PM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

borrowing someone's cable password and watch it online?
posted by zw98105 at 12:53 PM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

I thought most game times will just take place during work hours... can he meet you for lunch at work?

The # of games x # of beers that you'd have to buy might not make financial sense to watch it at a bar.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:53 PM on June 5, 2014

Couple of minor clarifications:
- Sorry, a bar is not on the cards. This is strictly at home.
- Yes, a temporary upgrade to the cable package is an option, but see "murderous rage", above.
- I'm not sure how I'd go about accessing Univision or what I'd access online with a cable password.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:14 PM on June 5, 2014

RedOrGreen: - I'm not sure how I'd go about accessing Univision or what I'd access online with a cable password.

Univision is a Spanish language channel that will be carrying the World Cup and is likely available on your basic cable package. With a password borrowed from someone with a qualifying cable subscription you can watch the games on WatchESPN on a computer or many varieties of phones/tablets.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:24 PM on June 5, 2014

You can watch all of the games on broadcast TV in Spanish (56 matches on Univision, 8 matches on UniMás). (Univision also has a cable channel, which is simulcasting the games). Here is a guide. You should be able to access these channels with an antenna or through your super-basic cable package (the channel number will be different in each case). The article also mentions that you can watch the pre-quarterfinals matches for free online or on a tablet.

10 matches will be aired on ABC so you'll probably want to switch over for those.

If you're unhappy with the Spanish language broadcast, then find someone with one of these cable packages and borrow/rent their password. Then you can watch anything that is broadcast on ESPN 1/2 (all but the ABC matches) online on ESPN3.
posted by acidic at 1:40 PM on June 5, 2014

BBC will be streaming the games via their iPlayer.

You can use either a VPN like Private Internet Access or a DNS/Reverse Proxy Service like Unlocator will allow you to stream to a PC as if you were in the UK. It looks like Unlocator and a Chromecast may work. There would be a bit of setup required but once done it should be transparent.

I should say I use these services for MLB games and I've tried quite a few. I've found Unlocator to be the most performant solution.
posted by bitdamaged at 2:14 PM on June 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

These are the steps to use a cable password.

1. Ask someone who has a higher tier of cable to set you up with a new account and password (can be almost every cable company)
2. Get this account and password.
3. Go to, click on a game or match that says "ESPN" or "ESPN2".
4. It will ask you to authenticate-- pick the cable company. This will send you to their authenticated portal.
5. Type in the username and password
6. Watch games!
posted by sandmanwv at 2:38 PM on June 5, 2014

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