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The two-time defending World Cup champion U.S. women’s team is gearing up to attempt a three-peat as the quadrennial tournament for international soccer’s most coveted trophy officially kicks off. Beginning Thursday, July 20, 32 teams from across the globe will compete in the Women’s World Cup 2023. That’s eight more teams than the previous tournament, which means a total of 64 games will take place.
Previous winners include the U.S., Germany, Japan, and Norway, with the U.S. winning the most of any nation. Will the USWNT pull off its third victory in a row? Or will other favorites(opens in a new tab) like England, Spain, and Germany lift the cup? Here’s what you need to know to watch every game live from your living room.
When is the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023?The Women’s World Cup begins Thursday, July 20, and runs through August 20. The 32 teams, up from 24 in 2019, are divided into eight groups of four. Each team plays a three-game, round-robin group stage. The top finishers then advance to a round of 16 from August 5 to 8. The quarterfinals are set for August 11 and 12, with two semifinal games set for August 15 and 16. Finally, the third-place winner will be determined in a game set for August 19, with the final officially airing on August 20 at 6 a.m. ET.
Since Australia and New Zealand are hosting the tournament, you’ll want to keep an eye on the kickoff times. For instance, the U.S. games kick off either at 9 p.m. ET or 3 a.m. ET. While FIFA tries to cater the kickoff times to the nations playing, there is a 12 to 15-hour time difference to consider.
Where can I watch the Women’s World Cup 2023?If you have cable, you’re in luck. Fox Sports is the home to all things World Cup in the U.S. The network will air all 64 games of the tournament, with 29 of them on the main network and the others shown on FS1. If you have a cable login, you can also watch on FoxSports.com(opens in a new tab) or the Fox Sports app.
Don’t have cable? No worries. There are several free live streams available if you use a VPN. You can also sign up for a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV, Sling, or FuboTV to get in on the action (more on that below).
Can you stream the Women’s World Cup for free?Fans have plenty of options for streaming the 2023 Women’s World Cup for free. Just keep in mind that there is a barrier to accessing these streams — your location. The free streams are based in the UK, Australia, Belgium, France, and other places around the globe. You’ll either need to be in one of those countries to access the stream or pretend to be with the help of a quality VPN. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you think.
The following streaming services offer free coverage of the Women’s World Cup:
BBC iPlayer(opens in a new tab) (English commentary) — Based in the UK, BBC iPlayer can be accessed on your browser or through a mobile app with a UK postal code and a server based in the UK.
ITV(opens in a new tab) (English commentary) — Like BBC, ITV is based in the UK and airs completely free live streams of some World Cup games with a valid UK postal code and a UK-based server.
7plus(opens in a new tab) (English commentary) — Australia-based 7plus is the app equivalent of the Seven network. The network and accompanying app will air 15 key games — the opening, quarterfinals, semi-finals, and final — live. All you need is a valid postal code and an Australian-based IP address to access the stream.
RTBF Auvio(opens in a new tab) (French commentary) — Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF) is the broadcasting organization of the French community of Belgium. Its free online streaming platform, called Auvio, will air free live matches during the World Cup tournament. Just connect to a Belgium-based server to access.
RTÉ Player(opens in a new tab) (English commentary) — RTÉ is a free-to-air channel based in Ireland. You can securely stream games for free using the RTÉ Player by logging into a VPN server based in Ireland. TG4, another Irish free-to-air channel, will also be airing the action live.
With any of the free streams, you’ll follow these three main steps to gain access:
Download and sign up for a streaming-friendly VPN (see our top picks below).
Log into the VPN you selected and choose a server based in the location of the stream you choose (UK, Australia, Ireland, or Belgium).
Head over to the corresponding site or app to stream the 2023 Women’s World Cup for free.
All of these streams are free of charge, but keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay a low monthly fee for a VPN if you don’t already have one. So, technically it’s not totally free, but is anything? Most VPNs keep costs fairly low, at least. Plus, many offer money-back guarantees, free trials, and regular discounts.
What is the best VPN for streaming the Women’s World Cup 2023?Best overall: ExpressVPN(opens in a new tab)ExpressVPN checks all the right boxes when it comes to a reliable VPN for streaming. It’s pretty easy to use, offers ample support whenever you need it, and works well. What more could you want? “The best VPNs are intuitive, secure, and they do their thing without slowing you down too much,” said Mashable contributor Branford Shaw. And when he tested ExpressVPN firsthand, that’s exactly what he saw. Equipped with thousands of servers in 94 countries, you can easily find a server in one of the above locations to access the free streams of the Women’s World Cup 2023. It’s not the most affordable option on the list, but it’s currently running a deal for $6.67 per month(opens in a new tab) for 15 months — that’s $6.28 per month in savings.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Most affordable: CyberGhost VPN(opens in a new tab)If affordability is most important to you, CyberGhost VPN offers over 9,000 servers in 91 countries — including those with free World Cup streams — for only $2.19 per month with its current deal. New customers can get a 26-month plan for over 80% off the standard monthly rate of $12.99, plus a money-back guarantee within 45 days. But the price isn’t the only thing we love about it: CyberGhost also offers specialized streaming servers, gives users free access to ID Guard and Privacy Guard, and as Mashable shopping reporter Haley Henschel noted, “backs up its no-logs policy with annual Transparency Reports(opens in a new tab).”
Read our full review of CyberGhost VPN.
Best premium pick: NordVPN(opens in a new tab)Perhaps the most well-known VPN on our list, NordVPN is a premium pick with advanced security features like split tunneling, built-in malware protection, and multi-hop connections. It’s not the best choice for first-time VPN users, or as Mashable shopping reporter Haley Henschel noted, it’s for “users who don’t need their hands held.” That being said, it regularly tops Best VPN lists (including ours) and its Standard plan is pretty affordable at $3.49 per month (for two years).
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Honorable mention: Proton VPN(opens in a new tab)While it’s not the most powerful or popular VPN on the list, we still think Proton VPN is worth mentioning for its commitment to consumer privacy, its 30-day money-back guarantee, and its decent price of $4.99 per month for two years. It offers a smaller number of servers than the others on this list, but still ticks off the locations of the free World Cup streams (the UK, Australia, Belgium, Ireland). Plus, it includes a built-in ad tracker and malware blocker.
Read(opens in a new tab) our full review of ProtonVPN.
Best streaming services to watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023Don’t feel like signing up for and downloading a VPN? That route certainly isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, there are other ways to stream the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 that don’t require a VPN. However, they are going to cost you.
Since Fox is home to the World Cup championships, your best bet is to ask someone you know for their cable login. That way, you can utilize the free stream on FoxSports.com(opens in a new tab). If you don’t have an accessible cable login, your next best option is to subscribe to Peacock for a Spanish-language broadcast or a live TV streamer like Sling or YouTube TV. Here are our top streaming service picks for watching the Women’s World Cup in the U.S.
Most direct: Peacock Premium(opens in a new tab) (Spanish commentary)By far the most direct way to watch the Women’s World Cup 2023 in the U.S. is via Peacock Premium. There’s just one catch: the broadcast is in Spanish. If that doesn’t matter to you, then by all means, sign up for Peacock Premium for just $4.99 for the month and watch every match as it happens live.
Best cable alternative: YouTube TV(opens in a new tab)For the most bang for your buck and a solid cable alternative, check out YouTube TV, which Mashable shopping reporter Leah Stodart called “arguably the best premium live TV streaming service out there.” YouTube TV offers a solid trial period for testing the waters, a wide selection of channels (including Fox and FS1 for World Cup coverage), plus a decent introductory offer. After a 10-day trial, you’ll pay just $64.99 per month for three months (rather than $72.99 per month). Better yet, you can cancel at any time with no strings.
Most affordable cable alternative: Sling TV Blue package(opens in a new tab)Sling is one of the most affordable options on the market for a live TV streaming service. With the Blue package, you’ll have access to FS1, which will broadcast over 30 of the games live. For the rest, you’ll need to use an over-the-air antenna (which is included for free(opens in a new tab)!) to access the main Fox network. It’s significantly cheaper than YouTube TV, but also has significantly fewer channel options. For a limited time, Sling is offering new customers their first month of the Blue package for just $25. After that, it’ll jump back up to $40/month.
Honorable mentionsFuboTV(opens in a new tab) — free seven-day trial, then $74.99/month (access to Fox, FS1)
Hulu + Live TV(opens in a new tab) — $69.99/month (access to Fox, FS1)
Frequently Asked Questions The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be broadcast on Fox and FS1 in the U.S. for cable viewers. For Spanish language coverage, tune into Telemundo.
The first game, New Zealand vs. Norway (Group A) kicks off at 5 p.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) on July 20, with another game, Australia vs. Republic of Ireland, kicking off a couple hours later at 8 p.m. local (6 a.m. ET). You can check out the full schedule and the team groupings at the official FIFA website(opens in a new tab).
Christina Buff is a freelance deals writer for Shopping.