Watching the World Cup: UK Versus Australia Compared

WC-2014I’m so excited, the World Cup starts tonight! Now I know a lot of you are thinking it actually started last night, but this is Australia.

Game on!

Depending on your nation of residence, fill up your beer cupboard (UK) or fridge (AUS) with your brew of choice, put your favourite chair in pole position and politely inform the rest of the family that for the next four weeks, at intermittent periods, the TV is yours.

Then prepare for the opening ceremony.

Watching the World Cup in the UK

It’s the opening game, the hosts Brazil are playing Croatia. Kick-off time is 9 o’clock in the evening.


The kids are in bed, it’s a perfect time to open the bar and pour yourself a pint before sitting down to watch the opening game in the world’s best sporting tournament.

Other games in the early rounds will kick-off at 5 PM, 8 PM and 11 PM with stage two games being played at 5 PM and 9 PM.

Couldn’t be better, could it?

wc brazil

Watching the World Cup in Australia

It’s the opening game, the hosts Brazil are playing Croatia. Kick-off time is 6 o’clock in the morning on the east coast; it’s an even more unforgiving 4 o’clock in the morning over in Perth.

Things can only get worse.

The only similarity we have with the UK is that for us, as well, the kids are in bed. Unfortunately, so is everybody else. Now I like beer whilst watching football, but not at 6 o’clock in the morning.

Call me a traditionalist, but I always like to have a little bit breakfast before hitting the bottle. Other kick-off times for us in the east will be 2 o’clock in the morning and 5 o’clock in the morning with the bulk of the games being at 2 AM and at 6 AM in the second phase.

So the only way to seriously enjoy this World Cup is going to be to record the games to watch later. Yes, timeshifting.

The World Cup on TV

It’s very pleasing to see that every single game will be shown live here on Australian Freeview TV on SBS. I have my digital recording technology, a PVR, set to record the games during these ridiculously early hours, although there is also a nightly one-hour show on SBS with the day’s highlights.

Because sometimes, just sometimes, it can be a little tricky to watch almost 6 hours of football in one day.

On top of that, each and every one of the day’s games is repeated throughout the day in slightly edited 90 minute programs. Very handy.

I noticed that in the UK the BBC and ITV are sharing coverage, which means that both of our countries will be enjoying free World Cup football again this year. The longer we can keep the World Cup away from pay-TV, the better.

Avoiding the scores

Unlike the English Premier League, the World Cup will get a lot of news coverage here, after all, Australia are in it as well. Avoiding the scores throughout the day is going to be tough.

So for the next few weeks I won’t be able to log on to any online newspapers, turn on any radios or watch any news on the TV until AFTER I’ve watched (up to) six hours of football each evening. Yes, to watch the World Cup in Australia without knowing the scores you need to detach yourself from the real world.

England’s first game against Italy is an 8 o’clock in the morning kick-off and a few of my friends are getting up at 6 AM to go to the Pig ‘n’ Whistle to watch it. The last time I got up at that sort of time in the morning ‘for pleasure’ was to go fishing when I was 15.

Even if I could drag my sorry backside out of bed in time to get there, I don’t think I’d find matchsticks strong enough to prop my eyes open for two hours. So I’ll be snuggled up in bed with my fingers in my ears.

It’s going to be a tough tournament, but I’m ready for it. Been ready for 48 years…

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • djmcbell June 16, 2014, 5:30 pm |

    England weren’t bad against Italy, but weren’t brilliant either. I just wish everyone would stop harping on about Rooney being “the chosen one” – someone on the news yesterday said “we’ve got nine matches and he’s yet to find the back of the net” – we’re only one match in and he only played 30 minutes of that one! As much as I’m not keen on him, people do place WAY too much importance on him.

    Meanwhile, I’ll briefly remember my last few times watching the world cup in America. The first time baffled me by constantly saying “such and such a player is in the RED ZONE”, then bringing up a whole load of stats covering half the screen. The second time was a lot better, except for the banner of the current advertiser in the top corner of the screen which would change every minute or so, forcing the commentators to say “this portion of the match is brought to you by Budweiser, the refreshing beer” (or whatever product” each time it changed.

    • BobinOz June 16, 2014, 7:58 pm |

      I think a lot of it is just talk talk’s sake. It’s best to take no notice and let the players simply play.

      I remember when the USA got the World Cup, apparently they wanted to introduce quarters instead of half-time so they could fit in more adverts and also make the goals bigger so it would be easier to score, to make it ‘more exciting’.


  • England Fan June 16, 2014, 10:37 am |

    I take it you still support England over Australia?

    • BobinOz June 16, 2014, 7:50 pm |

      Yes, of course, always in an England versus Australia situation. Works well for football, but not so good sometimes with the rugby or cricket, or even hockey.

  • jim June 14, 2014, 5:00 pm |

    just going to say bloody well done Australia against chile
    cant see England playing better? can u tell I am a jock ?

    • BobinOz June 16, 2014, 7:48 pm |

      Yes, the Aussies did do great, it was a fantastic fightback. England, on the other hand, started really well and then faded.

      I’m still waiting for Scotland’s first game, when they on? 🙂

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