Football – the version of the sport that doesn’t involve wearing protective headgear or touching the ball with your hands – is in fashion this month. The Euro 2016 tournament is the second best thing after a World Cup event. Starting Friday evening local time, the 24 best European teams will be facing off against each other in France for a full month, at the UEFA competition. TV networks around the world will broadcast all games of the tournament and, as you might expect, you’ll be able to watch them online as well.
From June 10th to July 10th, 51 games will be needed to establish the new champions, with Spain expected to try to defend the title it won four years ago.
The cable route
In the US, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will broadcast the Euro 2016 championship, but you need cable to see the games. If you have friends or family who still pay for cable, then make sure you borrow their logins and load the WatchESPN app on your smart device (computer, smartphone, smart TV or set-top box).
Cord-cutters still have to pay
Of course, there are ways to watch all of the games online, Cut Cable Today explains, without having to pay for cable just for this particular tournament.
A basic Sling TV subscription will cost you $20, and the package includes both ESPN and ESPN2. For ESPN Deportes, you’ll need to shell out an additional $5 each month, but you can cancel the subscription once the tournament is over.
Before you pay for Sling, you’ll be able to use it for free for a full week. Moreover, there are some exciting promos going on at the moment. T-Mobile subscribers can get 30% off the subscription cost. Even better, if you subscribe to Sling for three months you’ll get a free Roku 2 player, which isn’t a bad deal.
If Sling doesn’t cut it for you then there’s PlayStation Vue, which will get you access to more than 55 channels for $30 a month. You guessed it, ESPN and ESPN2 are included in the offer. The service also offers a free seven-day trial. In fact, combining Sling and PlayStation Vue will get you 14 days of free European football, as long as you remember to cancel before each trial is over.
The shady and slightly illegal routes
If you want to avoid paying for streaming the games and don’t know anyone with cable – lucky you? – then you can try to use a VPN service that has British servers. That way, you can pretend you’re in the UK and load the games using the BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub apps. As PC Advisor explains, both BBC and ITV will broadcast the matches.
There are shadier ways to watch the Euro 2016 games online, but these include streaming sites that aren’t exactly legal, so proceed with caution if you go that route.
The official game schedule
The competition kicks off on Friday at 9:00 PM CET (that’s 3:00 PM EST), and the full schedule is available at this link.