England and Croatia meet today in the second semifinal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with the winner advancing to play France in Sunday’s final. In the U.S., the match from Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will be available to watch live on Fox at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT as well as on Spanish-language Telemundo.
For England, it will be a chance to return to the final for the first time since winning the tournament in 1966, and the “football is coming home” talk — a reference to England as where organized soccer got its start — has been growing as the team has advanced through the knockout stages. But they’ll have to do it against Croatia, like Belgium yesterday versus France fielding its best squad ever and facing an opponent riding the wave of a youth movement.
The World Cup final is Sunday in Moscow at 11 AM ET/8 AM PT.
Fox Sports and Telemundo have seen strong ratings for this year’s tournament, with Fox building its numbers that so far peaked with a tournament-high 6.32 million tuning in for the Croatia-Russia quarterfinal Saturday on Fox. (Those numbers will be challenged by yesterday’s France victory over Belgium, which put France back in the final for the third time since since it won in 1998; in France alone, 19.1 million viewers, or 70.5% of the audience, watched on TF1.)
Spanish-language Telemundo last week posted its best-ever Friday daytime audience in network history with its quarterfinal broadcasts and has matched that feat on two other weekdays during this tournament, which kicked off June 14.
In the UK, the game will air on ITV at 7 PM local time. The commercial broadcaster has been sharing rights to the tournament with the BBC and secured the semifinal match after BBC One aired England’s quarterfinal victory over Sweden. Although there’s often outrage in the country when ITV shows a game over the BBC, largely as a result of the ad breaks during halftime, ITV commentators Jon Champion and Ally McCoist have emerged as one of the most popular pairings in a long time.
A total of 20 million – an 80% share of TV viewers – tuned in to the quarterfinal win on BBC One, with millions more watching in pubs around the country.
Croatia is looking to advance to its first World Cup final as a nation (it was formerly part of Yugoslavia, which participated in the first World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay, finishing fourth). It has needed penalty kicks in both knockout games, against Denmark and then host Russia in the quarterfinals to reach this stage.
Croatia Radiotelevision (HRT) is showing the World Cup this year, though today’s match is likely to be one of the last international games shown on the public broadcaster for some time after it emerged that a pay-TV broadcaster had swooped on the rights following the tournament.
There are plenty of other ways to watch today’s England-Croatia game, meanwhile. In the U.S., it also will be available for live stream for authenticated users on Foxsports.com and the Fox Sports App. On the Telemundo side, matches will be available via Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and NBC Sports; the Telemundo stations’ apps; and across mobile, tablet and most connected TV devices.
For those who have access to Hulu, the game is available with Live TV via Fox and Telemundo. The match will also be available live to subscribers to DirecTV. YouTube TV offers all games live in U.S. markets in English and Spanish through Fox, Telemundo and NBC Universo, and the YouTube TV cloud DVR feature is available to record matches.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter will offer recaps and highlights.
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