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World Cup 2022: How to watch every game, wherever you are

It’s that time again – the nations of the world will meet at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to decide football’s world champions. If you’re anything like us, you’re already planning your viewing schedule.

World Cup 2022: How to watch every game, wherever you are
Clash in Qatar: Five billion people are estimated to watch the World Cup final. Photo: Getty Images

From Sunday, 20 November until Sunday, 18 December, 32 qualifying teams will meet in Qatar and play games across five cities. The final will take place at Lusail Stadium on 18 December, in front of an estimated worldwide audience of five billion – two billion more than the 2018 final!

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the World Cup to get people to come together. Gathering around the TV with friends, drinks and snacks in hand, wearing your country’s colours with pride. Each game is 90-plus minutes of drama, tension and hopefully elation as goals are sunk into the back of the net.

It gets even better if you can access match broadcasts from your home country. Your favourite commentators can provide the colour and detail that broadcasters in other countries simply can’t match. Many of these broadcasts such as BBC iPlayer and ITV (UK) are even free!

Thankfully, in 2022 we have a simple solution to access your preferred World Cup broadcaster – the VPN. 

What is a VPN? 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a piece of software that is able to change your IP address – essentially, your location on the internet. 

This is important, because due to legal agreements, many broadcasters restrict access to those within a certain geographical region.  

In changing your IP address to one within a specified region, you can bypass these ‘region locks’, as they’re known, and stream video or other media as if you were there. 

Sounds illegal – is it? 

Not at all. There are no laws that forbid the use of a VPN to access streaming media in a different country. 

Indeed, VPNs are big business, with a projected worth of 77 billion USD by 2026. This is because in addition to changing your IP address, VPNs also encrypt your data, providing an additional layer of security, necessary for many environments. 

VPNs are definitely here to stay, and have become a very useful tool for both business and recreational viewing. 

How do I use a VPN?

To use a VPN, set up an account with a provider, like ExpressVPN, and download their app to your mobile device or desktop.

Then, with a click of a button, simply choose the region you want to access content from.

For example, if you want to watch English coverage of the World Cup, select a server located in the UK, click, and voila – you can access BBC iPlayer or ITV’s online broadcasts.

Now you can start streaming the games!

Watch the World Cup – Sign up with ExpressVPN now and get a 30-day money-back guarantee plus 3 extra months FREE

VPNs work across all of your devices to access content in different parts of the world. Photo: ExpressVPN

How much should I expect to pay for a VPN?

The vast majority of VPN providers offer very reasonable rates to use their services and certainly less than many streaming services. 

ExpressVPN, for example, has a sliding scale – €12.46 for one month, €9.61 per month for a six month plan, and €6.39 for a 12 month plan. The longer your plan, the more you save, and readers of The Local can get the exclusive offer of 3 extra months free on a 12 months subscription.

Many providers, including ExpressVPN, offer money-back guarantees, so if you aren’t completely satisfied with your service within a specified period – usually a month – you can get your money back. 

So where can I watch the games? 

Each country has different broadcasters who have the right to televise games. Many are broadcasting matches free-to-air via a streaming portal, but some do require a paid subscription. 

UKFREE to air through BBC iPlayer and ITV.
AustraliaFREE to air through SBS On Demand.
IrelandFREE to air through RTE.
USA – Subscription via FOX, Telemundo & Peacock.
Canada – Subscription through Bell Media.
GermanyFREE to air through ZDF and ARD, and subscription via MagentaTV.
FranceFREE to air through TFI, and subscription via BeIN Sports.
ItalyFREE to air through RAI.
NetherlandsFREE to air through NOS.
PortugalFREE to air through RTP.
SwedenFREE to air through SVT and 4.
BelgiumFREE to air through RTBF (for French-speakers) and VRT (For Dutch speakers).
DenmarkFREE to air through DR, and subscription via DRTV2.

Will I need any other specialist equipment to watch the games? 

Not at all! You can either connect your laptop to your TV via a HDMI cable, or cast media to your television from your mobile device. Then it’s time to get your friends together, sit back, and enjoy the world’s best teams battling it out in the beautiful game!

Sign up for ExpressVPN now to enjoy 3 extra months FREE in their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale. Enjoy every World Cup game and all your favourite shows from home!

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How to catch the Giro d’Italia if you’re in Italy this year

This year's Giro d'Italia kicks off on Friday and runs until May 29th. Here's what you should know if you're interested in catching some of the race in person in Italy.

How to catch the Giro d'Italia if you're in Italy this year

The Giro d’Italia, Italy’s cycling Grand Tour and the sister competition to the French Tour de France and Spain’s Vuelta a España, runs from May 6th to May 29th this year.

With Italy’s Covid restrictions arguably the most relaxed they’ve been since the start of the pandemic, excited fans from all over the world will no doubt be gathering en masse to see as much as they can of the multi-week event.

READ ALSO: A quick guide to understanding the Giro d’Italia

But you don’t need to be a major enthusiast or a cycling expert to be interested in catching a glimpse of the world famous race up close.

Here’s what you should know if you’re considering seeing some of this year’s Giro d’Italia in person.

This year’s route

The 2022 Giro d’Italia route is broken up into 21 stages, starting in Hungary, moving to Sicily, and then heading up the mainland from Palmi in Calabria on the southern tip if Italy’s boot all the way to Verona in the northeast.

The race will kick off in Budapest on May 6th and remain in Hungary for its first three stages, with the contestants then scheduled to travel by plane to Sicily to tackle stage four, which involves a summit finish on Mount Etna.

This is followed by one more day in Sicily before the race moves on to Calabria, up into the southern Appenines, past Naples, into the central Appenines, along the Adriatic coast to the east, through Emilia Romagna’s flatlands, back west towards Genoa, up through San Remo, Cuneo, and Turin, and into the mountainous north.

The final week of the event takes the form of a series of steep Alpine climbs and descents around the north and northeast, meandering around the dolomites and even taking in some of Slovenia.

How to watch a stage in person

For those thinking they might like to try and catch a stage of the race in person: you can, and the good news is that it’s free. You just need to get up early and make your way to the track in good time.

While the road will be closed to cars well before the start of the race, anyone can make their way on foot, and bikes are generally allowed on the same stretch of road as the riders until a couple of hours before the race begins.

Because of this, spectators who are also keen cyclists often like to ride the same stretch as the pros several hours before they pass by, which allows them to scout out the road and get a sense of the best vantage points, as well as providing them with the satisfaction of knowing they’ve tackled the same route as a world class athlete.

One of most frequently imparted pieces of advice from Grand Tour regulars is that flat sections are no good, as you’ll wait for hours only for the peloton (the group of riders) to pass you by in just a few seconds.

Instead, it’s recommended to aim for mountain stretches, ideally with mountaintop finishes, where you’ll get a much better view of the riders slowly climbing uphill; or to find a track where the cyclists pass over the same stretch of road more than once (this year’s ‘Napoli to Napoli’ Stage 8 on May 14th, for example, sees the cyclists do four laps of a circuit before retracing their route into Naples).

READ ALSO: Weekend wanderlust: Exploring Bologna’s hidden countryside by bike

Grand Tour regulars recommend heading for mountainous stretches to get the best views of the race.
Grand Tour regulars recommend heading for mountainous stretches to get the best views of the race. Photo: Luk Benies/AFP

Another tip is to go for a stage of the race that’s devoted to individual time trials, as you’ll see each cyclist go past one by one, spaced out by a few minutes each, over the course of several hours (the last stage of this year’s race, Stage 21 on May 29th in Verona, is an individual time trial).

To plan ahead, you’ll want to read summaries of each stage to get an idea of which one is best suited to your interests, and then familiarise yourself with the ‘Garibaldi‘, the Giro d’Italia’s official racebook, which has a detailed itinerary and will let you know exactly where and when each stage is scheduled to begin.

While you can (and most people do) see the Giro d’Italia for free, there’s also the option to go with a private tour company which does all the work of planning transportation and arranging your food and accommodation. These are expensive and highly likely to be already booked up for 2022, but if you have more money than time, you may want to consider this option for future years’ races.

If you don’t make it in person this year, there’s always live broadcasts and streams. While these might not be quite as atmospheric as attending in person, they have the advantage of providing viewers with a much clearer picture of the entirety of the race.

If you’re based in Italy, RaiSport will be broadcasting the event; or you can buy a subscription to streaming sites such as Eurosport or Discovery+.

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