FIFA World Cup 2018: ITV to show opening match and England v Belgium
ITV and the BBC can today confirm the split of matches for the channels’ coverage of next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
ITV will show the opening match of the tournament between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on 14 June, as well as England's final group game against Belgium. The BBC will show England’s first two group matches against Tunisia and Panama.
ITV will show all three of Brazil’s group games. ITV will have the first and second pick of the round of 16 and first pick of the semi-finals, while the BBC has first pick of the quarter-finals. Both ITV and BBC will show the final.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “The build-up to the World Cup has now begun and we’re looking forward to bringing viewers entertaining and comprehensive coverage on ITV, ITV4 and the ITV Hub, as well as on social media.
Once again, the World Cup starts on ITV with the host country’s opening game on 14 June and we have live coverage of some of most outstanding matches drawn from the group stages with England v Belgium as well as all three of tournament joint favourites Brazil’s games.
ITV will have the first two picks of the first knock-out phase and the first pick of the semi-finals. ITV’s on and off screen team will be busy during the next six months preparing to bring our viewers all the best action and insight and all the stories that will shape the World Cup in Russia.”
Philip Bernie, BBC Head of TV Sport said: "We’re delighted with our selection of matches, which sees the BBC bring England’s first two games of the competition live to our audiences, as well as their potential quarter-final. We are also very pleased to be showcasing the skills of the world’s best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, in five of their Group matches.
The BBC is proud to be offering such an enticing array of games on football’s biggest stage, as we look to deliver to audiences unprecedented, extensive access to World Cup content across TV, radio, online and social media.”
The full split of the group stage matches is outlined in the table below.