The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is upon us, and there’s good news for football fans: the BBC is streaming the vast majority of its live matches in Ultra HD (4K), as part of their ongoing UHD experiment
The catch? These matches will be available in 4K only on BBC iPlayer (via broadband), and only on a strict list of support devices (see below for full instructions).
The tournament will kick off on ITV and STV in Scotland (not in 4K) on November 21, 2022 with coverage of the first match between the Netherlands and Senegal.
The BBC will air 33 live matches on TV and iPlayer across the 28 days of the tournament, while BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds will provide coverage of all 64 matches in Qatar. BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru will also cover all of Wales’ games.
Alongside live match coverage, the BBC will also present an unrivalled offering of documentaries, podcasts and other content throughout the tournament.
The BBC’s World Cup Coverage
Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Mark Chapman and Kelly Cates will lead coverage across TV, iPlayer and Radio. They will be joined by a host of former greats of the game.
In the TV studio, Ex-England stars include Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand, Jermaine Jenas, Micah Richards, and Alex Scott with Danny Gabbidon, Ian Rush and Ashley Williams representing Wales.
From further afield, Vincent Kompany, Didier Drogba, Laura Georges, Jürgen Klinsmann, Mark Schwarzer, Gilberto Silva and Pablo Zabaleta will bring their unique international insight to our TV coverage.
The BBC’s TV and iPlayer coverage will kick off with a week of games, after its exclusive live coverage of the opener between Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday, November 20.
Four of the home nation’s six group stage fixtures will air live and exclusive on the BBC, including England’s opening match, Wales’ crucial match against Iran and the big home nation tie between Wales and England.
Other significant games from the groups include Spain v Germany, as well as the first look at champions France, five-time winners Brazil and world number two, Belgium.
For TV and iPlayer, the BBC will have the first pick of the Semi-Final stage of the tournament, along with three Round of 16 games, two Quarter Final games and, of course, the World Cup Final on December 18.
Highlights of non-live games and selected replayed matches will be available on BBC One and BBC iPlayer throughout the tournament (see the full World Cup TV schedule split here).
How To Watch World Cup 2022 In 4K on BBC iPlayer
The vast majority of the BBC’s FIFA World Cup games from Qatar will stream live in Ultra HD (4K) / HDR via BBC iPlayer.
For viewers to be able to watch the matches in 4K, the first step is to make sure your TV supports 4K.
If you also want to watch with HDR, you need a TV that supports the HLG format, which is the one the BBC uses (and isn’t as popular as some of the other HDR formats).
HDR, which you often see mentioned alongside 4K, stands for “High Dynamic Range”. It’s a technology that helps improve the contrast rates between whites and blacks, making the picture much more accurate, while also providing a larger colour palette and more colour shades.
In addition to a 4K TV, you also need a streaming device that supports 4K and has the BBC iPlayer app. This can either be your Smart TV or a dedicated device.
Your 4K streaming device or Smart TV also needs to be supported by the BBC Ultra HD trial – and many devices are NOT yet supported, including some very popular ones like the Google Chromecast or even Sky Q (though Sky’s streaming TV – Sky Glass, as well as the new Sky Stream standalone puck – do support 4K on BBC iPlayer).
Additionally, the BBC’s 4K trial is NOT supported on mobile phones and computer/desktop browsers.
You can find the full list of 4K devices the BBC supports here.
Also, remember that for 4K streaming, you need a fast broadband connection – the BBC recommends a connection speed of 24MBit/s for the full 4K experience (3840 pixels), or 12MBit/s for a lower (2560 pixels) resolution.
BBC iPlayer Ultra HD Settings
You need to make sure you have the right settings on your BBC iPlayer app, where you must set the video quality to “Best”:
- Go to BBC iPlayer’s “Settings”
- Select “Video Quality”
- Choose “Best Quality”
Then, look for content with the UHD icon – live World Cup matches that will be available in 4K, will show the UHD icon on the main iPlayer menu (as long as your device supports it).
To learn more about the BBC’s 4K content, see our full BBC iPlayer UHD Guide.