Watching the World Cup made easy by World Cup TV

During every World Cup cycle, whenever someone asks where one can watch the World Cup, I couldn’t help but remember my rather unique experience watching my first World Cup final on TV. It was France ’98, and after scouring the papers in the school library for results in the early the group stage, me and my boardmates started wondering, “Where can we watch the playoffs live?”

As perennially broke college students, we had no cable TV in the boarding house, nor were there sports bars in Cebu. It was ’98, there was no social media, streaming or what-have-you available. It was in the semis, I think that someone told us, a bar along Mango was airing the games live.  So we in the boarding house–all Brazil fans–decided to stay out late and check the bar.

ALL UP TO YOU. Before, watching the World Cup meant scouring for places that show the game, now, thanks to World Cup TV, whether you’d get to see the World Cup matches live will all be up to you.

It was a bar alright, one where scantily-clad females have a pole.  The TV was small, barely 12 inches but there we were, locals and quite a few expats glued to the TV.

I remember one girl, who seemed disappointed that nobody was paying attention while she was gyrating decided to block the TV, while removing her upper garment.  Aside from the choice words from the expats, I think it was the scream from locals “Hawa dira! (Get out of there!)” that convinced her we were there to watch the game, not the dancers.

Four years later, fortunately, the options for Cebu fans wasn’t limited to a place begging for a police raid. I think every Cebuano football fan was in The Village when Ronaldo showed that while his taste for a hairstylist was questionable, his skills on the field left no questions.

In 2006, sports bars and hotels were showing the games but what I remember at that time was when after catching the group stage matches at a certain sports bar, during the knockout round the bar charged an entrance fee.

FIRST FIVE. Catching one of the matches of the 2018 World Cup at First Five Sports Bar, one of the best sports bars in Cebu.

It’s not that we were cheapskates, we did drink our full in the group stage. We were no longer broke board-mates as most of us were on our first jobs. But we still ran with the broke college fans circle, so we had a “where we can watch the World Cup for free” thread before Facebook and Twitter was a thing.

So we all ended up in a hostel, just in front of UP Cebu, with a TV so small we had to sit a couple of feet away. I wore a Brazil jersey and after watching my favorite team get eliminated I changed into an England jersey, only to watch them get eliminated and to hear one English fan scream out loud after the shootout, “Every bloody time!”

THE SOCIAL. With a Russian fan while watching the World Cup round-of-16 at The Social in Ayala Center Cebu.

Africa 2010 onwards, watching the World Cup was no longer a question about where you can catch the games, but whether you’d be still up to watch the final. So at 5 a.m. in a bar in Banilad, we celebrated like crazy when Spain won. Ditto with 2014 and 2018. You just have to find the time to watch the games.

But in 2022, it’s different. Thanks to World Cup TV and Tap Digital Ventures, which is offering all 64 matches live plus replay plus all off-field features for only P1,999, you’d get your fill even if you don’t have the time.

At P1,999 for 64 matches, that’s like P31 plus change per match, almost P30 cheaper if you buy a single beer in your favorite sports bar. At P31 per match, it’s not a bargain nor a steal, it’s a gift!  You’d get the replays too and all the interviews. Plus, there are content not related to football, pool, rugby, volleyball and other sports.

Thanks to World Cup TV and Tap Digital Media Ventures, there’s no reason why you’d miss a game.  If this option was available when we were broke college students, we would have probably pooled our resources to sign up for one account. 

The service will be formally launched next month, so stay tuned for updates. But I tell you this early, you’d miss more than half your life if you fail to sign up for this.

Mike T. Limpag
Mike T. Limpag

Mike T. Limpag has covered the Cebu sports scene for over 20 years, starting as an 18-year-old cub reporter for the Freeman in 1997 before moving to SunStar Cebu in 2001.

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