South Africans like football. They also like streaming services. So what happens when you combine the two? You get FIFA+, a free streaming service that offers fans around the world a simpler way to monitor matches all over the world.
FIFA+ being a free service will naturally contain ads. Most South Africans are used to this when watching sports, so it’s not a big deal. This way you can watch your football without DStv sinking its claws into your wallet.
Live your best life with live
Possibly the best and most important feature on FIFA+ is the ability to live stream matches. At first, the service will stream over 1, 400 matches monthly. FIFA claims that by year’s end, more than 40, 000 matches will be broadcast. Matches from 100 Member Associations across all six federations are included. In addition, over 11, 000 women’s matches will be broadcast by the end of the year. It seems FIFA have put real effort into including smaller leagues on their platform.
But, to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Live matches from the top five leagues don’t appear to be included. So there’s no Premier League, FA Cup — you know, the stuff that DStv makes you pay a premium for. Those are probably still covered by license and exclusivity deals. But you can have almost everything else.
That’s not to say that they won’t eventually be added to the platform at a later date. Rumour has it that FIFA+ may not stay free forever. A paid service with access to all domestic leagues around the world could be in the offing.
FIFA+ also doesn’t offer matches from the South African Premier Division, but it will likely be added to the catalogue by the end of the year.
Originals and archives
FIFA+ isn’t just in the live match business. Fans can also access a collection of old matches – specifically from FIFA’s own World Cup tournaments, with highlights and goal compilations sprinkled in. With 2, 500 videos already added – some dating back as far as the 1950s – there is plenty of content to keep you busy until the 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar later this year.
FIFA has tried its hand at original content with documentaries, docuseries talk shows, and shorts. While the library is currently sparse, FIFA has promised that more content is inbound.
FIFA+ will remain free – for now. The freemium model may be a way to draw in fans initially, with a subscription fee being added once you’re hooked. Even if this is the case, any subscription fee should cost less than watching the same matches legally in South Africa.
If you’re interested in setting up your own account, you can do so here.