Every four years a group of athletes convenes in a pre-selected country to engage in thrilling bouts of physical exertion, a display of skill that is rarely seen elsewhere, all in the name of being crowned champions.
Of course, 2012 might be an Olympic year but it is also the year of the UEFA European Football Championship, a football (soccer) competition in which 16 teams compete for a rare attempt at an international trophy. If you’re situated in Europe you can easily watch these games of football on TV. Typically games can be watched on TV and are timed in Europe as to avoid clashing with the traditional 9-5 work pattern. But what if you want to catch them online?
What Is Euro 2012?
The European Nations Championship is held every four years with a qualification competition taking place with home and away matches over the preceding two years. The finals tournament is held in a different country (or pair of countries) each time – this year, Poland and the Ukraine are hosts.
Winning the competition means finishing first or second in your group, winning a quarter final match, then a semi-final and ultimately overcoming the opposition in the final match on July 1st.
England, Republic of Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain (the holders), Greece, Russia, the Czech Republic and Croatia join the hosts (who qualify automatically) in the competition played over four weeks.
Watching Games In The UK?
If you’re based in the UK, matches are broadcast on the terrestrial channels BBC One, BBC Three, ITV and ITV 3. Catching these games online is extremely simple.
For those broadcast on BBC channels, your best bet is to use BBC Sport’s dedicated Euro 2012 pages, found here where you will find scores and links to live games, streamed using the iPlayer technology. Note that the matches are divided equally between the two television networks, so any that cannot be found on the BBC website can be enjoyed on the ITV website here.
All that is needed for you to watch these games is a device that can playback Flash video. Any desktop or notebook computer, iOS and Android tablets and mobile phones should all be suitable.
To avoid disappointment, try it out with a game you’re not too concerned about missing first.
Viewing Matches In the USA?
If you’re planning to enjoy the competition from the USA and you’re not using any proxies to access BBC iPlayer or other UK or Europe-based live TV streaming services, there are plenty of other ways in which you can enjoy the tournament matches.
Fortunately there are two standard services you can use, but both of these require you to already have an account with the companies concerned. ESPN subscribers can access this site where live matches can be watched while AT&T U-Verse subscribers can enjoy the game of their choice on a mobile or tablet.
Keeping Up With Euro 2012 Elsewhere In The World
Online streaming of games from the tournament isn’t limited to the UK and USA, however. Other countries across Europe and Central and South America are also well-served, as are other English-speaking countries such as Australia and Canada.
In Canada, if you have a subscription to TSN you can watch games via that service and mobile or tablet users subscribing to Virgin Mobile or Bell Mobility will find that access to TSN Mobile is free – thereby enabling streaming of the games that they want to see.
Enjoy The Tournament!
Although the networks and broadcasters listed above all restrict their streams by IP you should be able to use other methods to gain access to them if you find your local online streaming of the matches to be limited or troublesome.
Failing this, you might opt not for watching the tournament but listening to it instead. In the UK, Absolute Radio, Talksport and BBC Five Live all cover the championship – each of these stations can be accessed via a standard streamed radio app for your mobile. In the USA, ESPN broadcasts its own coverage of the competition. If you find that there are restrictions to watching the action, you can put this down to licensing agreements – nothing new in the modern multimedia world of sports coverage.
Whether you choose to watch on your PC, your tablet or your mobile phone, enjoy the UEFA European Football Championship 2012!