Here's when today's 2018 FIFA World Cup starts where you live -- and how you can watch it live online

Getty ImagesGermany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  • The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia kicks off on Thursday, June 14 and ends on Sunday, July 15.
  • The first World Cup match, Russia vs. Saudi Arabia, has a 6 p.m. start time in Moscow, which means 11 a.m. for audiences in New York City.
  • Here’s everything you need to know.

The festival of football that only happens every four years is set to kick off today.

That’s right – the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a tournament that brings together the finest footballers on the planet, is finally here.

If you don’t know when it starts or how you can watch each match live online, fear not – Business Insider has your back.

When is the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

The tournament begins on Thursday, June 14 when host nation Russia takes on Saudia Arabia in a Group A match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

This is the only game that takes place on the opening day of the 2018 World Cup as the competition really gets going the following day, Friday June 15, with three matches including a Group B clash between Portugal and Spain.

The tournament ends on Sunday, July 15, which is the day of the final.

Here’s what time the opening game, Russia vs. Saudi Arabia, will start in major cities across different time zones on Thursday, June 14.

  • London (BST): 4 p.m.
  • New York (ET): 11 a.m.
  • Chicago (CT): 10 a.m.
  • Denver (MT): 9 a.m.
  • Las Vegas (PT): 8 a.m.
  • Los Angeles (PT): 8 a.m.
  • Honolulu (HAST): 5 a.m.
  • Sydney (AET): 1 a.m. (Friday).
  • Tokyo (JST): 12 a.m (Friday).
  • Moscow (MSK): 6 p.m.
  • Paris (CEST): 5 p.m

Why should I watch?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel MessiGetty ImagesCristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi represent Portugal and Argentina, respectively.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament brings together 32 competing nations, including some of the greatest players in the world, and produces many intriguing storylines.

One of the most skillful players on the planet, Lionel Messi, has not seen Argentina win a World Cup in his entire lifetime – but can the FC Barcelona forward stop the rot and lead La Albiceleste to glory this summer?

Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo up front and will hope to build on the success the team enjoyed when it won the UEFA Euro 2016 competition two years ago.

Then there’s terrific in-form players like goal-hungry Egyptian Mohamed Salah, merciless England striker Harry Kane, and France forward Antoine Griezmann.

One team determined to put up a fight is Germany, as the reigning champions lifted the FIFA World Cup for the fourth time in 2014 in Brazil.

The 2014 final was watched live by over one billion people.

How can I watch live?

For English-speaking TV in the US, Fox or Fox Sports 1 will be your broadcaster. Spanish-speakers in the US can choose between Telemundo and NBC Universo.

Online streams will be available to US audiences on fuboTV.

For UK audiences, World Cup matches will be broadcast on BBC and ITV. The first game, Russia vs. Saudi Arabia, will be aired on ITV while BBC’s coverage begins the next day.

To watch ITV’s matches live online, including the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia, visit the broadcaster’s hub right here.

Stream the BBC’s matches live online here.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.