The Rio Report

ITV get Brazil 2014 opener, BBC to air first England game as group fixtures are allocated

The 2014 World Cup group stage games have been divided up by rival British broadcasters BBC and ITV, meaning football fans now know whether they will have to tolerate the musings of Adrian Chiles and chums or Gary Lineker and friends for the matches they look forward to most.

The opener between hosts Brazil and Croatia will be on ITV, while the Beeb kick their coverage off the following day with the marquee clash between champions Spain and the Netherlands, a rematch from the ill-tempered 2010 final in South Africa.

England’s big curtain-raiser against Italy – the side who dumped Roy Hodgson’s men out of Euro 2012 on penalties – also goes to the BBC, with ITV screening the following two England games against Uruguay and Costa Rica.

ITV will not be expecting huge numbers for the June 14 tie between Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast and Shinji Kagawa’s Japan, which after some reshuffles will be the only game kicking off at 2am GMT.

BBC have first pick for last-16 and semi-final fixtures, with ITV going first once the quarter-finals are finalised.

And, as ever, both channels will be simultaneously airing the final on July 13, giving British viewers the privilege of picking between Alan Shearer or Roy Keane for their dose of expert analysis for the biggest football game of the calendar year.

Or, you know, they can just watch on mute…

Here’s the full television rundown for the group stages:

12 June

9pm ITV Brazil v Croatia

13 June

5pm ITV Mexico v Cameroon

8pm BBC Spain v Netherlands

11pm ITV Chile v Australia

14 June

5pm BBC Colombia v Greece

8pm ITV Uruguay v Costa Rica

11pm BBC England v Italy

2am ITV Ivory Coast v Japan

15 June

5pm ITV Switzerland v Ecuador

8pm BBC France v Honduras

11pm BBC Argentina v Bosnia

16 June

5pm ITV Germany v Portugal

8pm BBC Iran v Nigeria

11pm BBC Ghana v USA

17 June

5pm ITV Belgium v Algeria

8pm BBC Brazil v Mexico

11pm BBC Russia v South Korea

18 June

5pm ITV Australia v Holland

8pm BBC Spain v Chile

11pm ITV Cameroon v Croatia

19 June

5pm BBC Colombia v Ivory Coast

8pm ITV England v Uruguay

11pm BBC Japan v Greece

20 June

5pm BBC Italy v Costa Rica

8pm ITV France v Switzerland

11pm ITV Honduras v Ecuador

21 June

5pm ITV Argentina v Iran

8pm BBC Germany v Ghana

11pm BBC Nigeria v Bosnia

22 June

5pm BBC Belgium v Russia

8pm ITV South Korea v Algeria

11pm BBC USA v Portugal

23 June

5pm ITV Australia v Spain

5pm ITV Holland v Chile

9pm ITV Cameroon v Brazil

9pm ITV Croatia v Mexico

24 June

5pm ITV England v Costa Rica

9pm BBC Japan v Colombia

9pm BBC Greece v Ivory Coast

25 June

5pm ITV Nigeria v Argentina

5pm ITV Bosnia v Iran

9pm BBC Ecuador v France

9pm BBC Honduras v Switzerland

26 June

5pm BBC USA V Germany

5pm BBC Portugal v Ghana

9pm ITV South Korea v Belgium

9pm ITV Algeria v Russia