Where can you watch World Cup games streamed online for free?

You'd have to be living under a basketball not to know that soccer's grand championship, World Cup 2010, is upon us. Although it's the biggest sporting event on the planet (sorry, World Series, you're really more of a North American series), American cable channels only recently got coverage in gear. Neglecting events the rest of the world deems important is nothing new. Last year's Eurovision Song Contest final pulled in 122 million viewers worldwide, but had not a single carrier in America.

Most matches are being broadcast on ESPN's channels. But where can you find World Cup football online if you can't get near a TV or if you, like many Americans, have shucked the expense of your cable TV bill and get your entertainment online? Try here:

* ESPN3.com streams with no charge if you get your high-speed internet connection from an affiliate, as well as to students at college campuses and military bases. You can find out if your provider is one of its affiliates by navigating to the ESPN3.com site, which will detect your provider. If it isn't on the list, it will show you a pop-up menu of providers that are. It's a long list, but Comcast is on it.

* Spanish-language giant Univision will stream matches via its UnivisionFutbol.com site. Look for "Ver partido en vivo" ("watch live"), beside match names. Color commentary is in Spanish on Univision.

* In Canada, you may be able to pull up the CBC, Canada's national broadcaster. It plans to stream all 64 matches via CBCSports.ca.

* Device Magazine reports ESPN Mobile will also stream some matches to Sprint customers who have an HTC EVO 4G hand-held device.

* There are occasional webcasts and re-broadcasts via Iraqgoals.net, although the streams are generally user-created and therefore not always through the approved (read: legal) channels.

You would hope that the BBC and ITV would provide good streaming coverage, and it does -- for the British. Its rigorous geographic restrictions mean you're not going to be able to watch them unless you're inside the United Kingdom.

But you must beware if you look beyond these "watch world cup online for free" sites for scams and sites that purport to be free but are really looking to part you with your money. For a list of sites to avoid, see our list.

Have you found more free World Cup streaming sites that you can share? Share them in the comments section below!

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