BBC and ITV confirm World Cup split

The BBC and ITV have confirmed the split of matches between them for the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil.

ITV will show the opening match of the tournament between hosts Brazil and Croatia on June, 12.

The BBC will kick off with Spain v Holland, a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final on June 13, and will show England’s first group match against Italy.

ITV will show England’s next two games against Uruguay and Costa Rica. The BBC will have first pick of the round of 16 and semi finals, while ITV has first pick of the quarter finals. Both ITV and BBC will show the final.

Philip Bernie, BBC Head of TV Sport, said: “We’re very pleased with our selection of matches which includes England’s highly anticipated opening match with Italy along with their crucial first knock out match, if they proceed, and the first pick of the semi finals. We also have some extremely appetising peak time group games including Spain v Holland, Spain v Chile, Brazil v Mexico and Germany v Ghana. The World Cup in Brazil promises to be truly memorable. The BBC is delighted to be showing this great selection of games and our audiences will be able to join in not only live on BBC One but on radio and online where our extensive coverage will deliver the first truly digital World Cup.”

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “The World Cup begins on ITV for UK viewers next year and we’re looking forward to showing live two of England’s three group matches as well as two of Brazil’s, including the tournament’s opening game between the hosts and Croatia in Sao Paulo. We will also broadcast the key match between England’s group D rivals Italy and Uruguay, which could have a huge bearing on their chances of reaching the knock-out phase. In addition, ITV will have first pick of the quarter-final matches as Brazil 2014 builds towards its climax. Viewers will be able to watch all matches live online on which will also host a dedicated World Cup site offering comprehensive coverage in the build up to and throughout what promises to be a special tournament in this most iconic of football countries.”