What Is The True Cost Of Watching The World Cup?

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What Is The True Cost Of Watching The World Cup?

The World Cup is among the most popular events in the sporting calendar, with more than half the globe’s population tuning in to watch the most recent tournament. 

But, while usually held every fourth summer, this year’s edition is taking place over November/December – the first time it’s ever been held in winter.


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This could have serious consequences for households planning to watch the tournament across the UK, with something as simple as watching a game of football on the TV now costing considerably more than it used to, thanks to the recent energy price hikes.

But exactly how much would it cost to follow England to the final, and how does this compare to just four years ago?

Cost Of Watching World Cup

How much did it cost to watch the World Cup at home in 2018?

The 2018 World Cup is fondly remembered among football fans for the scorching beer garden weather that formed the backdrop to England’s mesmeric run to the semi-final. Football might not have come home, but it was a memorable summer, nonetheless. 

But what you might not have realised was how cheap it was to watch the tournament on the telly. 

In fact, what with the searing heat and sunlight well into the evenings meaning gas and electricity consumption was at a minimum, to watch every England game, you’d have spent an estimated £2.85 – and watching one game would’ve only cost around 41p. 

This figure is based on electricity and gas prices during 2018, which were capped at 17.8p per kWh and 4p per kWh, respectively. With this in mind, the cost of running a 55” LED TV (rated G) for two hours (the average duration of a football game, including half time, build up and round up) would have cost an estimated 3.7p. Add this to standing charges for both gas (16p per day) and electric (21p per day), it comes to a figure close to 41p. 


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How much will it cost to watch the World Cup at home in 2022?

While the 2018 World Cup spanned long summer days, the 2022 edition is being held in the cold, dark winter months. Temperatures in Qatar might push 30°C during November and December, but UK homes will be forced to turn the lights on and crank up the heating to stay warm. 

As a result, households across the home nations will spend an estimated £6.17 per game, whether they’re cheering for or against England. This is based on increased standing charges for gas and electric, two hours of TV, as well as having heating and lighting turned on for the two-hour game duration. 

Breaking this £6.17 figure down, the October 2022 energy price caps have resulted in costs soaring across the UK. Looking at unit costs per kWh, the price of electric is now capped at 34p, and gas at 10.3p.



Taking these into consideration, the cost of running a 55” LED TV (rated G) for two hours in the UK now would cost an estimated 7p. On top of this, standing charges for both gas (28p per day) and electric (48p per day) have both increased, leading to the inflated cost. However, it’s the significance of this World Cup taking place in the winter which plays the greatest role. 

With lower temperatures and games at 4pm and 7pm, which require football fans to turn their lights on, heating and lighting your home for the World Cup is going to be costly. 

Assuming the use of a 24-kWh gas boiler, two hours of heating at the current gas price (10p per kWh), will cost roughly £4.94. Add this to the need for lighting, (assuming there will be 10, 60kWh light bulbs in use), this will increase costs by around 41p. Adding these together, along with standing charges and two hours of TV and the estimated cost per game comes to £6.17.

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The difference in cost between watching the World Cup in 2018 vs 2022

Comparing the cost of watching the World Cup this time out and last, you could be paying 1,405% more in 2022 than you did in 2018. The takes into account the additional costs of turning the heating on during this unique winter World Cup, as well as the extra electricity you’ll use to keep the lights on during night games. 

Across the whole tournament, if you tune in for all 24 days of football, you’ll pay a staggering £148.09 in gas and electric bills in 2022. And that’s just watching one game a day – enjoying the non-stop group game schedule will cost considerably more. In 2018, it cost the average household just £9.76.

Understandably, the figures between 2018 and 2022 are significantly different due to the heating and lighting required for winter games. However, if we were to remove these figures from the 2022 calculations, it would still cost fans 81p per game, a 98% increase from the 2018 figure (41p). 

How much will it cost to watch England go all the way?

Cost Of Watching FIFA World Cup

England enjoyed relative success at the last World Cup, achieving their best finish since Italia ’90 and making only their third semi-final appearance in the tournament’s history. 

That’s a whole generation of England fans who had never previously seen the nation reach the last four. 

Following the team through the 2018 tournament, from the group stage to the third-place playoff, cost the average household just £2.85, with minimal gas and electricity required to enjoy the games. 

If England reach the final in Qatar, however, households will have to fork out considerably more: £43.19. Even if they only play the three group games, you could still pay and estimated £18.51!

With the World Cup guaranteed to produce memorable moments and high-stakes drama, it’s earned its place among the world’s best-loved sporting events.

And with the tournament fast-approaching, there’s no better time to check out all the latest World Cup betting offers

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