The delayed European Championships (Euro 2020) started in earnest last night when Italy the hosts crashed hapless Turkey. The final score was 3:0 in favour of Italy. Over the next 30 days, 50 matches will be played all of which will be broadcast live on various platforms. So which one is more suited to you?
Before we get to that let’s just take a moment to savour the moment. Italy is hosting a live tournament with people allowed in. Last year that didn’t seem like a thing that would happen as the country grappled with COVID.
Most popular sporting tournaments have moved on from the stoppages induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Matches are not the same anymore with fans either limited or completely banned but at least we get to watch something unlike the strict lockdowns of last year when entertainment was scarce.
Where and how to watch
First let’s get one thing right out of the way. I don’t know or care if ZTV is going to screen some matches. If you are interested in that option you will have to find out yourself. I haven’t watched ZTV in ages and nothing will make me watch it again. In any case it should be easy enough to find out, there is just one solitary channel so if this is your only option, just turn on your TV. If there is a match good luck. If there is something else tough luck.
Now to the other options. Generally your options can be placed in two categories:
- Streaming options
If you want to watch the matches on DStv you might want to check out the SuperSport schedule in advance. It’s also advisable to have backup power. This winter ZESA has been shedding power although based on the power cuts in my neighbourhood it’s not as bad as last year’s power cuts. You might also want to temporarily upgrade to Compact Plus or Premium in order to watch matches of your choice without restrictions.
Your streaming options can also be divided into free and paid options. Let’s start with the paid options as they are the easiest. Multichoice has two streaming options you can choose from. You can opt for the full DStv and get DStv Streaming. You will be asked to pay the full price as if you had a dish. After you have made the payment you can watch it on DStv Now. You can also watch via ShowMax Pro. ShowMax Pro mobile is cheaper but you can only watch on a phone or tablet.
For the free options, your best route is to find someone who has a DStv Now package they are not using. All DStv subscribers can create a DStv Now account and watch for free. You can ask someone to lend you their account if they are not using it.
Free options that require you to use kungfu
All matches are screened live on BBC’s iPlayer and ITV. These are state-owned channels. TVNZ and SBS should also be showing matches although I don’t have the details or confirmation on this. These are also Free-to-Air channels. In order to stream these channels, you need either VPN or SmartDNS. SmartDNS is easier to use but sometimes it too doesn’t work as service providers have become quite adept at blocking unblockers.
SmartDNS providers normally provide you with free two weeks trial. You can take advantage of this and sign up with them. Once you have signed up, activated your account, sign up for iPlayer or ITV. Both will require you to enter a postcode. Just use any London postcode and you should be good. Many people question if this is ethical? I am not an ethics professor so it’s entirely up to you to go this route or not.
Staying away from free random streams
There are some apps and sites that provide free illegal streams. You should stay away from these. Normally the apps come with popup ads that will guzzle through your data and by the time the match/tournament will be over you would have paid enough money through data to cover the cost of Showmax Mobile Pro at least.
They also stream in formats that are not optimised resulting in massive data usage in my experience. Then there is also the fact that the streams are illegal. Do not be surprised if they go offline during the match. You will then miss the action as you trawl the internet for new streams.