51 games in 30 days - can you catch them all?
A recent survey found that over fifty percent of Europeans will use catch-up and online services to keep abreast of games in Euro 2016, with fifty-seven percent using apps and browsers to watch the matches while they’re not at home.
Clearly there’s never been a better time to never miss a minute and we’re at hand to provide you further help in doing so; obviously we don’t condone you sneakily catching the action while you’re at work – at least when the boss is looking - but with so many options for catch-up you shouldn't really need to.
Before you go in, make sure your TV is looking its best by setting the correct picture mode and making sure you're seeing the entire image; you'll also want to fine-tune its processing options for optimal performance.
Let’s kick-off with the full itinerary of group matches and which UK channels they’re on:
Friday 10th June
20.00 (ITV) France v Romania
Saturday 11th June
14.00 (BBC) Albania v Switzerland
17.00 (BBC ) Wales v Slovakia
20.00 (ITV) England v Russia
Sunday 12th June
14.00 (ITV) Turkey v Croatia
17.00 (BBC) Poland v Northern Ireland
20.00 (BBC) Germany v Ukraine
Monday 13th June
14.00 (ITV) Spain v Czech Republic
17.00 (BBC) Republic of Ireland v Sweden
20.00 (BBC) Belgium v Italy
Tuesday 14th June
17.00 (ITV) Austria v Hungary
20.00 (BBC) Portugal v Iceland
Wednesday 15th June
14.00 (BBC) Russia v Slovakia
17.00 (ITV) Romania v Switzerland
20.00 (ITV) France v Albania
Thursday 16th June
14.00 (BBC) England v Wales
17.00 (ITV) Ukraine v Northern Ireland
20.00 (ITV) Germany v Poland
Friday 17th June
14.00 (ITV) Italy v Sweden
17.00 (BBC) Czech Republic v Croatia
20.00 (ITV) Spain v Turkey
Saturday 18th June
14.00 (ITV) Belgium v Republic of Ireland
17.00 (BBC) Iceland v Hungary
20.00 (BBC) Portugal v Austria
Sunday 19th June
20.00 (BBC) Romania v Albania
20.00 (BBC) Switzerland v France
Monday 20th June
20.00 (ITV) Russia v Wales
20.00 (ITV) Slovakia v England
Tuesday 21st June
17.00 (BBC) Northern Ireland v Germany
17.00 (BBC) Ukraine v Poland
20.00 (ITV) Croatia v Spain
20.00 (ITV) Czech Republic v Turkey
Wednesday 22nd June
17.00 (BBC) Hungary v Portugal
17.00 (BBC) Iceland v Austria
20.00 (ITV) Italy v Republic of Ireland
20.00 (ITV) Sweden v Belgium
As you might expect, the BBC is all over these Championships - it is a matter of national importance of course - with extensive coverage across all of its outlets. The BBC’s Euro 2016 digital service at bbc.co.uk/euro2016, the BBC Sport app, and BBC coverage through Smart TVs will feature live broadcasts of all BBC games, commentary and live text coverage of every game, with in-game highlight clips, on-demand highlights of every goal, breaking news, exclusive features and expert analysis – Robbie Savage will also be contributing (we jest, Robbie).
Additionally, you will of course be able to use your media streaming box, connected Blu-ray player, games console, tablet, PC or smartphone to view the standard iPlayer as well; some devices will even allow you to start the coverage from the beginning should you get online after the game has started. You will have noted from the final round of group fixtures on 21 and 22 June that the games are played simultaneously so it's the perfect opportunity to engage in some second screen viewing
The Beeb will also release a Euro 2016 Catch-up video, each morning, which will be available to stream through BBC Sport and download via BBC iPlayer.
There will also be personalisation options with a range of options including match alerts for all 24 teams and line-ups, kick-offs, goals, half-time and full-time notifications via the Sport app.
Now we’ll take a look at the slightly more confusing fixture landscape of the second round. Sixteen teams will qualify from the group stages but since there are six groups, with the top two from each going through, four teams will qualify by finishing third based on their records in the group games. Hopefully none of the home nations will have to worry about that but we wouldn’t count on it!
Note that the letter refers to the group, or groups possible for the 3rd place team, and the number the placing within it. It’s also worth noting that the BBC and ITV will allocate the knockout games after the group stages, so we’ll update this article when the information is available. So, here goes.
Saturday 25th June
14:00 Match 1: A2 v C2
17:00 Match 3: B1 v 3ACD
20:00 Match 2: D1 v 3BEF
Sunday 26th June
14:00 Match 7: A1 v 3CDE
17:00 Match 5: C1 v 3ABF
20:00 Match 4: F1 v E2
Monday 27th June
17:00 Match 6: E1 v D2
20:00 Match 8: B2 v F2
ITV doesn’t pour as many resources in to its online coverage as the BBC but then it hasn’t got the guaranteed revenue stream the Beeb has, although that’s a whole other discussion. Still, the ITV Hub (the new name for ITV Player) is becoming available on many more platforms including Sky, Virgin, BT, YouView, Freeview Play, Samsung Smart TVs any Smart TV with YouView or Freeview Play built-in, such as recent Sony and Panasonic TVs.
You can also get the ITV Hub on Roku and Amazon Fire TV streamers and there are apps for iOS, newer Android devices and even Windows – who’d have thought it? Like iPlayer, you can also watch through games consoles with Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 all supported; we wouldn’t be surprised if the PS4 also gets the ITV Hub app but they’ll need to get their skates on if it’s going to be in time for the Euros!
Getting into the real business end of the tournament and England’s usual exit point, we approach the quarter finals. Again, the two broadcasters will work scheduling out between themselves and we’re sure they’ll not be backwards in coming forwards about promoting their respective coverage.
Thursday 30th June
20:00 Quarter Final 1: Winners Match 1 v Winners Match 2
Friday 1st July
20:00 quarter Final 2: Winners Match 3 v Winners Match 4
Saturday 2nd July
20:00 Quarter Final 3: Winners Match 5 v Winners Match 6
Sunday 3rd July
20:00 Quarter Final 4: Winners Match 7 v Winners Match 8
The action is really hotting up now and obviously the semi-final line-up will be comprised of Wales, England and the two Irish teams. Well it could happen and, even if it doesn’t, that’s no excuse for quitting out at this stage. With all the games now on at favourable hours for most folks, you’ll not likely need to rely on apps and mobile devices quite so much and, of course, you will have your PVR well set for recording.
Let’s now take a look at the schedules for those nerviest games of all – the semi-finals:
Wednesday 6th July
20:00 Semi Final 1: Winners QF 1 v Winners QF 2
Thursday 7th July
20:00 Semi Final 2: Winners QF 1 v Winners QF 2
We’re nearly at the dénouement (well, it is in France) now and time to close the curtain on a month long festival of Football. Who will be the final two teams to contest the trophy? Well, your guess is as good as ours but history favours the teams from Germany, Spain and France and we wouldn’t bet against two of those three teams being involved. Of course, there’s nothing to stop us dreaming that one from the British Isles will be involved but, one thing we do know, is that the Final will be broadcast on both ITV and the BBC on Sunday 10th July at 8pm, so it’s just a case of picking your favourite pundits/commentators to guide you through.
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