Your last-minute guide to watching the Rugby World Cup

Our tips to get the best viewing experience.

19sep guide to rugby world cup hero

The Rugby World Cup starts today! If you’re using the tournament as an excuse to update your TV, then remember our tips for buying.

What to look for in a TV

  • Resolution: 4K is the way to go; there’s no point in buying anything lower than that. You want HDR as well, so you can get great colour definition.
  • Size: New screen tech means you can sit closer to the TV and the picture still looks clear. However, a 75" TV in a small room is still overkill. Remember TVs look smaller in stores than they do in your living room.
  • Refresh rates and motion smoothing: If you’re using your new TV to watch sport, you’ll want a refresh rate of at least 60Hz to get a nice, clear picture. Motion smoothing is software that removes motion blur and makes action look sharper.

For more on buying the right TV, check out our buying guide.

Ready to buy? See which TVs we recommend from our test results.

Streaming the games

You’ll need to make sure you’re all set up and ready to stream. While some of the games, including all the New Zealand games, will be broadcast on TVNZ; everything else is only available through Spark Sport.

To get the full World Cup experience you need a Spark Sport Rugby World Cup pass. We’ve got the full details here, but the basics are:

  • You don’t need a Spark Sport subscription, just the pass, which is a one-off cost of $90.
  • If you’d prefer to buy individual games, they cost $25 each.
  • Spark Sport is available on mobile devices, Apple TVs, Chromecasts, Freeview SmartVU and A2, and selected smart TVs. The full list is here.
  • The games will be available live, and then on-demand for 30 days afterwards.

If you don’t want to shell out for a new TV to watch the World Cup, you can always buy a streaming device, such as a Chromecast ($70) or Apple TV ($300), which are much cheaper options.

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