FIFA's free FIFA+ footy app lands on Hisense TVs

Mike Wheatley

FIFA has said it’s launching its FIFA+ TV app exclusively on Hisense TVs that run the Vidaa operating system.


The FIFA+ app first launched on mobile devices in April and is expected to come to Hisense’s TVs later in the summer. It’s a free, ad-supported streaming application that has aspirations of becoming a kind of Netflix for football, with a catalogue of original documentaries, tons of archive footage from classic matches, a daily talk show and the promise of thousands of live games.

Unfortunately the FIFA+ app won’t be a good place to watch the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, because the broadcast rights for that tournament have already been sorted - and FIFA+ is not included in the deal. That won’t be a problem for anyone in the U.K., at least, as the tournament will be broadcast live (and for free) by the BBC and ITV.

Still, FIFA+ could well prove to be a handy little app for football fans if FIFA keeps its word. While live football matches seem to be scarce on the app at present, FIFA reckons that it will livestream 29,000 men’s football matches and 11,000 women’s games by the end of the year.

So in total, that’s about 40,000 games to be livestreamed per year, or around 1,500 per month. That is no small amount of games, and FIFA has promised to cover the full spectrum of men’s, women’s and youth team football from across the world.

But don’t get too excited. The app will not be providing live coverage of the English Premier League. Rather, the focus will be on leagues and associations that are currently “under-telivised”, FIFA said. So, the live coverage will be mostly focused on leagues in Africa, Asia and Oceania, where many games are currently not shown on TV. For instance, the Angolan First Division is not shown by local TV stations, so that’s a prime candidate.

FIFA explained that it is working with each of its 211 member associations to create some kind of deal around coverage. The idea is to offer a customized homepage for each country, featuring content most relevant to that audience.

Besides showing live games, there will also be FIFA+ originals featuring football legends like Ronaldinho, Dani Alves and Romelu Lukaku.

"Innovation is a key focus for FIFA and so Hisense’s VIDAA-powered TVs are a natural home for the FIFA+ app,” said Charlotte Burr, FIFA Director of Strategy, Corporate Development and FIFA+. “Football fans with connected devices will be able to experience our extensive content collection directly onto their Hisense TVs."

It’s not yet clear if FIFA intends to bring the FIFA+ app to other TV platforms, such as Android TV, Fire TV or Apple’s tvOS.