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BBC and ITV divide up World Cup games

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC and commercial broadcaster ITV have confirmed the split of matches for their coverage of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, with the BBC set to televise England’s first match of the international football tournament in Brazil.

The BBC will show England v Italy on June 14. Fifa last week moved the match in the Amazonian jungle city of Manaus forward by three hours to 6pm local time, but stressed that the decision was likely to have little effect on the difficult playing conditions. Instead, it avoided what would have been a 2am start for television viewers in England and a 3am kick-off for fans in Italy.

ITV will show England’s next two group games against Uruguay and Costa Rica. The BBC will have first pick of the round of 16 and semi finals, whilst ITV has first pick of the quarter finals. Both ITV and the BBC will show the World Cup final, which will take place at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

ITV will show the opening match of the tournament between hosts Brazil and Croatia on June 12, while the BBC starts with Spain v Holland, a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final on June 13.