Watch Live Premiership and Champions League Matches via Sopcast, on Ubuntu Hardy/Debian 32 & 64 Bit

Posted by on Aug 24, 2008 in Technology, UbuntuNo comments

Premiership League LogoWhat happened to Football? Once a working man’s sport, most children dreamed of playing for their team – for the pure pleasure, and pride of playing for the team. Now? It’s all about the money – so much, that in order to watch your favourite Premiership or Champions League team live, you have to pay an extortionate amount to Rupert Murdoch for the privilege.

Champions League LogoWell, despite the fact that I don’t actually like football, I still believe that coverage of Premiership and UEFA Champions League football matches should be free for all to watch. Thankfully, there are ways to watch the matches for free – one is to install Sopcast, and access live Premiership matches, and live Champions League matches online:

Installing Sopcast

First, download Sopcast, from the Sopcast website, then extract the file, and copy the executable to /usr/bin:

cd ~/Desktop
tar -zxvf sp-auth.tgz
cd sp-auth
sudo cp sp-sc-auth /usr/bin/sp-sc

the sp-sc executable can be used from the command line, by running sp-sc <sop://url> <localport> <playerport> and openning up the resulting stream in mplayer/vlc, e.g.:

sp-sc sop:// 3908 8908 &
mplayer http://localhost:8908/tv.asf

but the CLI involves knowing the broker, channel number and so on. There is also GUI available (actually, 2 GUIs – GTK, and QT, but I’ve only managed to get the GTK GUI working so far), which does all this for you, and makes the process much easier. The GTK Gui can be set up as follows:

cd ~/Desktop
sudo dpkg -i --force-architecture gtk-sopcast_0.2.8-1_i386.deb

32 Bit users can omit the –force-architecture option, since this is essentially just telling 64 Bit Ubuntu to shut up and use 32 Bit libraries.

Sopcast will only pull in the stream – a media player is required to actually view the stream. VLC, or mplayer both work – I currently use mplayer with the Sopcast GUI, without problems. gsopcast is actually set up to use mplayer by default, so if you don’t have it, it can be installed by running:

sudo apt-get install mplayer

Once the gsopcast GUI is installed, there should be a new menu item under Applications -> Sound & Video -> Sopcast TV Player. Alternatively, the GUI can be run from the terminal:


Once launched, the GUI will populate the channel list. Double click on the channel you wish to view, and wait for the buffer to reach 90%-100% before clicking the “player” button.

The best way to find out which channel is playing the Premiership, or Champions League match you want to watch is to scan this list and look for the channel playing the match.



Whatever happened to Division 1, Division 2, and so on, by the way? They’ve even had to make the name of the divisions sound financially appealing.

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