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How to Watch the FA Cup Semi-Finals Live Stream for Free

How to Watch the FA Cup Semi-Finals Live Stream for Free in 2023

The FA Cup semi-final takes place this weekend, April 22-23, with the winners moving set to face off in the final on June 3. However, the FA Cup semi-final live stream is only available for free in the U.K. Learn how to watch the semi-final matches for free from anywhere using a VPN.

Aleksandar KochovskiJackie Leavitt

Written by Aleksandar Kochovski (Writer)

Reviewed by Jackie Leavitt (Co-Chief Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-04-23T00:04:37+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: FA Cup Semi-Finals Streaming

  • The FA Cup semi-final matches are taking place on April 20 and April 21.
  • The Saturday match will stream for free on ITVX, and the Sunday match will be available on BBC iPlayer, also for free, though you need to be in the U.K. to access the streaming platforms.
  • If you’re in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world, you can use a VPN, like ExpressVPN, to make it seem as though you’re in the U.K., unblocking the platforms to stream the FA Cup matches.

Avid football fans have a lot to be excited about this weekend, with the Football Association Challenge Cup semi-finals starting on Saturday, April 20. The world’s oldest national football championship features a star-studded list of Premier League teams, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Coventry and Chelsea. Learn how to watch the FA Cup semi-finals live stream, wherever you are in the world.

U.K. residents have a slew of options for both streaming and watching FA Cup matches on TV. However, if you’re traveling abroad, or if you’re a U.S. fan, you can use a VPN to unblock U.K. streaming services and watch the live stream for free. ExpressVPN is our top VPN suggestion, though NordVPN and Proton VPN are good alternatives.

We’ll list all the details, including the TV schedule and an easy guide on how to watch the FA Cup semi-finalists, including free and paid ways to do so.

FA Cup Semi-Finals Live Stream Details

The FA Cup will be streamed on two different services in the U.K., with Saturday’s match being broadcast on ITVX and Sunday’s match on BBC iPlayer. Thankfully, both are free to stream, as long as you’re in the U.K., on the other hand, U.S. fans can watch the FA Cup on ESPN+ and Hulu, though both streaming services are paid.

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How Does the FA Cup Work?

The FA Cup is a knockout competition in football involving teams from all four tiers in the English football system. The first round consists of 32 non-league teams and 48 teams from League One and League Two. The second round introduces 20 teams from the Premier League and the Championship.

The FA Cup quarter-finals and semi-finals are held at neutral venues, with the final traditionally being held at Wembley Stadium. The winners of this weekend’s semis will advance to the final on June 3. If they win the FA Cup final, they automatically qualify for the UEFA Europa League, unless they’ve already qualified for it or the UEFA Champions League.

How to Live Stream the FA Cup Semi-Finals for Free

If you’re outside the U.K. and want to watch live streams of the FA Cup for free, you can do so on ITVX and BBC iPlayer, both of which are free to use. However, these platforms are geographically restricted to the U.K., which means that you’ll need to spoof your location with a VPN in order to unblock them.

Keep in mind that BBC iPlayer can be a tough nut to crack for most VPNs, so you’ll need to use a premium one if you want to unblock it. Thankfully, the best VPNs for the job come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can use to watch the match for the weekend and then ask for a refund.

How to Watch the FA Cup Semi-Finals From the US or Abroad

Here are a few easy steps for watching FA Cup matches for free. We’ll be using ExpressVPN in this example, as it’s the best VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer; you can get a free refund on any plan. If you don’t want to shell out any money, you can also try Proton VPN’s free plan.

  1. Download and Install a VPN

    Go to ExpressVPN’s website and choose a subscription. Next, download the installer and follow the instructions in the install wizard.

    get expressvpn
  2. Connect to a U.K. VPN Server

    Under the large power button, you’ll find ExpressVPN’s server list. Click on the server list and use the search bar to find a server in the United Kingdom. To connect to a server, click on it and it should connect automatically. If it doesn’t, just press the power button after you’ve selected a server.

    getting a uk ip address expressvpn servers
  3. Create a BBC iPlayer Account

    If you haven’t already, create a BBC iPlayer account. You’ll need to provide a U.K. postal code, which you can find on Google. Keep in mind that when you try to stream a game for the first time, you’ll be asked if you have a TV license. Thankfully, you don’t need to provide proof that you have one, and you can just click “I have a TV Licence. Watch now.”

    bbc registration
  4. Stream FA Cup Matches for Free

    While connected to a U.K. server, go to the BBC iPlayer website and click on the search bar. Type in “FA Cup” and you should see the live stream in the results.

    step4 how to stream fa cup

The Best VPNs to Stream the FA Cup Semi-Finals

We’ve put together a list of three VPNs that can unblock BBC iPlayer and ITVX, with one free VPN option included. We chose these VPNs because of their speed, security and strong unblocking capability. They also have money-back guarantees.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to livestream the FA Cup matches.


  • Unlocks BBC iPlayer & ITVX
  • Very fast streaming
  • High security


  • Comparatively expensive
  • Owned by Kape Technologies

ExpressVPN is our pick for the overall best VPN, so it’s no surprise it tops our list of suggestions for streaming the FA Cup. Its ability to unblock geographically restricted content is unmatched, and its impact on your connection speed is minimal. It’s also the most secure VPN out there, with a no-logs privacy policy that guarantees the safety and anonymity of your data.

Its only drawback is its price. ExpressVPN is expensive, even as far as premium VPNs go, though you do get your money’s worth. It costs $12.95 per month, or $6.66 per month if you subscribe for a whole year. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can use it to stream the FA Cup semi-final for free. Our ExpressVPN review has more details.

2. NordVPN

nordvpn in app 
NordVPN is the fastest VPN, though it may take a bit of trial and error to get it to unblock BBC iPlayer.


  • Fastest VPN
  • Many U.K. servers
  • Unblocks ITVX easily


  • Struggle with BBC iPlayer

As the fastest VPN around, NordVPN certainly beats most VPNs when it comes to streaming in high quality. It has plenty of servers in the U.K. for you to choose from, and it lets you choose individual servers as well, not just server locations like ExpressVPN does. This comes in handy for unblocking BBC iPlayer, as you might need to switch servers a few times before you can find one that can unblock it.

Despite being a premium VPN, NordVPN is relatively affordable, topping our list of the best cheap VPNs. However, its price per month is roughly the same as ExpressVPN, though its yearly plan is cheaper, costing $4.99. Its two-year plan is the most affordable, costing only $3.55. It also comes with a 30-day refund period. Learn more in our NordVPN review.

  • *The prices are charged in the first billing cycle only. Renewal prices vary.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes
  • *The prices are charged in the first billing cycle only. Renewal prices vary.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes
  • *The prices are charged in the first billing cycle only. Renewal prices vary.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes

3. Proton VPN

protonvpn for streaming
Proton VPN is a free VPN with unlimited data, though it might be a bit too slow for live streaming.


  • Free plan available
  • Unlimited data on free plan
  • Streaming servers in the U.K.


  • Free servers can be slow

Proton VPN is the best free VPN, thanks to its unlimited data plan and high security. However, although it doesn’t limit your bandwidth, it places free users on high-volume servers, which means you might experience slower speeds. If you don’t mind streaming in lower quality, Proton VPN is still a great option.

Although Proton VPN has a free plan, it also has paid plans, though they’re more expensive than you’d expect. It has the lowest monthly price of the bunch, at $9.99, though its yearly plan costs about the same as ExpressVPN, at $4.99, and its two-year plan is on par with NordVPN, costing $4.49. Read our Proton VPN review for more information.

  • Unlimited GB
  • 1
  • Yes
  • Renewal prices are different after the first year for the 1-year plan, and after the second year for the 2-year plan.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes

Final Thoughts: FA Cup Semi-Finals

The FA Cup brings high stakes this season, with the winner automatically proceeding to the Europa League. You can watch this weekend’s semi-final matches on free streaming platforms using a VPN, no matter where you’re located.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to watch the FA Cup semi final games, though you won’t go wrong picking NordVPN either. For a totally free option, Proton VPN is your best choice.

Are you excited about this weekend’s games? Which VPN would you choose to watch the semi-finals? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thank you for reading.


  • The FA Cup semi-final will air live on the BBC TV channel, though you can also stream the games via ITVX on Saturday and BBC iPlayer on Sunday.

  • The FA Cup will air on ESPN+ and Hulu in the U.S.

  • To watch the FA Cup in the U.S., you’ll either need a subscription to ESPN+ or Hulu, or you could use a VPN to unblock the free U.K. streaming services.

  • You can use a free VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer and watch the FA Cup final for free. Learn more in our FA Cup final live stream guide.

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