How to watch World Handball Championship 2023 free live stream – schedule, semi-finals

Watch World Men's Handball Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto)

Will Denmark become the first team to win three World Handball Championship in a row, or can Sweden or France build on their recent successes to halt Mikkel Hansen's red machine? The semi-finals are on Friday, January 27, with Spain vs Denmark followed by  France vs Sweden. Here's how to watch a 2023 World Men's Handball Championship live stream from anywhere - including FREE options in some places.

World Men's Handball Championship live stream 2023

Dates: 11-29 January, 2023

Host countries: Poland and Sweden

FREE live stream: ARD/ZDF (DE) | RTVE (ESP) | YouTube (RoW)

Watch anywhere: try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free

After a thrilling round robin, the World Handball Championship 2023 has reached the knockout stages. Olympic gold medallists France, two-time reigning world champions Denmark and co-hosts Sweden all made it though to the semi-finals. And with tournament winners are guaranteed a spot at Paris 2024, so there's everything to play for. 

Can Spain end Denmark's record-breaking winning streak? We'll find out when the first of the semi-finals gets underway at ERGO Arena in Gdansk. The Danes famously beat the Spaniards in the semi-finals a couple of years ago on their way to gold, so Spain will be out for revenge.

Olympic champions France managed to get the better of the Danes in Tokyo two years ago, and veteran center-back Nikola Karabatic and star right-back Dika Mem will be key to their hopes when they play Sweden in the second semi-final. But having pipped Spain to the European title last year, Sweden – bolstered by center-back Jim Gottfridsson – will be a tough team to beat.

If you're not familiar with the format of the World Men's Handball Championship, the 32 teams are split into eight groups of four, who play each other in the round-robin preliminary round. The top three in each group qualify for the four-group main round, while the eight bottom-placed teams compete in the second-tier President's Cup. In the main round, two teams from each group go through to the quarter-finals. Then it's a straight knockout to the semi-final and grand final.

Follow our guide as we explain all the ways to get a 2023 World Men's Handball Championship live stream wherever you are.

Watch a World Men's Handball Championship live stream for FREE

We've gone into more specific detail below, but you'll be able to live stream the 2023 World Men's Handball Championship for FREE in a selection of countries around the world, including:

ARD/ZDF (Germany)

RTVE (Spain)

YouTube (all territories without rights-holder agreements)

Remember that if you're abroad right now, you can tune into your home coverage by using a VPN.

UK flag

How to watch World Men's Handball Championship: live stream in the UK


In the UK, the 2023 World Men's Handball Championship is being shown on Viaplay

You'll have to subscribe to the Total package to tune in, with the plan priced at £14.99 per month or £143.88 per year.

Play typically begins at 5pm GMT and continues deep into the evenings.

As well as the World Men's Handball Championship, Viaplay is showing up to 1,400 NHL games this season, plus La Liga football, the United Rugby Championship, the rugby league Championship, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and Champions Hockey League.

Watch a World Men's Handball Championship live stream from outside your country

If you're currently abroad and struggling to tune in - or if you just want the comfort and language of your home nation's coverage - then geo-restrictions may stand in your way of getting a World Men's Handball Championship live stream.

That's where the broadcaster prevents you from watching your usual feed from abroad. It's a common problem for sports fans all over the world. By downloading and installing a VPN, you can effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back at home.

Use a VPN to watch a World Men's Handball Championship live stream from anywhere

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How to watch the 2023 World Men's Handball Championship in the US, Canada and Australia


There's no confirmed broadcaster for the 2023 World Men's Handball Championship in the US, Canada or Australia at the time of writing.

However, the good news is that in countries where the tournament isn't being shown by a big-name broadcaster, every single game will be live streamed on the IHF YouTube channel.

YouTube is, of course, completely free to watch and compatible with pretty much any internet-connected device out there. 

Just note that World Men's Handball Championship coverage will be restricted in most countries where the tournament is being shown by local broadcasters (places like the UK, Germany and Spain).

Play typically starts at 6pm CEST on most days of the tournament, which is 4am AEDT / 12pm ET / 9am PT. 

You'll need to use one of the best VPN service providers to tap into your regular YouTube coverage if you're away from home.

2023 World Men's Handball Championship semi-finals

Friday January 27, 2023:

5pm GMT – Spain vs Denmark

8pm GMT – France vs Sweden

2023 World Men's Handball Championship teams and groups

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1 Row 0 - Cell 2
Group ASpain, Montenegro, Chile, IranRow 1 - Cell 2
Group BFrance, Poland, Saudi Arabia, SloveniaRow 2 - Cell 2
Group CSweden, Brazil, Cape Verde, UruguayRow 3 - Cell 2
Group DIceland, Portugal, Hungary, South KoreaRow 4 - Cell 2
Group EGermany, Qatar, Serbia, AlgeriaRow 5 - Cell 2
Group FNorway, North Macedonia, Argentina, NetherlandsRow 6 - Cell 2
Group GEgypt, Croatia, Morocco, USARow 7 - Cell 2
Group HDenmark, Belgium, Bahrain, TunisiaRow 8 - Cell 2

2023 World Men's Handball Championship schedule

Wednesday, Jan 11 - Tuesday, Jan 17
Preliminary round

Wednesday, Jan 18 - Wednesday, Jan 25
President's Cup

Wednesday, Jan 18 - Monday, Jan 23
Main round

Wednesday, Jan 25

Friday, Jan 27

Sunday, Jan 29
Third-place game

Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.