How to watch football (soccer) now that the World Cup is over

Many are referring to the 2014 World Cup as the best of the modern era -- think: since Korea/Japan in 2002. Was it due to the fact it set an incredible amount of viewing records? Or, perhaps, it has to do with how much social networks made the entire experience that much more enjoyable. After all, who could forget all the great memes and Tumblr accounts? The level of play wasn't bad either, with this year's tournament leaving behind formidable memories of great individual (Guillermo Ochoa against Brazil, Tim Howard against Belgium) and team (Germany's 7-1 thrashing of Brazil) performances. There's a reason why the sport is nicknamed "The Beautiful Game." Thankfully, football doesn't stop here. While we wait for the next World Cup, which Russia will host in 2018, here's how you, the new (or old) fan, can keep up with some of the professional leagues from across the globe.

It's worth nothing that most 2014-2015 seasons in Europe are set to begin next month, while others like Mexico's Liga MX will kick off later this week. Major League Soccer, meanwhile, is already midway through its season -- the US league was about the only one still active during the World Cup. In general, most league matches take place over the weekend, although some do happen during the work/school week, especially once the Champions League and Europa League start.

Do keep in mind this is for people who want to watch here in the States, live or on-demand, as broadcasting rights do vary by country. Furthermore, if the cable/satellite providers or networks we mention carry any of these leagues, be sure to use one of their TV-everywhere offerings, such as the WatchESPN or Univision Deportes apps, this way you can enjoy games across different devices.

So, without further ado.

Liga BBVA, Spain

Spain Soccer La Liga

Network: (English) beIN Sports, (Spanish) beIN Sports en Español.

Available on most TV service providers; offers apps on the web, iOS and Android.

Premier League, United Kingdom

Britain Soccer Premier League

Network: (English) NBC, NBC Sports; (Spanish) Telemundo, Mun2.

These channels are also carried by most TV service carriers. On mobile and the web, there's NBC Sports Live Extra. Similarly, Telemundo has an app for iOS and Android, which you can use to watch some games while on the go.

Bundesliga, Germany

Germany Soccer Cup Final

Network: (English and Spanish) GolTV.

This one is far from perfect. Comcast, the largest cable provider in the US, dropped the channel not long ago, so that's already a huge chunk of people left out. That said, GolTV is still available on Time Warner Cable and DirecTV, but maybe not for long -- the latter currently downgraded the channel to SD-only. To make matters worse, GolTV doesn't have any apps. Which is to say, keeping up with Bayern Munich, home to more than half of world champion Germany's starting players, may be a little tough.

The good news is Fox recently acquired the Bundesliga rights, starting with the 2015-2016 season.

Ligue 1, France

France Soccer League One

Network: (English) beIN Sports, (Spanish) beIN Sports en Español.

Same broadcasting deal as Spain's La Liga.

Here, however, you'll find different talent, including star players like Zlatan Ibrahimović and World Cup sensation James Rodríguez. (FYI: His first name is pronounced "hahm-ez.")

Serie A, Italy


Network: (English) beIN Sports, (Spanish) beIN Sports en Español.

Similar to France's Ligue 1 and Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A belongs to beIN Sports Stateside. It is one of the world's best leagues, featuring teams like A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. Most importantly, Andrea Pirlo, the man you see above, plays his trade there -- and you should try to watch him in action any chance you get.

Liga MX, Mexico

Mexico Soccer

South of the border, the federation in charge operates slightly differently than the rest of the pack. As such, finding Liga MX matches to watch will be a rather easy task.

Networks: (English) ESPN, (Spanish) ESPN Deportes; Univision, Univision Deportes Network and UniMas; Telemundo; Fox Deportes; and Azteca America, all available en Español.

Better yet, the majority of these channels are widely adopted by service providers. Still, things are more complicated here, since each team can play on a different network depending on whether they play at home or away. For example, Club America's home games will always be on one of Univision's properties, since it licensed the rights to that particular team.

Regardless, it's a league you should be keeping an eye on.

Major League Soccer, United States and Canada

MLS Timbers Sounders Soccer

Networks: (English) ESPN and NBC Sports; (Spanish) Univision, Univision Deportes Network and UniMas.

Along with those channels, which you should have no trouble finding within your TV package, there's also MLS Live, which offers access to live (out-of-market) and on-demand matches. Since the season is already well underway, a mere $32 gets you in for the remainder -- Major League Soccer says demand for subscriptions has skyrocketed since the World Cup.

If you fell in love with the national team's performance at the World Cup, then you should definitely be paying attention to MLS. Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin, Graham Zusi are a few players you can expect to watch as the season progresses. More importantly, supporting Major League Soccer is key for the development and growth of US soccer, and the sport as a whole in this country.

Beyond 2014, MLS will have a larger presence everywhere, thanks to new deals with ESPN, Fox and Univision.

Other Club Competitions

Portugal Soccer Champions League Final

UEFA Champions League

Networks: (English) Fox, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Go; (Spanish) Fox Deportes.

UEFA Europa League

Networks: (English) Fox Sports and (Spanish) ESPN Deportes.

[Image credits: Getty, Associated Press]