When Does the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Start? Dates, TV Channel, Live Stream and First Round Schedule

Team USA's quest for a third consecutive basketball world title begins Sunday, when it takes on the Czech Republic in Shanghai, China.

Along with the Czech Republic, which makes its debut in the FIBA World Cup as an independent nation, the defending champions will play Turkey and Japan in Group E.

James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Kyle Kuzma, Kyle Lowry, CJ McCollum and Bradley Beal have all withdrawn, leaving Team USA short of star quality compared to previous tournaments.

At the 2016 Olympics, Team USA had five All-Star guards on its roster, while Kemba Walker is the only All-Star guard in the team this year.

Team USA lost to Australia in one of its four warm-up games but remain the bookmakers' favorites to become the first team in history to win the tournament three times in a row.

Here's everything you need to know about the FIBA World Cup.

Kemba Walker, Team USA
Kemba Walker of the USA drives to the basket during the International Friendly Basketball match between Canada and the USA at Qudos Bank Arena on August 26 in Sydney, Australia. Mark Metcalfe/Getty

When is the FIBA World Cup?

The 18th edition of the tournament begins on Saturday, August 31, with the final scheduled for Sunday, September 15.

The tournament was originally scheduled for 2018 but was moved to this year, marking the first time since 1967 that the FIBA World Cup has not been played in the same year as the FIFA World Cup.

Where is the FIBA World Cup?

The FIBA World Cup will be hosted by China this year, as the tournament returns to the Far East for the first time since it took place in Japan in 2006.

The 2019 edition of the World Cup will be played across eight venues in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

TV and live stream coverage

Live stream for every game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup will be available via ESPN+.


The tournament has been expanded from 24 to 32 teams, which are divided into eight groups of four. Each team in a group will play the other three teams once, with the top two teams from each group advancing to a second group stage.

In the second phase, the 16 remaining teams will be split in four groups of four, with each team playing each other once. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.

From then on, the tournament will follow a traditional knock-out stage format.

The World Cup will serve as a qualification tournament for the 2020 Olympic Games. The top two teams from each of the Americas and Europe, and the top team from each of Africa, Asia and Oceania will qualify for the Olympics.

Which teams compete in the FIBA World Cup?

Along with Brazil, Team USA is the only team to have featured in every FIBA World Cup.

The duo are two of the Americas represented alongside Argentina, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Europe has 12 representatives, with Czech Republic and Montenegro making their World Cup debut as independent nations.

The duo are joined by the continent's traditional heavyweights in the shape of France, Greece, Lithuania, Russia, Serbia and Spain.

Poland returns to the World Cup for the first time since 1967, while Germany, Italy and Turkey complete the picture.

Along with the hosts China, seven other nations represent the Asia and Oceania regions—Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines and South Korea.

Meanwhile, Angola, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tunisia and Nigeria make up the African contingent.

First round schedule (All times ET)

Saturday, August 31

  • Angola vs Serbia—3:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Poland vs Venezuela—4 a.m., ESPN+
  • Russia vs Nigeria—4:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Iran vs Puerto Rico—4:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Philippines vs Italy—7:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Ivory Coast vs China—8 a.m., ESPN+
  • Argentina vs South Korea—8:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Spain vs Tunisia—8:30 a.m., ESPN+

Sunday, September 1

  • Canada vs Australia—3:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • New Zealand vs Brazil—4 a.m., ESPN+
  • Turkey vs Japan—4:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Dominican Republic vs Jordan—4:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Senegal vs Lithuania—7:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • Greece vs Montenegro—8 a.m., ESPN+
  • U.S. vs Czech Republic—8:30 a.m., ESPN+
  • France vs Germany—8:30 a.m., ESPN+


Unsurprisingly, Team USA is expected to defend the title it won five years ago. According to Oddschecker, the U.S. are 11/20 favorite to make it three titles in a row, followed by Serbia and Spain at 9/2 and 19/1 respectively.

When Does the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Start? Dates, TV Channel, Live Stream and First Round Schedule | Sports