When: June 12 to July 12

Where: TV One, TVNZ 7, Sky Sport

What: Eat, sleep and dream soccer

The best of the beautiful game is not screening at the most feasible of times in New Zealand. So for those about to get hooked on the Fifa World Cup, prepare yourself and warn your boss because you may be nodding off on the job for the next month.

The year's biggest sport event starts at 1.10am on Saturday with the opening ceremony, followed by the first game between hosts South Africa and Mexico at 2am. That time slot is typical of what you will be in for if you're keen to catch some of the big games. The final is, however, on July 12 at the very civilised time of 6.30am, which is a good excuse to have a celebratory breakfast, no matter who you support.

TVNZ (via TV One and TVNZ 7) and Sky are covering the tournament, which is made more interesting from a New Zealand perspective because the All Whites have made the cut for the first time in 28 years.

Although the current team's shorts are a little looser than those of the chaps who played in Spain in 1982, the All Whites will be as up against it as Steve Sumner's bunch were. For starters, they are in the same group as defending champions Italy, who haven't been up to scratch in the lead-up. But still, no mean feat taking on the world No4 team (2am, June 21, TV1/Sky Sport 2).

Before that they play Slovakia (11.30pm, June 15, TV1/Sky Sport 2), and the team's last pool game is against Paraguay (2am, June 25, TV1/Sky Sport 2).

Unless there is a minor miracle - of which there is a slim possibility considering New Zealand's lead-up form against Australia and Serbia - don't expect to be waving the silver fern into the second round.

Elsewhere there is some stunning soccer to be had. Argentina's opening game against African kingpins Nigeria (2am, June 13, Sky Sport 2) will be worth checking out for Argentinian team manager Maradona's sideline antics alone; Spain versus sly dogs Honduras (6.30am, June 22, Sky Sport 2/TVNZ 7); and any game in Group G - dubbed the "group of death" - with world No1 Brazil in should be a ripper, especially against Portugal (2am, June 26, Sky Sport 2/TVNZ 7).

Soccer nut and sports broadcaster Martin Devlin will anchor TV One's coverage of 11 live games, including the quarter-finals, semis, third place play-off, and final, as well as a highlights package before the 6pm news (to be repeated at 11pm).

As Devlin says: "For the next month we get to watch the best players on earth going hard out to claim the greatest prize in world sport. There's a good reason why it's called the beautiful game, you don't have to understand the rules to sit back and watch in wonderment at the effortless skill of these players."