Keeping up-to-date with sport is an essential part of daily life for many Australian’s and watching the AFL is near the top of the list. While there are a good amount of AFL free to air matches, fans don’t always have access to all their favourite teams and players. With the rise of streaming platforms that specialise in the AFL, one option is to take advantage of free trials to get your fill of footy. Use this guide to learn your ‘free’ AFL viewing options.
The rise of streaming TV has taken place across most of Australia and the convenience of being able to watch a chosen programme at a time that suits you the viewer – is the best part. The scheduling of AFL games will always be decided by the league, but being able to watch the games where and when you want to – is a major boost in terms of sports viewing.
There are several AFL streaming options for Australian viewers, if you have the correct device or app. The availability of on-demand content has brought about a move away from traditional TV, with most sport now being viewed on mobile devices. Each platform offers a different experience, and most can be tailored to the needs of the viewer – which is ideal for AFL fans.
AFL Live Streaming Options
With 17 rounds of matches taking place between 18 teams, there is no shortage of options when it comes to watching the AFL. All matches shown on the Seven Network are available for fans to stream live on the 7Plus app which is available on iOS, desktop and Android as well as multiple streaming devices and smart TVs. However, you may not find the match you’re looking for, given that the AFL free to air broadcasting rights do not include every game in each premiership round. Fortunately, there are other choices when it comes to streaming the AFL live to ensure you don’t miss any of the action.
Compare the Free Trials
Many of the AFL streaming providers offer free trials (details below) for their services, and the viewer should compare them to find the best product for their needs. Using the free trials are the best way to familiarise yourself with the workings of a particular app/platform, and you can cancel before the trial finishes if you decide it isn’t the right choice for you.
There are plenty of live streaming options on the market for AFL fans and here’s a look at some of the major players:
Kayo Sports Free Trial
New Kayo Sports customers can access a 14-day free trial with AFL footy very much one of their key offerings. The AFL on Kayo includes every match in every round shown LIVE, with only the Grand Final excluded. Kayo provides over 50 sports to their subscribers, and with a huge selection of events worldwide, there is something for everyone. Kayo is available on a range of devices including Apple TV, Telstra TV, PC and Mac, iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as Smart TVs, Google Chromecast and more to come.
Kayo is currently available on these devices, with more to come, including native apps for smart TVs.
|Device List||User Guide|
|PC/Mac||Yes, web browser only (Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge)|
|iOS/Android Phones/Tablets||Yes, via native apps (iOS 11 and Android 6 minimum).|
|Google Chromecast||Yes, Chromecast Ultra or 3rd Generation required for 1080p HD, otherwise 720p.|
|Telstra TV||Yes, Split View not available; TTV1 limited to 720p.|
|Android TV||Yes, via app for version 7.0 and up.|
|Samsung Smart TVs||App in development – coming soon|
|PS4 and Xbox One||Apps in development – coming soon|
AFL fans can watch plenty more than just the matches, with in-depth analysis shows and highlights, along with exclusive Kayo Sports AFL TV shows and documentaries. The 14-day free trial is easy to access, and with no lock-in contract, users have the freedom to pause or quit at anytime.
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Foxtel Now Trial Offer
Foxtel Now offers a variety of channels to their subscribers, and the sports package is one of their extra add-ons. AFL coverage is a key element of the Foxtel Now sports pack, with every game in every round broadcast LIVE (Grand Final excluded). Foxtel Now is available using a Telstra TV, the Foxtel Now box, selected recent-model smart TVs, Playstation 4, Chrome browsers on both PCs and Macs, and iOS or Android mobile devices.
Devices supported on Foxtel Now
– Foxtel Now Box: Yes
– Sony Android TV: Yes – OS 7.0 and above
– iOS Mobiles/Tablets: Yes – Via Foxtel Go app (iOS 9.3.5 or above)
– Android Mobiles/Tablets: Yes – Via native app (Lollipop 5.0 or above)
– PC/Mac: Yes – Web browser only (Google Chrome and Safari)
– Google Chromecast: Yes – Via casting
– Google Nest: Yes – on Foxtel Go via a compatible Chromecast device connected or built-in to your TV
– Apple TV: Yes – Via AirPlay
– Telstra TV: Yes – All models
– PlayStation 4: Yes – All models (Foxtel Play on PlayStation 3)
– Samsung Smart TVs: Yes – Select 2017 models and above, running on Tizen 3.0 or above
– LG Smart TVs: Yes – Select 2017 models and above, running webOS 3.5 or above
– Hisense Smart TVs: Yes – Select 2019 – 2020 models
– Shield TV: Yes – on Shield TV and Shield TV Pro
In isolation, Foxtel Now is a relatively cheap alternative for streaming customers, purely due to the variety of programmes they offer. Signing up to all of the Foxtel Now packages can be an expensive business but with a 10-day free trial, AFL fans can catch at least a week’s worth of action and decide whether it’s for them, without having to pay a thing.
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AFL Live Pass
AFL Fans based in Australia can stay up-to-date with all of the action with an AFL Live Pass. The subscription is free to Telstra mobile customers and allows fans to get every game of the season, live on their mobile and tablet.
In comparison to some of the other providers, given its limitations the AFL Live Pass is quite expensive (a weekly subscription costs $4.99 and a yearly sign-up is $99.99) but it offers all of the content AFL fans need. With the Live Pass available on a multitude of devices, it is a useful resource for die-hard AFL fans.
Watch AFL Overseas Offer
AFL fans outside Australia can now access all of the action wherever in the world they are, through the Watch AFL app offering. This is a service only available to view outside of Australia and requires a subscription but doesn’t need a VPN to go with it.
The Watch AFL app allows fans to rewind and pause the live action as well as watch highlights from every league game and women’s fixture. There are three different subscription options. You can get all the action weekly for $20, monthly for $39, or $199 for the whole season.
Frequently Asked Questions about Streaming TV
Since the birth of television, we’ve gotten all our TV via broadcasts – signals containing continuous TV channels sent out to anyone who can pick them up. Streaming TV is completely different – you choose what show or movie you want to watch from an app on your TV or a device, and it’s then sent to you via your broadband internet connection. It’s called “streaming” because you watch it as it’s being sent to you, rather than downloading it to watch later.
If you’ve got a recent model TV, it’s almost certainly what’s known as a “smart TV” – in other words, it can download and run apps. The most popular apps for smart TVs are those for streaming services, and that’s because it’s easy to just sit back and load up the app for your favourite service and start watching. But smart TV support for each streaming service varies, so if you’re watching a lot of it, the better option is to buy a dedicated streaming device like Telstra TV or Apple TV, or get a low-cost device called a Chromecast so you can send streaming TV to your screen from a phone or tablet app.
Streaming is really easy on modern smartphones and tablets, but not everyone wants to watch their shows and movies on a tiny screen. You can fix that easily with a small device made by Google called Chromecast. It plugs into a spare HDMI port on your TV, and connects to the same Wi-Fi network that your phone is on. Once it’s set up, all you need to do is load up your favourite streaming app – Netflix, BINGE, Kayo and hundreds of others – and tap the little TV screen icon in the top right corner to connect to Chromecast. Then everything you play will stream direct to your TV.
If you’ve got a fairly recent model of Mac or PC, you’ll almost certainly find a HDMI video output socket on the back (or side, in the case of laptops) of the computer. If you have one of these, streaming direct to your TV is easy – just connect it to a spare HDMI input on your TV with a cable and switch to that input, then start streaming. Other computers may have different video connectors, such as Mini DisplayPort, USB-C or Thunderbolt; these can connect to your TV as well, but you’ll need a special adapter cable to do so. An easier option in those cases may be to use a Chromecast connected to the TV, sending video to it from the Google Chrome web browser.
Of all the streaming services, Netflix is the one that almost every smart TV and streaming device supports – in fact, if you’ve bought a TV, disc player or streaming device recently, it’ll probably have a big red and white Netflix button on its remote control! All you need to do to stream Netflix on any TV is just load up the app and sign in with your account email and password – it’ll load up all your profiles, favourites and watch lists so you can pick up on the TV where you left off on the phone or PC.
While you’ll find Netflix support on pretty much every smart TV, the other streaming services you can access on that TV will vary greatly depending on the brand, model and year of your TV. The much better solution if you’re streaming all the time is to buy a dedicated streaming box. These smart little devices plug into your TV via HDMI and act as a sort of “one-stop shop” for all the different streaming service apps, so you can stream from any of them from the one remote control. The best streaming boxes are the ones with the widest app support – with the Telstra TV and Apple TV at the top of the list. They’re both priced just above $200, but the Telstra TV can be had for $9 a month if you’re a Telstra customer, making it a great affordable streaming upgrade.
While Foxtel Now offers plenty of shows and movies for you to watch on demand, its main purpose is to deliver Foxtel’s live TV channels to you as they’re broadcast – but via streaming rather than satellite. The way this is done is very much the same as other streaming services, except that each channel is its own separate never-ending live stream, and you switch between channels rather than choosing individual titles. It’s designed to behave just like regular TV does, but under the hood it’s a streaming service and as such, it performs best on a fast broadband connection.
All streaming TV uses an amount of download data on your broadband plan – so if you’ve got a monthly download limit, you’ll want to keep an eye on just how much data is being used. That amount varies greatly between different streaming services, but as a general guide, expect to use around 1GB per hour at standard definition, 3GB per hour at HD (high definition) and 7GB per hour at 4K Ultra HD quality. We’d recommend anyone who streams regularly get a broadband plan with unlimited data – they’re incredibly cheap now.
Innovative sports streaming service Kayo Sports is still working on apps for a wider range of smart TVs – at the moment, though, they only offer an app for Samsung TVs made in 2017 and later, and for TVs running the Android TV operating system (like Sony’s recent models). For any other TV, smart or not, you’ll need to use a streaming device, with the best ones for Kayo Sports being Telstra TV (which also lets you subscribe directly from the device) and Apple TV. Kayo also supports Chromecast so you can cast from your phone, but a current-model Chromecast is recommended for best results. Check out our guide for more suggestions.
Foxtel Go is the app for phones and tablets that’s designed for use by customers of both Foxtel satellite TV and Foxtel Now services. You can stream the live channels and on-demand content to a TV by using the new Foxtel app for LG and Samsung smart TVs, or by streaming from the mobile app to a Chromecast device. However, Foxtel satellite customers will need to add the Multiscreen pack to their account before streaming is possible. Foxtel Now customers can stream on up to two devices at the same time. They can also use the dedicated Foxtel Now box or Telstra TV to stream.
With the free-to-air streaming services – ABC iView, SBS On Demand, 7plus, 9now and 10play – you’ve got plenty of choices to watch on your TV, especially if it supports the “Freeview” standard. TVs that offer Freeview will display a banner when changing channels, letting you access that network’s streaming service with the tap of a coloured button. For easier browsing and streaming, though, almost all smart TVs include apps for all five of the free-to-air networks, as do the to streaming boxes like Telstra TV and Apple TV. All of these apps are completely free to use, though some require you to sign up for a free account, and all (except ABC iView) are supported by ad breaks during your streams.
No. That’s one of the best things about all streaming services, including Foxtel Now – there is no need to agree to any sort of lock-in contract. You pay a month in advance for a month’s access and can cancel at any time. Even better, you can re-subscribe later and as long as it hasn’t been too long , you’ll find all your favourites and watch lists right where you left them.
The tradition with streaming TV has been to offer new customers a free trial period so they can see if they like what the service has to offer – but not all services have free trials. Most notably, Netflix and Disney Plus don’t offer a free trial at all anymore, so anyone signing up for the first time will have to pay for the first month up front. However, there are still plenty of free trials around, such as Foxtel Now (10 days), BINGE (14 days), Kayo Sports (14 days), Amazon Prime Video (one month).
Because it’s designed to be watched on demand, streaming services don’t give you the ability to record shows and movies to watch later. However, some services do allow you to download titles to a mobile phone or tablet to stream later without using the internet. This can be brilliant for when you’re travelling – load up your iPad or phone with some movies or a series, and you can watch them anywhere without incurring a massive mobile data bill. Streaming services that allow downloads include Netflix, Stan, Prime Video and Disney Plus.