Since its launch, Kayo has been impressing sports fans with its fresh approach to delivering live and on-demand sporting action from around Australia and the world. Now that the 2019 footy season is underway, AFL fans are going to be asking a very pertinent question – how does Kayo shape up compared to one of the streaming services they’ve used up until now? Is the AFL Live app still up to the task, or is Kayo going to be the best way to watch the rest of the season?
Now a fully integrated platform after several years of refinement, the AFL Live app – run for the League by Telstra – has been a reliable source of not just live streams and highlights videos, but also news and statistics on the games, the teams and the code as a whole. And that’s been great – being able to grab your phone or tablet and catch AFL games in progress, while viewing constantly updated stats and other info, has been an absolutely essential thing to have around for footy fans. But it doesn’t come without its restrictions.
Kayo Sports vs the AFL Live Pass
With the arrival of new licensing deals, AFL Live was limited to only streaming games via the phone and tablet apps – you can’t just hop onto the web site and stream from there. And along with that comes another key restriction – streaming video is limited to a 7” diagonal screen size for live games. Let’s put that into perspective: your standard iPad has a 9.7 inch screen, so streamed games wouldn’t even be allowed to fill the available screen space. And if you were thinking about casting video from the app to your big screen TV, well, think again – AFL Live has no support for Chromecast or AirPlay, with the latter actually blocked from working on iOS devices. So you’ll be watching on your mobile device, like it or not.
Kayo, on the other hand, approaches sports streaming from a different angle. Because they have the backing of the mighty Fox Sports network, they have both the resources and the rights to stream all kinds of sport from all around the world in extremely high quality. Where available, Kayo’s streams run at full 1080p high definition and a 50fps frame rate, making its picture quality even better than what you’ll find on free-to-air TV or Foxtel. With the AFL season kicking off, we don’t yet know the exact technical details of Kayo’s coverage, but you can expect 1080p HD at the very least, with the host broadcaster determining the final quality.
And there’ll be no restriction to a tiny 7 inch screen, either. Kayo’s phone and tablet apps run full screen, taking advantage of the full quality of your device, and can effortlessly cast to any Chromecast-enabled device. Beyond that, you can also view Kayo with dedicated apps for Apple TV and Telstra TV, letting you relax on the couch and take in the game – or multiple games at the same time, using the Split View feature on Apple TV that allows you to watch up to four streams at once!
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What Else Do Kayo and AFL Live Deliver?
As we mentioned above, it’s not just about the live streams themselves – it’s about all the stuff that surrounds it to deliver a rich and interesting experience for true fans of the game. AFL Live Pass streaming has been rather good at that for years, with its up-to-the-minute stats, extensive news articles, updates and more, all available in the app.
As a video platform, Kayo offers its news and supporting material in video form – highlights, news items and documentaries, letting you select your favourite team then catch up on all the latest info. And as well as live stats, Kayo Sports offers unique features like Key Moments, which lets you jump instantly to the events that helped decide the game. You can also load up the app with the game already in progress, start streaming it from the beginning as though it was live, and be safe from any spoilers.
How do the Costs Compare?
With its high-quality 24/7 TV coverage of dozens of sports from around the globe, Kayo is hard to say no to at its very straightforward price points – it’ll cost you $25 per month to stream on up to two devices at the same time, or $35 for three devices at once. With AFL Live it’s a bit more complicated than that. Access to the app is at a rate of $4.99 a week, $16.99 a month or $99.99 a year. And while that’s cheaper on paper than Kayo, you’re getting a lot less for your money – no high definition, no big-screen playback, and no way to start streaming an in-progress game from the beginning. Combine that with Kayo’s coverage of tons of other premium sports and the lack of any sort of contract, and $25/month for Kayo is easily the better deal on offer.
Which One Comes Out on Top?
There’s no denying that AFL Live has a good pedigree, and provides a lot of info that’s incredibly useful to footy fans. But at the going rate, it’s simply hard to justify the cost when its video streaming functionality is so limited. Kayo combines live and on-demand streaming in high definition with live stats, some unique features, a slick interface and wide device support, and it’s all about getting those games in front of your eyes. If you want to read news articles, there’s plenty of places to do that for free online – but AFL is a visceral, visual game that’s best seen on a nice big screen, and the only way to do that is with Kayo Sports.