Kayo v AFL Live – Which One Delivers the Goods?

Telstra has retired the AFL and NRL Live Passes from 2021, meaning live streaming of games is no longer available in those apps. Live Pass users can take advantage of a new Telstra offer – full access to Kayo Sports for 12 months for only $15 per month, with live HD streaming of every round and dozens of other live sports.

kayo vs afl

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 2021 footy season is getting 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 – and in 2021, things have changed.

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 couldn’t just hop onto the web site and stream from there. And along with that came another key restriction – streaming video 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.

And there’s 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!

Changes to AFL Live Pass from 2021

In past years, it’s been free to stream AFL games via the AFL Live app for all Telstra customers – but in 2021 that changes, with the Live Pass (and live streaming) being retired from the app. While the app will remain available and free to use for Telstra customers – and deliver match replays, live scores, highlights and more – those wanting to watch live matches in the 2021 season will need to head to Kayo Sports.

The good news is that if you’ve been a user of AFL Live Pass during 2020, you can take advantage of a special offer from Kayo which gives you full access to not just live streams of every AFL match, but all of Kayo’s dozens of sports, for only $5 per month for an entire year. A saving of $20 a month, it’s an incredible deal that will mean you’ll get full HD quality live streaming alongside Kayo’s other acclaimed features including Split View, Key Moments, full replays and Kayo Minis.

To take advantage of this incredible deal you’ll need to sign up for Kayo via your Telstra account before May 31st. And remember, you can still use the AFL Live app for up to the moment scores, stats and news as well.

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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. 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 a great deal.

Last audited 20th of September 2021

Which One Comes Out on Top?

There’s no denying that AFL Live has a good history, and still provides a lot of info that’s incredibly useful to footy fans. But its video streaming functionality is now limited to highlights and replays only. 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.

What people are asking about Kayo Sports

  • Who Owns Kayo Sports?

A company called Streamotion owns and operates Kayo, which is why you’ll occasionally see references to things like creating and managing your Streamotion account. Streamotion is a part of the Foxtel group of companies, which is how Kayo gets access to all the content from Fox Sports.

  • How Much Does Kayo Cost?

The pricing for Kayo Sports is kept very simple and straightforward. It’s either $25/month for Basic (which allows streaming on up to 2 screens at one time) or $35/month for Premium (3 screens at a time). Telstra mobile customers who choose to add Kayo to their bill can get a $10/month discount off either of those plans for the first 12 months.

  • How Much Data Does Kayo Use?

While the exact amount of data you’ll use while streaming Kayo varies depending on what you’re watching and whether you’re using any of the special features (especially Split View) in general you should expect data usage to average around 3.25GB per hour. If you want to limit your data usage, you can set Kayo to stream in Standard Definition, which takes data usage down to 0.5GB per hour.

  • What Sports are on Kayo?

Thanks to its access to the full resources of Fox Sports as well as ESPN and beIN Sports, Kayo delivers over 30 sporting codes featuring multiple different leagues and competitions from Australia and around the world. If there’s a sport you follow, you’re almost certainly going to find it on Kayo. The 14-day free trial lets you check out the range of sports for yourself without spending a cent.

  • Does Kayo Work Overseas?

Because Kayo is the Australian licensee of the various sports that it streams from Australia and around the world, the service can’t be used from outside of Australia, even if you’re an Australian customer who’s travelling. Using a VPN to access Kayo from overseas is also not supported. Remember that as there’s no lock-in contract, you can pause your Kayo subscription if you’re heading overseas and seamlessly resume it when you return.

  • Can You Get Kayo on PS4 and PS5?

With a user base of nearly 3 million Australians, PlayStation 4 and its successor the PlayStation 5 are  hugely popular devices not just for games, but also for streaming video. Kayo is well aware of that, and that’s why Kayo is now supported on both PS4 and PS5.

  • How Do You Get Kayo on Apple TV?

The versatile Apple TV is one of Kayo’s best-supported devices, and accessing Kayo on it is as easy as heading to the App Store app on the Apple TV itself. If you then move over to the “Apps” tab, you’ll see a list of the top free apps. Find the green Kayo logo in that list, click on it, and select “INSTALL”. You then just need to run the app from the Apple TV’s main menu and follow the on-screen instructions to get started.

  • How Many Devices Can I Use with Kayo?

You can have as many compatible devices as you like set up to access your Kayo account, but the amount of them that can access Kayo at the same time depends on which Kayo plan you’re on. For Basic plan users, up to 2 devices can stream at one time; the Premium plan increases that to 3 at once.

  • How Do You Get Kayo on a Samsung TV?

The Kayo app for Samsung smart TVs works on all smart Samsung models released in 2017 and later. You can find it by pressing the Smart Hub button on your TV remote, then heading to the Samsung Apps tab. Find the green Kayo app icon and select Download Now. The Kayo app will then be added to your Smart Hub menu.

  • Does Kayo Have the Main Event Channel?

While the Main Event channel doesn’t always appear on Kayo, you can now order and stream events from the channel as they happen and watch them directly on Kayo. You don’t need to have a current Kayo subscription to watch. You can see what’s coming up and buy access to the events you want at Kayo Sports’ website.

  • Can You Record Kayo?

No – as a streaming service, Kayo doesn’t offer a recording feature at all. But it doesn’t need to, since all sports streamed by Kayo can be watched live, on delay “as live” or watched any time after the event has finished, complete with extra features for many sporting codes. On-demand replays are generally available for several weeks after the event, though how long depends on the particular sport.

  • Can You Get Kayo on Fetch TV or Xbox One?

Not at this stage; there have been plans mentioned to bring Kayo to Xbox One, with the company’s current roadmap looking at a release during 2021. For Fetch TV it’s unlikely there’ll ever be a Kayo app.

  • Can You Get Kayo on a LG Smart TV?

There’s no Kayo app for LG smart TVs just yet, though it’s possible there will be in the future. In the meantime, the best option for LG owners would be a dedicated streaming device that supports Kayo, such as the Telstra TV, the Apple TV 4 or Google’s Chromecast.

  • Does Kayo Have a TV Guide?

Because it’s designed to be used as a service focused on sporting codes and events rather than a TV schedule, Kayo doesn’t have a regular TV guide even though it offers some live channels. Instead, there’s a “Fixtures” menu which lays out what games are on when, code-by-code, making it easy to jump straight to what you want to watch.

  • How Can I Get Kayo Sports for Free?

Aside from the free 14-day trial which gives you access to all of Kayo Sports for free, you can actually access free months of Kayo if you’re a Telstra Plus member on the Silver or Gold tiers. Silver members get one month free, while Gold members get a full three free months of full Kayo access. Check your Telstra account page for details.

  • How Do I Cancel Kayo?

If you’re done with Kayo and want to cancel, head onto the Kayo web site and make sure you’re signed in. Click the menu icon at the top right, then click on “My Account”. Scroll to the bottom of that menu and click “Cancel Subscription,” then follow the prompts.

  • What are the alternatives to Kayo Sports?

Kayo Sports is the most extensive sports-only streaming service in Australia. However, Foxtel has the same Fox Sports programming available as add-ons to other Foxtel subscriptions, or as part of the Foxtel HD bundle. All the Foxtel options are significantly more expensive than what Kayo has to offer.

Another player in the market is Stan Sport, which offers a more limited selection of sports including rugby union, French Open and Wimbledon tennis, and European championship football. This service is available as a $10 add-on for the Stan streaming app.

  • What’s the best way to get Kayo Sports

Getting a Kayo Sports subscription is super easy. Visit the Kayo Sports website and click the free trial button on the home page. Then select the package you want to try out and follow the steps required to register an account and submit your credit card details.

  • What video quality does Kayo Sports stream in?

Kay Sports streams in HD (high definition) video, which requires a connection of at least 7.5 Mbps. At lower bandwidth Kayo will stream at SD (standard definition) video. Currently, Foxtel is the only sports streaming Fox Sports content in 4k resolution video.

  • How is the Kayo Sports app different?

Kayo Sports may not be the first sports streaming service to make an appearance in Australia, but it is the first to customise its service around the sports viewing experience. The user interface draws on advances made by Netflix, customising the flow of programming according to your viewing history and preferences. Many of the app’s features are designed specifically with sports viewers in mind, such as the SplitView streaming option, ability to disable spoilers and integrated stats.

  • Kayo sign up: What you need to subscribe

To sign up for Kayo Sports you need three things:

  1. a valid email address
  2. a password
  3. a credit card or other valid payment method.

If you have all the above, you can head over to Kayo and sign up for a 14-day free trial immediately.

  • Kayo login: How to access your account

Once you have signed up for a free trial you can load the Kayo app or visit the Kayo website and submit your username and password to access Kayo’s content. If you hit your subscription limit for simultaneous streams you will be blocked from viewing live streams on additional devices and may encounter issues logging in to your account.

  • What TVs are Compatible with Kayo?

If you’re the owner of a Samsung smart TV made in 2017 or later, then Kayo is ready to go – just head for the Samsung app store and download the latest version of the Kayo app and you’ll be up and running in no time. HiSense smart TVs made from 2019 onwards also directly support Kayo – the app should be pre-installed in the app carousel, but if not, head into the TV’s settings and check for a firmware update. Sony Bravia TVs that run the Android TV system – most models released in 2016 and later – are ready for Kayo too; just head to the Google Play app store to download the app and get started. Split View is only available on newer (2019) Bravia models. This Android TV app can also be used on other brands of TV that use Android TV 7.0 or later, including selected models by Panasonic.

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