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 09 April 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
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.
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, and any Telstra customer who’s used the free AFL or NRL app access in the past can do even better, with 12 months of Kayo Basic for only $5 per month.
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.
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.
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.
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 has been working on PS4 and PS5 apps for Kayo which are expected to be released soon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.