Ever since its launch last year, Kayo Sport has been winning fans over with its live and on-demand coverage of all things sport from around the globe, coupled with the latest streaming technology to deliver a truly interactive experience that sports fans haven’t seen before. And as the 2019 AFL premiership season gets ready to kick off, fans of Australia’s most popular game are going to be eager to see how Kayo shapes up when it comes to AFL coverage. Up until now, the only way to stream AFL games live on your computer has been the WatchAFL service, but the arrival of Kayo has changed all that. So which one is the best at bringing you the games live as they happen, and why?
What Makes Kayo Different to WatchAFL?
Though the two services have access to the same feeds of all the season’s games (aside from the Grand Final, which remains exclusive to free-to-air TV under the current AFL rights arrangement), there’s a world of difference between the two contenders here. And it’s the new kid on the block, Kayo, that is set to impress footy fans with the way it does things.
What makes Kayo stand out from the pack is that it’s a combination of a live, as-it-happens streaming service and an on-demand library of recent games, highlights, documentaries and more. With full access to the Fox Sports arsenal, Kayo can leverage its tight connections with the Fox Footy channel to bring viewers an unprecedented level of picture quality and useful features. With no screen size restrictions to spoil the game for those watching on large computer screens or even bigger TVs, Kayo will be delivering many of its games in full 1080p high definition and at a frame rate of 50fps, double what you usually see on broadcast TV. That means smoother, more immersive action.
Over at WatchAFL, the picture quality’s a little lower, mainly because it’s designed to be viewed mostly within mobile apps created for the purpose (though there is also an Apple TV app). The service provides live streams of each and every AFL game during the season – including the finals – and gives you the ability to pause and rewind live streams, or start them on a delay.
That functionality is built into Kayo as well, but Kayo takes it a step further with its extended feature set.
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What Features do Kayo and WatchAFL Deliver?
One of Kayo’s key advantages is its cleverly designed interactive features, which are seamlessly added to in-progress live streams to give viewers real-time stats on the progress of the game (goalkickers, possessions and disposals and so on) at the press of a button or the tap of a screen. But it goes even further than that if you’re watching the AFL live stream on a delay (for example, if you’ve started streaming from the beginning half an hour after the game’s gotten under way). A look at the timeline will reveal a feature called “Key Moments”, which flags every goal, quarter start and end along with other significant events, all able to be accessed instantly if you just want to catch up with the highlights and get right into the live action.
Kayo also offers a unique split-screen mode that lets you stream up to four different matches at once (depending on your device) so you can keep an eye on what the opposition teams are doing while you watch your team’s game. It’s a seriously cool feature that feels like you’re running your own TV network!
WatchAFL, by comparison, is noticeably feature-light. You get the scores, the live streams and.. that’s about it. The whole purpose of the service is much more basic – to simply let you watch the games, no fuss.
What About the Cost?
It’s hard to beat Kayo’s easy to understand, all-inclusive pricing for its service, which simply comes in two flavours – either $25/month for the regular plan (which lets you stream on two devices at once) or $35/month for the premium plan (three devices at once). That’ll get you not just the AFL, but a bevy of other sport from around the globe, 24 hours a day, all accessible from the one stylish app.
WatchAFL is a bit pricier – you’re up for $33 per month or, if you’d prefer just a single week, $19 for 7 days. An annual subscription costs $189. So why would you pay extra for WatchAFL? Well, it’s simple: while you’re welcome to subscribe to the service as an Australian (and it’s billed in Australian dollars), you can’t actually stream live games or replays inside Australia. WatchAFL is the solution for those who spend time outside of Australia – an easy way to keep caught up with your team and see all the games. That’s why there’s so much flexibility with plans.
Kayo, meanwhile, can only be accessed inside Australia.
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Which One Wins?
While it’s not technically a direct head-to-head, since the services are in some ways complementary rather than competing, it’s an easy win to Kayo on almost all counts – picture quality, app and website design, advanced features and, of course, price. $25 per month is hard to beat just for the AFL alone – but when you see all the other sport you get access to along with it, you’ll be hitting the “subscribe” button in the Kayo app long before your free two-week trial period is over!