As long-time fans of the National Rugby League will know all too well, the code was one of the first major sports in Australia to make the move to streaming games live online, making sure that their dedicated fans were able to keep up with their teams no matter where they were. The NRL’s own streaming offering – WatchNRL – is only available outside of Australia. However, without this restriction, we go head to head between WatchNRL and Kayo Sports to understand the functionality of these streaming sports services.
Enter the new player – Kayo Sports. This brand-new sport-only streaming service is an absolute dream for fans – a smartly designed, feature-packed, high-quality streaming service backed by innovative features and a true embrace of its existence as an app-based service, rather than a broadcast one. Kayo has access to the resources of Fox Sports, meaning not only do they provide comprehensive coverage of the NRL season each and every week and every single game, they also cover dozens and dozens of other sports from Australia and around the world.
What Makes Kayo Different to WatchNRL streaming service?
While the goal of both services is to deliver live streams of games to fans as they happen, the veteran WatchNRL service is far more straightforward in its approach. It’s been around for some years now, and its goal is pretty simple – to deliver reliable NRL streams of every game to people residing outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, viewable on whatever connected platform you have access to. And aside from constantly updated on-screen scores (and replays available on demand), that’s pretty much all there is to it. The service now has a basic Apple TV app so you can watch on your TV, which is a nice advancement.
Kayo, on the other hand, was born in this new age of streaming TV powered by smart apps, and the developers that Kayo have tasked with putting their site and apps together have done a stellar job. First of all, you’ll find your game will be available to stream in full 1080p high definition, whether it’s on a mobile device (modern phones way exceed HD quality these days) or a big-screen TV. You’ll also find it looks smoother than usual – because Kayo streams at 50 frames per second, double what you’ll find on regular broadcast TV. That translates into a much better visual experience for fans of the game.
Sign up to Kayo’s FREE 14 day trial offer
Live sport returns to Kayo, with every game and every round from the NRL and AFL, action from the Super Rugby, UFC and V8 Supercars – all available on Kayo’s 14 day trial.
What Else do Kayo and WatchNRL Deliver?
The real point of difference with Kayo comes from its feature set, accessible whether you’re viewing via their web site, on a portable device or on your TV (with the Apple TV app in particular being loaded with extra features). Comprehensive stats are available for each and every game, updated in real time as the game happens. A unique SplitView feature lets you pick up to three other games to stream at the same time as the one you’re watching, letting you keep an eye on all the sport that’s important to you without having to channel hop to get there.
And best of all, both delayed live streaming and on-demand replays have a feature called “Key Moments” that lets you jump straight to the game’s most crucial events – tries, spectacular plays and so on. That means if you come in late and want to quickly catch up with what’s happened in the game so far, you can jump straight to the bits that mattered and then seamlessly drop into the live game, all from the comfort of your couch.
WatchNRL’s stats are limited to scores, as the service is primarily designed solely to stream video of the games without fuss.
Currently abroad? Catch all the NRL Telstra Premiership action with the Watch NRL App!
Stream each and every match of the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership live and on demand on your devices using the Watch NRL app. Subscription starts at $20/week, cancel anytime. Only available for subscribers outside of Australia.
How Much Do They Cost?
It’s hard to go past Kayo’s keen pricing here – because even with all of its advanced features, it’s not just an NRL app. You get access to dozens of sports from all around Australia and the world, and it’s all included for the one price.
Kayo Sports costs
Kayo costs $25 per month to stream on two devices at once, or $35 per month to stream on three. That’s it – no contracts, no catches, no hidden extras. It’s arguably the best value in sport TV right now, working out to under six bucks a week. For a complete list of eligible Kayo devices, check out the table below.
WatchNRL, meanwhile, is set up differently for a reason. It’s available for anyone in Australia to subscribe to, but you can only stream games on it outside Australia. That means it’s positioned more as a way for Australians travelling overseas to keep up with their teams and their games, and as such offers weekly, monthly and yearly subscriptions priced at $20, $39 and $199 respectively.
Kayo, then, is substantially cheaper and gives you a lot more – but Kayo, of course, can only be used inside Australia.
Kayo Device Compatibility
Devices supported on Kayo
– PC/Mac: Yes – MacOS 10.12+ & Windows 10; web browser only (Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge)
– iOS/Android Phones/Tablets: Yes – Via native apps (iOS 11+ and Android 6+)
– Google Chromecast: Yes – Chromecast Ultra or 3rd Generation for optimal streaming
– Telstra TV: Yes – Split View not available; Telstra TV1 limited to 720p
– Android TV: Yes – Via app for version 7.0 and up
– Samsung Smart TVs: Yes – 2017 and later models
– PS4 and Xbox One: Soon – App in development
– Apple TV: Yes – 4th Generation or higher
WatchNRL Device Compatibility
The range of devices that WatchNRL is available on isn’t as comprehensive as Kayo Sports, however still has all the essential and most used ones.
|iOS/Android Phones/Tablets||Yes||Via Watch NRL app (iOS 11+ and Android 6+)|
|PC/Mac||Yes||Windows 10/MacOS 10.12+ via Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge|
|Apple TV||Yes||tvOS 11+, 4th Generation or higher. Watch via NRL app and AirPlay|
|Google Chromecast||Yes||Chromecast Ultra or 3rd Generation only via Watch NRL app|
|SMART TV||No||Watch NRL does not support SMART TV web browsers and devices|
|HDMI||No||Watch NRL does not support the use of a HDMI connection|
Which one is right for you?
Having access to live NRL streams anywhere on the planet is an undeniable advantage for WatchNRL that will be of great interest to the more travel-prone of the game’s fans, many of whom will take up a subscription as they need it. But if we’re just comparing functionality and user interface, Kayo Sports, with its high quality video, next-generation features, dozens and dozens of other sports and wide device compatibility really cannot be beaten, particularly at the bargain price of only $25 per month for all the NRL you can handle.
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 full-owned division 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.
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 is a hugely popular device not just for games, but also for streaming video. Kayo is well aware of that, and has been working on a PS4 app for Kayo which is expected to be released before the end of 2020.
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 but at the moment, no time frame has been given for an app for that game console. 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.