The National Rugby League has significantly improved its online presence in recent years, showing they understand just how much people value getting their footy fix on the go. With the 2021 season about to get underway, is continuing to refine their online app, helping fans connect with every game. But with changes to that app this year, what else is out there?
Enter the new contender – Kayo Sports. This hugely popular streaming service, backed by the resources and technical know-how of the experienced Fox Sports team, has been making a very good impression amongst fans of many and varied sporting codes. And now that the the 2021 NRL season is kicking off, Kayo Sports has given footy fans access to their favourite game like never before. But with the NRL app already providing game access, is there any reason to use Kayo instead? You bet there is.
What Makes Kayo Different to the NRL App?
When it comes to live streaming NRL games, there’s been no denying that the NRL Live App has been the go-to for years. Put together by a dedicated team at Telstra, the app has been right there when you need it with each and every game available as it plays out. The app features up to the minute stats, making sure you’re across everything that’s happening.
But with changes to the way the NRL Live app works from the 2021 season onwards, the ability to live-stream games – previously already restricted to a 7″ maximum screen size – has been removed completely. Full replays and highlights continue to be offered in the app, as do live scores and statistics, but those wanting to stream games live will want to be heading to Kayo Sports. The good news is that there’s a very special offer available from Kayo for all Live Pass users – check out the details below.
Kayo is a product of the streaming age, where almost everything people watch is streamed to their TV in some form or other. Kayo is no exception to that, with its apps allowing you to send video to your TV via Chromecast in full high definition. But not only that – there’s also dedicated Kayo apps for popular streaming devices like the Apple TV and the two models of Telstra TV. That’s really the ideal way to watch the NRL on Kayo – sit back on the couch, grab your remote, and fire up the game! On Apple TV (as well as the website and phone/tablet apps), Kayo even supports “SplitView”, letting you have up to four live streaming windows on the screen at once. That lets you keep an eye on several games at the same time or, when available, watch multiple camera streams from the one event. It’s brilliant!
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What Else Do Kayo and the NRL Official App Deliver?
The most important adjunct to the all-important live streams is, of course, the stats. Both Kayo and the NRL app offer extensive real-time stats as the game progresses, keeping you on top of exactly who’s doing what and when. But a review of Kayo reveals they take it a step further with some clever features, the most impressive being “Key Moments”. This lets you start up a stream of a game already in progress and quickly catch up, by instantly zipping to the bits of the game that made a difference.
If you prefer, though, you can start streaming an NRL match even after it’s already kicked off, with a “no spoilers” feature making sure you can stream the game “as live” even if you jumped in half way through. By comparison, the NRL official app now only lets you watch match replays and highlights, so if you miss half the game you’ll have to try to catch up with it later. Kayo also offers a ‘SplitView’ option so you can watch up to four live events at the same time.
How Much Do They Cost?
The official NRL app has been operating on a dual weekly/yearly pricing system for a long time now, but that’s changed in 2021 – the app is now free to use for Telstra customers, but no longer supports live streaming.
Kayo, meanwhile, is playing on a different level, with a comprehensive live and on-demand TV coverage of not just the NRL, but also dozens of other sporting codes from around Australia and the world, from cricket and golf to American football and baseball, all of it in crisp high definition on your big screen TV or computer screen as well as your phone. With the added quality and flexibility, as well as the extra features, the monthly price of $25 (two devices at once) or $35 (three devices) is well worth it. The NRL app’s extreme restrictions on video streaming make it hard to recommend in comparison.
Special Offer for Live Pass Users
With the NRL Live Pass now retired, Telstra customers no longer get free live streaming of NRL matches via the NRL Live app, and should head to Kayo Sports for superior, high definition coverage of each and every round. If you’ve been using NRL Live Pass during 2020, though, Kayo and Telstra have a very special offer – a whole year of Kayo access for only $5 per month, a saving of $240.
To take advantage of the offer, you need to sign up via the My Telstra app before May 31st, but you’ll gain access to all of Kayo’s dozens of sports and special features for a full year at a price that’s hard to say no to.
Which One Scores?
The NRL official app is certainly a great go-to for fans of the game, if all you want to do is check some news, browse the fixtures or watch a game replay on your phone while out and about. But Kayo, with its a 14-day free trial, high-quality video, next-generation streaming tech and innovative features, is the definite must-have choice for fans who really want to see a piece of the action.
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.