Melbourne Storm took the honours in 2020 during a shortened season that was hugely impacted by Covid-19. This year we’re going back to the usual 25 rounds, with games being played right across the country in League’s major heartlands.
The season is set to get underway from March 11, and thanks to a variety of viewing options here in Australia, you can enjoy every minute of the action from the comfort of home on your TV, or streaming NRL matches live to your mobile device.
NRL Season TV Broadcasting Highlights
The 2021 NRL Grand Final will take place Sunday 3rd October at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney. There are several teams in with a big shout of getting there this year, including both of last year’s finalists, Melbourne Storm. the eventual champions, and the Penrith Panthers. Other teams in the mix are the Roosters, South Sydney and the ever-improving Canberra Raiders.
Three games that everyone will be looking out for this year is the State Of Origin series, which moves back to its usual June and July slot. The Maroons pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Origin history when they defeated the Blue 2-1 in 2020, but NSW will be out for revenge in 2021 – with high hope of taking a third title in four years.
NRL on Aussie TV: Review the Options
No matter what the 2021 NRL TV coverage delivers, one thing is guaranteed; there’s now more ways than ever to watch your favourite team or players including the choice of streaming options listed here.
- Foxtel online: Every NRL game live (excluding Grand Final)
- Telstra: Every NRL game live (excluding the Grand Final)
- Free to Air: Three NRL games live each round
- Kayo Sports streaming: Every NRL game live (excluding Grand Final)
- NRL Live Pass: Every NRL game live (excluding Grand Final)
- The NRL in 4K Ultra HD: Over 40 premiership matches live
NRL 2021 Fixtures LIVE TV Fixtures (Sydney time)
The complete list of contests scheduled in this NRL round, including the matches that are exclusive to Foxtel and Kayo Sports are:
|Thu, Mar 11||Storm vs Rabbitohs||LIVE: 8.05pm||Nine / Foxtel / Kayo|
|Fri, Mar 12||Knights vs Bulldogs||LIVE:6.00pm||Foxtel / Kayo|
|Fri, Mar 12||Broncos vs Eels||LIVE: 8.05pm||Nine / Foxtel / Kayo|
|Sat, Mar 13||Warriors vs Titans||LIVE: 3.00pm||Foxtel / Kayo|
|Sat, Mar 13||Roosters vs Sea Eagles||LIVE: 5.30pm||Foxtel / Kayo|
|Sat, Mar 13||Panthers vs Cowboys||LIVE: 7.35pm||Foxtel / Kayo|
|Sun, Mar 14||Raiders vs Tigers||LIVE: 4.05pm||Nine / Foxtel / Kayo|
|Sun, Mar 14||Dragons vs Sharks||LIVE: 6.15pm||Foxtel / Kayo|
Shown as Sydney time, adjust for regional differences. NRL matches on Free to Air include ad-breaks, and do not offer full replays per broadcasting agreement.
How to Watch the NRL Online with Foxtel
Fans of the NRL will have plenty of opportunities to catch the action, with every game of the 2021 season (grand final excluded) broadcast live, in High Definition and ad-break free during play on Foxtel, and with over 40 games in 4K Ultra HD. In addition to their standard set-top box service, Foxtel Now allows you to watch the NRL live online direct to a compatible PC, MAC, tablet or gaming console, without the extra equipment or set-up fees.
With Foxtel Now you also have the choice of using the Foxtel Go app, which means you have the option to stream the NRL free to an eligible mobile device if it is needed, including iOS 9.3.5 or above, Android 5 or above, as well as PC (Chrome browsers) and Mac (Safari and Chrome). Simply select the Sports pack and every game of the regular season and finals series will both be available to watch whether at home or out and about.
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The NRL on Telstra options
Telstra offers another way to keep on top of every minute of the NRL here in 2021, with only the grand final excluded from viewing. With Telstra, you can grab the Entertainment plus Sport pack for just $29 a month, a saving of roughly 40% over Foxtel’s regular cost, and have access to all the Fox Sports channels as well as ESPN of Australia and beIN Sports. All in all, Foxtel from Telstra offers exactly the same product as its Foxtel counterpart – but is currently available at a reduced cost. Hard to argue with that.
Alternatively, if you’re an existing Telstra subscriber you can take full advantage of the Kayo Sports free trial as well as an extra 2 months, and start streaming the NRL live using an eligible mobile device. With Kayo from Telstra you’ll get a never-ending assortment of live and on-demand action. Kayo offers over 50 sports, including the NRL, Cricket, Aussie Rules, international and domestic Rugby and much more.
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The NRL on Free to Air TV
Network Nine is the official NRL free to Air TV broadcaster in Australia, but due to licensing rights not every game will be available. Channel 9 will offer three matches per round, at a minimum, as well as every game of the finals series including the Grand Final, exclusively, on 3 October 2021. As a guide Network Nine will broadcast the Thursday evening match, the later game on Friday, the early match on Sunday and any that fall on a public holiday such as Anzac Day (April 25). Channel Nine also have exclusive rights to the hugely popular State of Origin series which kicks off in Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium) on June 5th.
How to Stream the NRL Live and Free with Kayo
Kayo is Australia’s first sports-dedicated mobile streaming service, and offers every game and every round LIVE, with no ad breaks during play during the NRL season (grand final excluded). Simply sign up for either the Basic or Premium plan, and you’ll be able to watch on your web browser on Mac or PC, as well as iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, or you can download the app to iOS and Android devices, as well as with Telstra TV.
Kayo broadcasts over 50 sports live or on-demand, and in High Definition. It offers everything you’d be able to find on Foxtel in the way of sport – including all Fox Sports channels, ESPN, and beIN Sports. Kayo also offers a 14 day free trial with no-lock in contract so you can give it a go and cancel anytime. With a number of game-changing features such as the Split-view and Pause/Rewind options, a thorough review of Kayo reveals that they have you covered when it comes to streaming the NRL live.
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What does the NRL Live Pass Deliver?
The NRL Live Pass offers an alternative way to watch the matches, though it does have some limitations. The main benefit is for Telstra customers, who can download the NRL Live Pass to their mobile or tablet for free and stream without using any data. Non-Telstra customers will have to pay either a weekly, monthly or annual subscription fee though, while other limitations include a 7” size restriction on your viewing screen and no coverage of the NRL Grand Final due to the current broadcasting agreement.
Is the NRL available in 4K Ultra HD?
In addition to the standard viewing options listed above, Foxtel have launched a dedicated 4K TV channel – channel 444 – on which it will broadcast a variety of sport including more than 40 NRL matches live in Ultra HD coverage. This includes a whopping nine games in May, five matches in each of June, July and August, and four to close out the ladder in September. To access this channel and get the most out of the experience, subscribers will need to have an iQ4 set-top box and a 4K compatible TV. If you’ve got that sorted and have a subscription to the Foxtel Sports + HD pack, all you need to do is flick to channel 444 and enjoy the action.