ESPN Australia Review: Comprehensive guide to Streaming US Sport Live


Our Verdict

ESPN Australia

ESPN delivers otherwise difficult to access content for a relatively low price, making it a great value option for fans of US sports.

Overall 73%

Review was updated on 25th July, 2019

ESPN Australia has been bringing the best in US sports direct to Australian living rooms for over two decades, largely mirroring the coverage of its home network in the United States. Here’s everything you need to know.

ESPN The Facts

  • Free trial offer: N/A
  • Price: Accessible through Foxtel’s sports pack
  • Top content: NFL, NBA, MLB
  • Quality: Available in HD
  • Support: Phone, Web Form, Email, App

ESPN Australia review

Initially available as a single channel and available only on Optus TV, ESPN Australia has steadily grown to the point where it now boasts two channels airing a wide array of sports and available on various platforms.

Though their coverage has branched out in recent years to include a wider variety of sports, ESPN Australia still excel in their broadcasting of top US sports.

Today, not only can you find the NBA, NFL, MLB and college sports on ESPN Australia, but you’ll also be treated to live Grand Slam tennis, horse racing, World Series Poker, motor racing, and much more. What’s more, sports lovers can now stream all the action direct to eligible iOS and Android devices through either WatchESPN, Foxtel Now or the Foxtel Go app, provided they have access to the channel on Foxtel. Alternatively, ESPN Australia is available in the Sport Package, meaning you can get it for as little as $29/month through the Foxtel from Telstra Entertainment + Sport Pack.

What Makes ESPN Australia Stand Out?

Though their coverage has branched out in recent years to include a wider variety of sports, ESPN Australia still excel in their broadcasting of top US sports. The access to the best NBA games aired live each week, including All-Star weekend and a large portion of the playoff action, weekly NFL games, and the MLB World Series is unparalleled in Australia, and offers lovers of these sports coverage that they would otherwise be hard-pressed to find. With all of the same commentary and analysis that is broadcast in the United States, this is a huge point of difference for ESPN Australia.

Another selling point of ESPN Australia is the access to high quality US sports talk shows which it offers. The likes of Sportscenter and Pardon the Interruption are sent straight from the United States to subscribers’ living rooms in Australia, while Australian versions of the same shows are also shown. Even further dissection of all the latest US sporting action is available on the likes of SportsNation, First Take and Around the Horn, giving Australian fans of these sports almost the same level of coverage received by those living in the United States.

What are ESPN’s Best Features?

  • In-Depth Coverage of the World’s Best Sports — This includes some of the most-watched major sports in the US like the NBA, NFL, and the MLB
  • High Quality Sports Talk Shows — ESPN also broadcasts the best US sports talk shows alongside Australian versions of the same shows
  • Other Sports Coverage — ESPN also broadcasts other major sporting events like college basketball, horse racing, and more

What Sport Does ESPN Australia Offer?

As mentioned, in-depth live coverage of the NFL, NBA and MLB is the network’s primary drawcard, but the rest of the ESPN Australia schedule holds plenty of appeal of its own.

US College Athletics as well

The hugely popular college sports can also be found on ESPN Australia, with college football, NCAA college basketball and college baseball all offering a look at the young stars set to take the professional leagues by storm.

Tennis also tops the list

Fans of tennis are given unprecedented live coverage of the US Open, one of the game’s oldest tournaments. On top of that, many other high level ATP World Tour events can be found, and subscribers can also follow the next generation of stars through the coverage of the Australian Open Junior Finals and the Next Generation ATP Finals.

Lovers of the world game are taken care of with ESPN Australia’s Major League Soccer coverage, while those who prefer less physical sports will be pleased to know that the World Series of Poker also finds its home here.

IndyCar and Horse racing

The ESPN broadcasts of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, three of the biggest races in the world, ensures that horse racing enthusiasts are catered for. And for those who prefer racing on wheels, some of the world’s best motor racing is also broadcast on ESPN Australia, which is the home of the IndyCar Series. The IndyCar Series is the top level of open-wheel racing in all of Northern America, and includes the hugely popular Indianapolis 500.

Combine all this with a range of other sports and events, including the World Cup of Hockey, the X Games, some of the best of eSports, and the comprehensive range of talk shows aired on ESPN Australia, and you’ve got something for everybody.

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What About Sport related News?

With in excess of ten popular talk shows airing on ESPN Australia, you’ll never be left searching for sports news. SportsCenter drops news almost before it happens, while E:60 focusses on a wide range of issues and news within sport. Alongside the numerous other talk shows on the network, ESPN Australia ensures that you’re always covered with the latest happenings in the sporting world, whether it’s coverage of the NBA All-Star game or NFL playoffs, particularly from the US.

Does ESPN Australia Broadcast in HD?

ESPN Australia has been a leader in High Definition broadcasting in the country. One of the first channels available in HD after the launch of Foxtel HD+, ESPN HD first started over ten years ago. With some of the best athletes in the world beamed live in HD to your living room, you’ll have a better view of the action than if you were at the game.

Alternative Streaming Services to ESPN

Sports Streaming Plans

  • New customers: 14 day free trial
  • Basic
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Watch on 2 devices concurrently
  • Watch Live NRL, AFL, Super Rugby + more
  • $25/mth
$25/month after 14 days free trial; no lock-in contracts.

Last audited 11 November 2020

How to Access ESPN Australia

The best way to get ESPN Australia is through Foxtel from Telstra’s Entertainment + Sports Pack, which is currently valued at $29/month and gives you access to the network through your Foxtel set-top box or via online with Foxtel Now, WatchESPN and the streaming app Foxtel Go. If you’re after a little more to supplement your sports programming, Foxtel from Telstra’s Entertainment + Sport + Drama OR Movies Package is $49/month, while the Platinum Pack costs $110/month. Another option for those who wish to watch only the live sport that’s broadcast on ESPN is the Kayo Sports streaming service, which currently offers a free trial.

ESPN: The Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Delivers some of the best major sporting codes
  • Also offers high quality US sports talk shows

The Gotchas

  • Foxtel’s sports pack is only available when bundled on top of other channel packs, which can be quite costly

Summary – Why Should Australians Miss Out on the Best in US Sports?

As fans of the NBA, NFL, MLB, or any of the other high quality US sporting leagues and events can testify to, free to air TV just doesn’t offer enough of what we love. With ESPN Australia, you can ensure that you get all the most important matchups live and in HD to wherever you may be. Add to that some of the best US sports shows and their Australian equivalents, and you’ve got a network that has it all.

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