Review was updated on 11th June, 2019
It was a long time coming, but the wait is finally over – Aussie sports fans can now get on board with a streaming service that’s entirely dedicated to premium sport from Australia and around the globe. The new heavyweight player in the streaming world has a suitably triumphant name – Kayo.
There’s been painfully few options for Australian fans when it comes to streaming their favourite sports online – and like with most things sport, it’s been a case of having a pay TV subscription or missing out. And while you certainly can’t go wrong with a full-fledged satellite install with all the high-tech goodness it brings, that’s not something everyone wants to do, or can even afford. Some simply can’t get satellite TV installed where they live, while others aren’t happy paying for the full service when all they want is the sports coverage, and further scrutiny reveals that each of these decisions were instrumental in the crafting of the Kayo streaming platform.
The recently-restructured Foxtel Now can include a suite of sports channels as an option – which is great, yet again, if you want a bunch of other channels alongside the sport ones. And even then, the bare minimum price of sports with that option is currently $54/month, still reasonably hefty compared to what streaming-savvy people are used to with the likes of Netflix and Stan TV. What we’ve needed for a long time is, as one TV executive put it recently, the “Netflix of sport”. If your priority is watching sports, Kayo has stepped in to save the day – all the sport you love, in high definition, at one incredibly low monthly price with no hidden extras.
What makes Kayo Unique?
Kayo Sports is, of course, owned and operated by Foxtel – something that’s downplayed in the branding, but is pretty obvious from the moment you see the sports that are on offer. And that’s a good thing for more than just the access to a great variety of sport. They’ve been busy perfecting their streaming platform in the lead-up to Kayo’s launch – anyone who’s tried the new Foxtel Go live stream app will already know that it’s been fast and flawless.
Key Kayo Features
Kayo isn’t a case of “pay a monthly fee and here, have 15 channels, best of luck to you!” Instead, Kayo Sports streaming delivers exactly what fans have been waiting for – Sport, and plenty of it. AFL, NRL, cricket, golf, Formula 1, supercars… it’s all here for the one monthly price. Kayo has opted to eliminate the idea of “channels” as the main means of navigating the service’s content. And yes, that makes perfect sense – after all, you don’t browse Netflix by “channels”, do you? Kayo’s approach is far more organic and user-friendly (though if you really want to, you can stream any of the source channels live – you’ll just have to find them tucked away at the very bottom of the page!).
What does Kayo Sports Deliver?
So which sports can you find on Kayo? Well, put it this way – if there’s any sport you follow that’s available on pay TV, it’s going to be on Kayo – and that’s a huge list, with the cream of Australian and global sport all in the one place. If a particular sport is currently being broadcast in it’s entirety on Foxtel, Kayo promises it will be streamed siren-to-siren, and available on demand for those times you want to go back and relive the action.
Over 50 Sports Streamed Live
The streaming service has demonstrated it will have all the content you’d typically find in a TV sports package. This includes over 50 sports, encompassing the most popular codes including the 2019 AFL premiership, NRL premiership, Rugby Union, A-League, international and domestic Cricket, the Virgin Australia Supercars, MotoGP championship, FIA Formula One world championship, the 2019 WSL tour and much more. Any sport broadcast on Fox Sports, ESPN of Australia and BeIN will be available to stream live on Kayo or watched on replay later in full 1080p high definition.
- NRL Premiership 2019: Every match live before grand final
- AFL Premiership 2019: Every match live before grand final
- Super Rugby 2019: Each and every match live including finals
- Formula One 2019: Every practise, qualifying and Grand Prix live
- PGA Tour and Majors: Every featured event broadcast live
- ATP Tennis Tour: 9 ATP 1000, 13 ATP 500 and 3 Grand Slams live
- 2019 MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3: Every round broadcast live
- Supercars 2019: Every practise, qualifying and champ race shown live
- NBA Playoffs: 12 first round and semi-final games shown live
- Cricket World Cup 2019: Each and very match live
How much do Kayo Plans cost?
And the price? It’s pretty unbeatable. Kayo will set you back only $25/month for the basic plan (which allows streaming on two screens at one time) or $35/month for the premium plan (which lets you have three screens going at once). We did a comparison of Kayo Sports plans, and even on the basic package, there’s room for two people in the same household to watch different sports without getting in each other’s way!
Regardless of which plan you go for, the first 14 days are completely free – you can sign up right now and road-test the full service, and not pay a cent if you cancel before the end of your Kayo 14-day trial. With such an appealing price point, though, we’re betting the vast majority of subscribers will stay around for the long haul.
What About TV Shows?
While live and on-demand sports streaming is the reason for Kayo’s existence, keen-eyed new subscribers will have noticed one of the categories you can pick when initially asked about your interests is TV Documentaries. And yes, Kayo has a range of sports docos to keep you entertained and informed – with the ones that directly relate to the sports you’ve highlighted appearing front and centre on the main screen. It’s fantastic to get the chance to dig deeper into the stories behind the people and the sports, and hopefully Kayo will continue to expand this section – it adds depth and variety to what is already a brilliant service.
Highest Rated May 2019 Shows
- AFL 360 and NRL 360
- AFL Open Mike and AFL Tonight
- NRL League Life and NRL Tonight
- ESPN 30 for 30 and Sportscenter
- The F1 Show and The Paddock
Kayo Sports Video Review
How’s the Kayo User Experience?
Kayo launched earlier than planned in response to public demand and widespread interest, meaning the service was officially still in “beta” when launched, and all the apps that Kayo had planned were not ready just yet. A few short weeks after launch, however, the apps are available for download in addition to the other ways you can watch.
On your desktop or laptop PC, you can browse and view Kayo in all the popular web browsers – Chrome and Firefox on both Windows and Mac, Safari on Mac and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. When looking for an available sport such as Cricket to watch online it’s easy to navigate the site, pick what you want and full-screen it, and especially easy to set up the split view feature as well. You can also use the web browser on your iOS or Android phone or tablet to stream Kayo, though that’s no longer needed with the arrival of native apps for iOS and Android, both incredibly well designed and slick.
If you have a Chromecast Ultra or the latest (3rd-generation) standard Chromecast, right now you’re going to get the best Kayo experience available on that platform – because you can cast streams and replays in full 1080p HD to your big-screen TV, and the picture quality is phenomenally good. It seemed strange that Kayo would specify the Ultra and 3rd-generation versions of the Chromecast, but we suspect it’s to do with those models’ support for fast 50fps video that the older devices can’t handle in 1080p. Older Chromecasts can be used, but will be limited to a lower-resolution picture.
The Chromecast experience isn’t perfect; we found that once you stop playback by clicking the “disconnect” icon, you’re no longer able to cast anything at all until you reload the site from the front page. We’re sure they’ll get that fixed quickly.
Get Kayo Sports FREE Trial
Stream over 50 sports, Live & On Demand including cricket, rugby, and F1™. Get your 14 day FREE trial with no lock in contracts!
Telstra customers: Get 2 months of Kayo Sports Basic plan for just $5.
What Apps are available?
Recently launched are proper native streaming apps which are set to make Kayo an even better experience. Initially, these apps were only available for iOS and Android phones and tablets. But now Android TV is supported with a native app as well, so those of you with devices based on the Android TV 7.0 platform (such as the Nvidia Shield as well as most recent Sony televisions) will be able to sit back and enjoy Kayo from the couch.
The iOS app, meanwhile, comes with a native app for the 4th and 5th generation Apple TV boxes (those are the two currently sold by Apple – the old 3rd-generation Apple TV won’t be supported since it can’t run apps).
And Telstra TV owners aren’t being left out – there’s an app available for that popular box as well, with the ability to sign up for Kayo directly on the device and have it charged to your Telstra bill. Convenient! The app even works on the original first-generation Telstra TV, but with slightly reduced picture quality (720p) due to that box’s relatively low processing power. Split View also cannot be used on Telstra TV devices
What Devices work with Kayo?
Kayo is currently available on these devices, with more to come, including native apps for smart TVs as well as PlayStation and Xbox game consoles.
|Device List||User Guide|
|PC/Mac||Yes, web browser only (Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge)|
|iOS/Android Phones/Tablets||Yes, via native apps (iOS 11 and Android 6 minimum).|
|Google Chromecast||Yes, Chromecast Ultra or 3rd Generation required for 1080p HD, otherwise 720p.|
|Telstra TV||Yes, Split View not available; TTV1 limited to 720p.|
|Android TV||Yes, via app for version 7.0 and up.|
|Samsung Smart TVs||App in development – coming soon|
|PS4 and Xbox One||Apps in development – coming soon|
What else does Kayo Sports offer?
When you first sign up to Kayo, you’re presented with a list of sports, both general (tennis, golf, soccer etc) and specific (AFL, NRL, Rugby World 7s and so on). You’re asked to select the ones that interest you the most and, for the specific sports, pick a team or teams that you follow. What you choose here then feeds into what you see every time you load up the main page of the site. For example if you’re obsessed with tennis and golf, then you’ll find everything you need right there on the front page – live games, times for upcoming matches, and full replays of games that have been played. It’s incredibly easy to use and really encourages browsing and discovery.
Split View Feature
Kayo’s not stopping at just streaming sports to you, though. A deeper evaluation of Kayo reveals they’ve built some very useful functions into the platform, including a split view feature that allows you to watch up to four streams at the same time on the one screen – this is going to be phenomenal for those days when you’d otherwise be flipping back and forth to check progress in the sports you’re following. Split View works especially well on Apple TV 4 devices, which have the processing power to seamlessly run four high definition streams at the same time and swap between them smoothly.
There’s also a “Key Moments” feature with certain sports that lets you jump straight to the good bits when watching a stream of a past event. If you’re watching a replay of a cricket match, for example, you’ll see little timeline icons showing you where each wicket fell – just click on them to go straight to the moment where it happened. Key Moments are available while a game is still in progress, too. The Key Moments feature will be expanding in the coming months, with some very welcome sport-specific enhancements (“Goal Moments,” anyone?)
With Kayo’s unique Interactive Graphics you can gain even greater appreciation of the game being played, with real-time updates from a dedicated team of statisticians letting you take a deep dive into all the moving parts of the game. If you’re into an analysis of the facts and figures behind the scores, you’re gonna love it. The interactive graphics feature is soon to be enhanced with even more crucial stats and smart graphics – and likely the ability to look up historical data as well!
Kayo Minis – Compact Replays
For sports fans who don’t want to fall behind in what’s happening across their favourite codes, a thorough examination of Kayo Minis reveal that they are an incredibly useful innovation. After an event has finished, Kayo’s team of editing and stats wizards get to work, producing a version of the game that you can watch in minutes, rather than hours. But it’s more than just a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it highlights reel. Kayo Minis are put together so that you still get a feel for the rhythm and pace of the game. You see the moments that mattered – all the highlights are there. But you’re still taken on the journey, so you can see how the outcome happened – just in much less time. It’s a feature that Kayo’s been honing to perfection, and it’s more useful than you’d think. Imagine being able to watch your AFL team’s game and then, as an encore, watch condensed “mini” versions of the day’s other games so you get the big picture of exactly what happened in that round. Kayo Minis make that possible – and you can catch up with the weekend’s Masters golf when you’re done!
Motorsports fans are in for a treat with Kayo’s unique RaceView feature – letting you get up close and personal with the cars and drivers or take in a birds-eye view of the big race picture. Best of all, RaceView is designed to work in tandem with Kayo’s unique Split Screen feature, so you can have the main race video in one window and up to three extra camera views in other windows on the same TV screen. It’s almost like being the director of your own sports broadcast.
RaceView is enabled on Kayo for the three big ones – the 2019 Formula One World Championship, MotoGP World Championship and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. With each event you’ll be able to watch views from in car with the driver (Co-Pilot View), above the track (Heli-View) or even on board the lightning-fast MotoGP bikes. There’s also the Race Centre view which brings all the up-to-the-moment stats and leaderboard info together. You can’t do this stuff on regular TV – and that’s what makes Kayo even more essential for motorsport fans.
No Spoilers Option
And to make sure that you won’t have the game ruined if you’re coming in late and watching it hours after it’s happened, Kayo has a unique “No Spoilers” mode (turned on by default) that actively blocks any reporting of final scores on the site while you’re using it (note that to use the Key Moments feature you’ll need to turn off the No Spoilers feature, for reasons that should be obvious!).
They’ve clearly put a lot of thought into features that directly enhance the sport viewing experience, and they’ve very much gotten it right, from what we’ve seen so far.
Even more Features on the Way
Kayo’s quite unique in that it’s a platform that’s been built from the ground up with one purpose in mind – delivering streaming sport to true sports fans as seamlessly as possible, and enhancing the experience with the kinds of features you just can’t get with a TV broadcast. At launch, Kayo incorporated dozens of features big and small, all working together to create a unique sports viewing experience. And the development team at Kayo’s just getting started.
Alongside newly developed apps for in-demand platforms like smart TVs and game consoles, the clever people at Kayo have been coming up with even more enhancements to your viewing experience. You’ll see those appear in the app in the coming months – and there’s a lot to look forward to! A sampling of some upcoming features includes:
- Expanded casting support including multiple screens
- Fully-featured search support in the apps
- Live stats expanded with interactive graphics
- Autoplay support
- Dynamic Kayo Minis – choose 10, 15, 20 minute versions
- Key Moments enhancements
Can you get Kayo on Telstra?
Getting access to Kayo Sports was recently made even easier for Telstra customers. The sports streaming service can now be added directly to your Telstra bill, enabling you to keep all your payments in one place. And it’s the same great service – you still get all the Kayo game-changing features like No Spoilers and Key Moments, High Definition coverage, and the ability to watch on multiple screens, all for the same price. And what’s more, new or existing Telstra customers adding Kayo Sports to their bill will still have the opportunity to make use of the two-week free trial, meaning if you decide the service isn’t for you you can cancel before you pay a cent.
Kayo – The Pros and Cons
Summary: It’s a Knockout!
While we’ve seen attempts at sport streaming services before, they’ve always been very limited – like the narrow focus and availability of Optus Sport, or the deliberately low picture quality of the official AFL Live Pass and NRL digital streaming platforms. Kayo rewrites the rulebook when it comes to sports streaming and make no mistake, this is the game-changer.
With an incredibly low monthly price point, Kayo sits right in the “very affordable” range, substantially cheaper than Foxtel while providing access to literally all the live sports that Foxtel offers, (ESPN, beIN, Fox Sports) and in full high definition. Picture quality is superb, streaming is rock-solid and the added features work really well with the content while never distracting from it. The native device apps provide the missing link in terms of convenience, but it’s already a great experience even in a web browser, and with the Kayo Sports 14 day free trial you can test the service and cancel at anytime.
The final analysis is simple: Kayo is a must-have for any sports fan.