Review was updated on 17th September, 2019
When mobile provider Ovo launched, they got immediate attention for their well-priced prepaid plans as well as the novel perks – access to a unique streaming service called OVOPlay being one of them. Now, a greatly expanded and enhanced OVOPlay is available to anyone to download, and data-free for existing Ovo customers.
Starting a custom sports streaming service as a perk for your mobile phone customers was a pretty clever move from Ovo Mobile – it drew attention to the company and their offerings, and surely persuaded a number of people to sign up for their service. After all, in a world where sports broadcasting of every kind seems to be asking viewers for more and more money, having one pop up that charges nothing to download and watch a certain range of sports was always going to be very appealing. OVOPlay also showed a lot of sports the other sports streaming providers didn’t – specialised motorsport championships, the world badminton tour, Aussie Pro Wrestling and water polo, just to name a few.
The early catch was that you needed to be an Ovo Mobile subscriber to gain access to OVOPlay, but that’s all now changed. Anyone can now download OVOPlay and start streaming limited sports channels available on their basic plan. If you’re an existing Ovo mobile customer you can watch live and on demand sport data-free on any SIM only plan. For everyone else, your data usage with OVOPlay is something you’ll have to monitor if you’re streaming on mobile.
What makes OVOPlay unique?
Whether it’s the blockbuster sports on free-to-air, the occasional niche event on the ABC, or the wall-to-wall 15-channel sports-fest showcased by Foxtel, Australia’s got no shortage of sport on TV. What we don’t see a lot of is sport via general streaming services. Amazon Prime has made some inroads into delivering streaming sport with American football and ATP tennis, but aside from that, if you want to stream sport you’ll find yourself paying for it – and often paying quite a lot. When sport makes it onto TV or Amazon Prime it’s usually an international affair, something big enough to draw attention.
But there’s a wealth of great sport coverage that we rarely get to see at all – whether it’s Aussies flinging cars around a track in motorsport events, going in a straight line really fast in the 400 Thunder Australian pro drag racing, or Aussie badminton, gymnastics, water polo, running and athletics, or even Australian eSports. All of that can be found on OVOPlay, with a diverse mix of scheduled live streaming coverage and on-demand videos.
All of it is completely free, and there’s even the full range of national HIT FM radio stations available to stream if all you’re looking for is a bit of background music!
What are OVOPlay’s Best Features?
What content does OVOPlay offer?
While OVOPlay started out as a fairly modest service with a handful of codes and leagues, they’ve grown their range of channels to well over 20 different types of sport, with a heavy emphasis on Australian grass-roots sports (though there’s international competitions here as well).
They’re also now offering a wide range of podcasts and radio shows which will keep all free plans and premium plan customers busy in their spare time.
OVOPlay Sports channels
|Sport Type||Details||Plan Type|
|Aussie Pro Wrestling|
|Quack to the Future!, Newcastle Pro Wrestling||Premium|
|Badminton World Federation|
|Thailand Open, BWF World Championships, VICTOR China Open, DANISA Denmark Open, YONEX French Open, Fuzhou China Open, YONEX-SUNRISE Hong Kong Open, HSBC BWF World Tour||Premium|
|Chinese Super League|
|Shanghai SIPG vs Tianjin TEDA, Beijing Guoan vs Guangzhou Evergrande||Premium|
|Red Centre Nats|
|BURNOUT MASTERS Series||Premium|
|World Schools Festival|
|School Rugby championships||Premium|
|Jamboree, Honeywell Garrett Jamboree||Free|
|Aussie Running and Athletics|
|Australian 18 Footers|
|JJ Giltinan Trophy, 18 Foot Skiffies||Free|
|Australian Esports League|
|Uni Cup: DOTA, Uni Cup: CSGO, Uni Cup: Rocket League||Free|
|Australia U19 Championships, Australia U17 Individual Championships, Australia National Championships, VICTOR OCEANIA Championships||Free|
|John I Dent Cup, First Division and Women’s||Free|
|True North, Uncharted Territory, Season Intro, Title Fight||Free|
|Queensland Club Championships, Senior State Championships, Australian Gymnastics Championships, Gymnastics Australian Championships||Free|
|Motorsport World RX of Canada, Swecon World RX of Sweden, Team Verksted World RX of Norway, DayInSure World RX of Great Britain, Spa World RX of Benelux||Free|
|The Panel Show|
|Hear the Music, Play the Game||Free|
|Water Polo Australia|
|SBK Motul Superbikes|
|Geico US Round 9, Prosecco DOC UK, Pata – Riviera Di Rimini, Acerbis, Pirelli Italian||Free|
Not all of these channels keep extensive on-demand archives (we’d guess due to the vagaries of streaming rights) and some seem more targeted at live streaming events as they happen – complete with a countdown clock until the next one goes live. But there’s a great cross-section of sports on offer there, with Ovo’s early motorsports focus now enhanced with more diverse offerings. In particular, it’s great to see league esports sharing space with more physical sporting events – it may not be for everyone, but its audience is huge (and really, most of the sports here fall into the ‘may not be for everyone’ category!)
Podcasts, radio shows and entertainment
OVOPlay started with a sports streaming focus however has been adding more products to its portfolio. Right now, you can streaming Podcosts, radio shows and a number of other entertainment programs
Ovo Mobile Plans
In order to stream OVOPlay data free, you’ll need an OVO mobile plan. Here is the best plans suited to streaming entertainment on OVOPlay.
SIM only Plans
How’s the OvoPlay User experience?
Accessing OvoPlay is as simple as heading to the web site and getting started – you’ll be given the option to register (or to sign in using your Facebook or Google account) and we highly recommend doing so, as it enables HD streaming on the channels that offer it. If you’re an Ovo Mobile customer you’ll likely already be logged in anyway
It’s a fast and responsive web site that’s well laid out and easy to navigate, and you’ll find what you’re looking for and be watching in no time at all. Users are able to choose the streaming quality manually, too – up to 1080p HD if the stream supports it – but otherwise it handles stream quality automatically.
What about the Apps?
An even better way to watch OvoPlay, though, is via the free apps that are available for iOS and Android – because they’ve both been enabled for casting to your big-screen TV. The iOS app can do AirPlay to an Apple TV, and both apps can send to your Chromecast device. We took a look at some of the esports coverage via AirPlay and the picture quality was really impressive – full HD, flawless streaming. The streaming server did have a bit of a hiccup when we headed back into the app during playback, but that looked like a minor problem and we couldn’t reproduce it.
It’d be great to see a native Apple TV app – and hey, why not apps on other devices like Telstra TV or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick as well? In the meantime, though, casting takes care of big-screen TV viewing perfectly well.
OVOPlay Device Compatibility
OVOPlay is currently available on the following devices. You can register up to five devices at once, watching a maximum of two at a time.
|Device||Does it work?|
|iPhone/iPad||Yes (iOS 10 or higher required)|
|Android Phone/Tablet||Yes (Android 5.0 and up)|
|Windows/Mac Web Browsers||Yes (Chrome, Safari, Explorer, Mozilla)|
Keep an eye on this page for updates on OvoPlay apps that get released for other platforms and devices!
Ovo Play Pros and Cons
Summary: OVOPlay a welcome addition in a sports-mad market
Ovo mobile isn’t the first phone provider to venture into the world of sports streaming – the big guns have both had a go at it, with Telstra’s AFL and NRL apps or Optus’s occasionally troubled English Premier League and World Cup streaming. But OvoPlay is different in several ways. Firstly, it’s free, not requiring a subscription, phone plan or anything else. Ovo is hoping you’ll come for the streaming and stay for the enticing prepaid mobile plans, and perhaps switch to them.
Secondly, the range of channels on offer here gives a whole lot of fascinating, crowd-pleasing sports an easily accessible platform where fans can watch live or on demand. We’d recommend you bookmark OVOPlay, grab the app and keep an eye on it in the coming months. It looks like they’ve decided to put the pedal to the metal and rapidly expand the service. Who knows what’s around the corner?