Streaming News in Australia
It’s never been more important to keep up to date with all the latest news than it is now, with so much happening daily across Australia and around the world that has a direct impact on our daily lives.
But the days of having to wait around until the evening bulletin on free to air TV are very much over – and not surprisingly, it’s streaming that’s driving a massive change in the way we access and consume news of all kinds thanks to its effectiveness and versatility.
What’s In The Guide
News shows to watch this week
We have selected some of the best live and on demand news shows to watch this week in Australia right here. There has never been so much choice when it comes to world-class news and affairs than now, giving us an unrivalled perspective on the biggest topics in politics, current affairs and even sports.
Paid streaming services
While in other countries, it’s not all that unusual for a news live stream TV to be put behind a paywall – often locked, even on mobile, behind a subscription to a pay TV service.
That’s traditionally been the case here in Australia, too – if you wanted to get access to comprehensive news coverage, you had to sign up for Foxtel or Foxtel Now. All that’s changed now, with the debut of the Flash streaming service which is 100% dedicated to the news, and only the news.
Free streaming services
While Flash delivers a vast pool of local and global news coverage all in the one place, local Australian networks have increasingly become good at getting their content online via their various free streaming services (which used to be known as “catch-up” apps, but have all gone a lot further than just streaming last night’s TV).
With each network taking great pride in their news services – the evening news attracts a lot of viewers – it’s not surprising to see them move news into their apps as well. All except ABC iView are kept free by the use of unskippable ads.
Unlike Flash, the free services don’t do too much with personalized content – you’ll have to find the news bulletin or story you want to watch by exploring.
News streaming providers
Here are all the news streaming providers you can use in Australia to stay right up to date with local, national and international affairs.
Developed and operated by the same people behind Kayo Sports and Binge, Flash is quite possibly a world first – a low-cost streaming service that pulls together the news resources from home and overseas.
Flash provides live streams of a total of 27 different news channels, but takes things further by curating the top stories from a wide range of categories, letting you get straight to the information you’re after.
Priced at only $8 per month (with a Flash 14-day free trial that gives you access to everything), Flash works just as well for a quick news catch-up on your mobile as it does as a high-tech version of the evening news on your TV at home.
Foxtel’s streaming arm, Foxtel Now also gives you access to a number of live news channels that you can stream with the Foxtel Go app.
You can stream a total on 10 live news channels including Sky News, Fox Sports News and CNN live and on demand. You can check out the Foxtel Now offer today, giving you access to the service free for 10 days.
While it’s mainly designed as an entertainment streaming service for those looking for movies and TV shows, Paramount+ also includes a 24-hour live feed of CBSN, the streaming version of parent company CBS’s US news service.
While few would subscribe just for that, if you’re already paying the $8.99/month for the Paramount+ offer, you’ll have easy access to a highly respected US news channel that’s not on Flash (yet!)
The original free-to-air streaming app has gotten some major enhancements over the years, and now boasts a whole section devoted to ABC News.
Aside from an ABC News live stream (from dedicated news channel ABC News 24) there’s a section with the recent top stories separated into bite-size videos so you can explore the breaking news you want, as well as the evening news bulletins for every state in Australia on demand.
The ABC News collection of shows – Q&A, The Drum, 7.30, Media Watch, Four Corners and more – are all here as well.
If you were hoping to stream the Prime Minister doing question time in Parliament, though, you’ll have to do so via the live stream of the main channel – no replays are available.
SBS On Demand
Primarily designed to provide a feast of SBS’s shows and movies to watch for free, the news featured on SBS On Demand is somewhat tough to find at first glance. You need to dig around the app a bit to find where they’ve hidden it all – but once you crack the code, you’ll find regularly updated news bulletins from an incredible 35 different countries, all in their native languages.
The main SBS World News bulletin is easier to find, and it’s joined by Insight, Dateline, The Feed and more, as well as daily bulletins from indigenous channel NITV.
A live stream of the main SBS channel is available if you want to watch the news as it goes to air. It’s one of the best free streaming services around, even though news isn’t a priority.
Visit the News tab on the 7plus main screen and you’ll find the latest morning and evening news bulletins stretching back a few days, bulletins from 11 other cities around Australia, and streams of Sunrise, The Morning Show and more.
Rather than separate stories into their own shorter “breaking news” videos, Seven just leaves each bulletin and show intact. There’s also a small measure of of news-related specials and documentaries.
All of Seven’s channels can be streamed live via the app, too, including several channels that are exclusively streaming-only.
Putting the focus on individual single-story clips, 9now hides its full news bulletins in the categories menu, where you’ll find news coverage from Sydney, Melbourne and more, along with episodes of Today and 60 Minutes (over 270 episodes of the latter to watch!)
Always thought of as more of an entertainment network, 9now’s news content is not really a prominent feature of the app – but it’s there if you go looking for it. The short news stories on the main page will be what those on the go want to see, anyway.
Live streams of all Nine’s broadcast channels are provided for anyone who wants to watch live events, or news as it happens.
Visit the News section in 10play and you might be surprised at the rather underwhelming collection of one single outdated national news bulletin that results.
But don’t worry – tap the location at the bottom of the screen and choose your city to get a comprehensive collection of news bulletins stretching back weeks – great for catching up with top stories you may have missed.
You can also go to the News category in the general TV Shows section to get access to not just evening news bulletins, but also episodes of The Project for those who like their news hosts more conversational, and Studio 10 for the breezy early-morning take on top stories, interests and live events.
Live streaming of all Ten’s channels is also available.
Internet plans for news streaming
As with all streaming services, you’ll want to have a reliable internet connection to stream any of the news sources mentioned above.
Most of them use a very low amount of data – Flash is probably the highest, and it will stream just fine on a connection that can handle 3MB/sec or better. Telstra’s continued to improve their networks, and their range of NBN plans are a great way to get set up for streaming, with their NBN offering high reliability and very fast speeds.
If you’re planning to stream news on a device other than your mobile phone or tablet – in other words, if you want to watch on your TV – then picking up a compatible streaming device will make life easy for you. Devices are available at multiple price points, from the fairly expensive (Apple TV, Telstra TV) to the low-cost and affordable (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV).
However, check that the device you’re buying can stream the services you want to use. For example, Google’s new Chromecast, based on Android TV, doesn’t current have a Flash app available for it (though one is on the way; in the meantime, you can cast Flash to it from your phone or tablet).
Devices supported on Flash
- Apple TV (4th Generation or higher)
- Telstra TV
- iPhone (iOS 12+)
- iPad (iOS 12+)
- Android (OS 7+)
- Chromecast (Chromecast Ultra, Chromecast 3rd Generation)
Devices supported on Foxtel/Foxtel Go
– PC/Mac: Yes – Web browser only (Chrome for PC; Chrome & Safari for Mac)
– iOS Mobile Devices: Yes – Via native app (iOS 9.3.5 or above)
– Android Mobile Devices: Yes – Via native app (Android 5 and above)
– Google Chromecast: Yes – Via casting (only on Multiroom service)
– Google Nest: Yes – Via compatible Chromecast device connected or built-in to your TV
– Apple TV: Yes – Via AirPlay (only on Multiroom service)
– Smart TVs: Yes – Via casting only (only on Multiroom service)
All your streaming services in one placeCompare now
What people are asking about streaming news
Very likely yes – they’ve said that the news sources available at launch are a starting point and
have been negotiating with other news providers in Australia and around the
With streaming news available across a wide range of free services as well as paid ones, the best option is to pick a device that supports all of them. Apple TV is a popular (if expensive) choice, as is the Google Chromecast with Google TV. Telstra TV is also a great choice and can be had by Telstra customers for a low monthly payment, or as part of a bundle.
Yes, almost all live-streaming news sources come with the ad breaks they would have on their broadcast version. However, with apps that let you stream individual news stories or highlights, the content is usually ad-free.
Generally, you’ll be limited to streaming just one news source at a time – but Flash has an upcoming feature, believed to be similar to Kayo Sport’s Split Screen, that will allow you to stream multiple news channels on the one screen simultaneously.
News is something we like to keep up with on the go, as breaking stories develop. Obviously streaming any of these news sources on your mobile phone is going to impact your data allowance – however, they all tend to use a lot less data than, say, Netflix. If you just jump in for updates and highlights, and save the extended news watching for home, you’ll be fine.
While the big players in international news have their own apps, many of them won’t work in Australia, while others will only let you watch a few minutes without paying. If you’re looking to keep up with overseas news, the best option is Flash, with its full access to CNN, the BBC and much more.
They’re very much up to date, because in almost all cases, streaming news channels are relaying what’s currently being broadcast on TV (sometimes with a delay of a minute or two). Some providers, like Flash or ABC iView, also offer news stories for replay later, or in-depth analysis of stories that are in the headlines at the moment.
The requirement to have an account is standard now across almost all free streaming apps – and of course the paid ones require an account to access at all. Of the free-to-air streaming apps, only ABC iView can be used without an account at the moment (though creating one enables more app features). There’s no charge for creating an account on any of the free apps.
Main Event on Kayo Sports – Stream Pay-Per-View TVYou can access any event you like with no hassle and no subscription – because Main Event is available via Kayo Sports!