How to stream the AFL Final Series for free
With Hawthorn out of the running, 2016 will see the first new AFL champion in four years, so you don’t want to miss any of the action.
UPDATE: The dust has settled on the 2016 AFL semi finals, and we now know the Sydney Swans will take on the Western Bulldogs in this weekend's Grand Final. Don't miss a minute by using the services outlined below:
On Friday 23 September, the Geelong Cats will take on the Sydney Swans at 7.50pm, and then on Saturday 24 September, the Western Sydney Giants take on the Western Bulldogs at 5.15pm. They’re set to be two huge games and will answer the big question lingering over the Grand Final. Will Melbourne have any teams in the big game? Or could it be the two Sydney sides who face-off to be champions?
Geelong (2011, 2009, 2007) and the Sydney Swans (2012, 2005) have been recent winners of the AFL, but for the Western Bulldogs and Giants players there is a chance to write some very special history for their respective clubs. One of them will be in the Grand Final, and the Giants have yet to win a championship in their seven-year history, while the Bulldogs have only won one, and that was way back in 1954.
If you want to watch the AFL finals without having to plug an aerial into your television, there are four main means of streaming the AFL Final series online:
- Watch AFL: The official AFL Live app allows you to stream all games to an iOS, Android or Windows smart device. There are also panels, match replays and special event coverage to enjoy. The weekly pass will set you back $4.99, but there is a two-week free trial, which means you can enjoy this weekend’s finals, and the grand final, for free if you cancel your trial after the final match.
- Telstra AFL Footy Pass: Telstra customers may be eligible for its Footy Pass service for no additional cost. The service allows you to stream games live via the official app on compatible iOS or Android mobiles or tablets. Telstra recently introduced bundled access to both the NRL and AFL footy passes for customers signing up for an eligible mobile plan. It's worth noting that video data usage is unmetered if you have a Telstra BigPond, ADSL, Cable or NBN plan, or if you have a Telstra mobile handset or tablet with a Telstra SIM. Note that data remains metered if you’re using international roaming.
- Foxtel Go: Existing Foxtel customers that have the sports package as part of their plan can stream the AFL Finals for free via the Foxtel Go app. You simply download the app to your mobile or tablet, login to your Foxtel account, and you can watch any channel you are subscribed to on your main home plan.
- Foxtel Now: Foxtel’s streaming subscription service can also be used to access the AFL Finals series, without needing a 24-month subscription or an iQ set top box. The catch is the cost, as the base plan is $10 and then it’s another $29 to include the sports package, which means $39 to stream the AFL finals series. That said, there is a two-week free trial for Foxtel Now, so with only two weeks to go of the AFL Final series, you can stream all the matches for free and then, should you no longer want Foxtel Play, cancel before the end of the trial.
What about the PLUS7 app?
Unfortunately, Channel 7 does not have the rights to stream the AFL games online. So even though you can usually stream live TV through this app, the AFL Finals series will come up as “streaming not currently available”.
Watching the AFL Finals Series if you are overseas
Finding a place to watch the big games when you're overseas can be a real pain. As an Australian resident, all of the available streaming options listed above should be available to you, but are region locked and won’t work while you are overseas. You can work around this hurdle with a Virtual Private Network or VPN though. to be honest, it's probably worth considering a VPN in today’s current online climate of poorly secured data anyway, as it hides your location from the Internet and allows you to appear as though you are in whatever country your needs require.
If you are overseas and want to watch the finals, open your VPN and choose an Australian-based server will allow the streaming services to work. We have a full rundown of the best VPN options, though you should choose an option that works on both mobiles and tablets, where you are most likely to be streaming the games.
AFL Finals Starting Times and Team Lists
Friday 23/9/16 – Geelong Cats vs Sydney Swans – 19.50pm
Backs = C Enright 44, T Lonergan 13, L Henderson 25
Half-Backs = J Kolodjashnij 8, H Taylor 7, A Mackie 4
Centres = C Guthrie 29, J Selwood 14, S Selwood 16
Half-Forwards = S Motlop 32, R Stanley 1, M Blicavs 46
Forwards = L McCarthy 6, T Hawkins 26, J Bartel 3
Followers = Z Smith 9, P Dangerfield 35, M Duncan 22
Interchange = J Bews 24, J Caddy 23, J Cowan 18, S Menegola 27
Backs = D Rampe 24, A Aliir 36, N Smith 40
Half-Backs = H Marsh 31, H Grundy 39, J Laidler 11
Centres = J Lloyd 44, J Kennedy 12, I Heeney 5
Half-Forwards = G Hewett 29, L Franklin 23, L Parker 26
Forwards = T Papley 41, K Tippett 8, B McGlynn 21
Followers = S Naismith 35, D Hannebery 4, K Jack 15
Interchange = Z Jones 10, T Mitchell 6, X Richards 42, G Rohan 16
Saturday 24/9/16 – Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders – 17.15pm
Backs = A Tomlinson 20, P Davis 1, N Wilson 16
Half-Backs = H Shaw 23, J Patfull 24, R Griffen 32
Centres = J Hopper 2, S Coniglio 3, T Scully 9
Half-Forwards = D Shiel 5, J Cameron 18, J Patton 12
Forwards = R Palmer 7, R Lobb 37, D Smith 10
Followers = S Mumford 41, T Greene 4, C Ward 8
Interchange = Z Williams 29, L Whitfield 6, J Kelly 22, N Haynes 19
Backs = J Johannisen 39, J Hamling 30, M Boyd 5
Half-Backs = S Biggs 24, D Morris 38, E Wood 10
Centres = L Hunter 7, M Bontempelli 4, L Picken 42
Half-Forwards = J Macrae 11, Z Cordy 12, J Stringer 9
Forwards = T Dickson 29, T Boyd 17, C Daniel 35
Followers = J Roughead 23, L Dahlhaus 6, T Liberatore 21
Interchange = C Smith 14, T McLean 16, F Roberts 18, J Dunkley 20