Never miss another scrum with our guide to NRL streaming.
Watching the NRL on free-to-air TV can be a pretty lousy experience. Not only are you chained to the couch the whole time, you miss out on more than half the action every round, with only a handful of matches broadcast on traditional TV.
Until recently, the only alternative has been shelling out for a Foxtel subscription, a costly solution if you're only going to use it for watching the footy. Fortunately, the advent of online streaming has brought about a better option: NRL Live, a subscription streaming service dedicated to all things rugby league. By purchasing an NRL Live Pass, you can stream every single Premiership game live to your phone or tablet, ensuring you'll never have to miss a match again. Kayo is also a great alternative, with every match available to stream live, with the exception of the Grand Final. Here are all your options for watching NRL games in Australia.
This week's NRL matches
|Sunday 30 September||7:20PM||Roosters vs Storm||ANZ Stadium|
Option 1: Live streaming NRL in HD with Kayo
Kayo Sports has access to all FOX SPORTS channels, including FOX League. As a result, the streaming service offers extensive coverage of the NRL season. Subscribers can watch every game of the NRL Telstra Premiership live, as well as check out replays. The streaming platform also offers every game of the Final Series. The Grand Final isn’t available to stream live, as it is exclusively shown on free-to-air, but a replay will be on Kayo Sports.
Kayo offers HD live streams and works with Macs/PCs, smartphones and laptops, Chromecast, and Telstra TV. You can choose a $25/month subscription to be able to watch on two screens at the same time or pay $35/month to enjoy three simultaneous streams. A 14-day Kayo free trial is available for new customers.
Option 2: Live streaming NFL in HD with Foxtel
Foxtel broadcasts every game of the NRL Telstra Premiership, with the exception of the Grand Final. To tune in, you will need the Sport Packages. Once that’s done, you will be able to stream matches with your laptop or mobile device via the Foxtel GO app. The app is free with your Foxtel subscription. All you have to do is download it from Google Play or the App store and enter your Foxtel ID. To stream on your laptop, check out the Foxtel website.
Rugby fans can also stream NRL matches with Foxtel Now. To get FOX League, you will need the Sport Pack, which costs $29/month. However, subscribers also need the Entry Pack to be able to access Sports content. This one costs $25/month and comes with a great selection of Pop and Lifestyle channels. Consequently, you will pay a minimum of $54/month to stream NRL games with Foxtel Now.
The streaming service is available on PCs/Macs, mobile devices, Chromecast/Airplay, PS4, Telstra TV, and the Foxtel Now Box. New subscribers get a 14-day free trial.
Option 3: Watching NFL on free-to-air
If you’re a casual NRL fan, free-to-air coverage might be enough to satisfy your cravings. You can watch three games per round on the Nine Network. This includes one Thursday night match, one Friday night fixture, and a Sunday afternoon clash. One additional game per round on Saturday night will be shown for the last five rounds of the season. Nine Network also broadcasts every game of the finals series including the Grand Final.
Option 4: Streaming NRL matches from outside Australia
If you’re outside Australia when your favourite team is playing, you can still stream NRL matches live or on demand with WatchNRL. The platform is only available outside the country and it comes with three subscription options. A weekly pass costs $19, a monthly subscription $33, and a membership for an entire year is available for $189. You can watch on your laptop on the WatchNRL website or download the app to your mobile device. WatchNRL is also compatible with Chromecast/Airplay and Apple TV.
Option 5: Streaming NRL matches with NRL Live Pass
The NRL Live app serves as your gateway to the world of NRL streaming. You can download the app for free on Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices, and without forking over a cent you'll have access to live scores and statistics, match highlight videos, and up-to-date news and reports.
To get the full NRL Live experience, though, you'll need to subscribe to the NRL Live Pass which lets you live stream all Telstra Premiership matches, including Rep Games and the Finals Series, as well as all Nines and All Stars events. Live streams of the NRL Grand Final and the State of Origin series are not available via the NRL Live Pass, however, though you can watch full match replays of these after the fact.
What does an NRL Live Pass subscription get me?
While anyone can watch video highlights and view live scores for free through the NRL Live app, only NRL Live Pass subscribers can stream matches as they happen, directly to their phone or tablet. With an NRL Live Pass subscription, you also get access to live streams of post-match press conferences as well as full match replays just 12 hours after the final whistle.
For NRL history buffs, there's also an archive of over 400 NRL Telstra Premiership matches from 2013 onwards available to watch on-demand. Best of all, if you miss a live stream, you can set it so the app hides the scores for played matches, giving you a chance to go back and watch the replay without knowing the outcome.
Fans that attend NRL games in person are also eligible to access NRL Live Pass premium content for free during the match, regardless of whether they have an active NRL Live Pass subscription or not. With geolocation services activated on your mobile device, the NRL Live app will automatically detect if you are in the vicinity of an eligible venue and advise you of how to claim the free offer.
How much does it cost?
However, if you're a Telstra mobile customer, you won't need to pay a thing; all Telstra consumer and small business post-paid mobile plans, consumer mobile broadband plans, and pre-paid services that maintain more than $30 of recharge credit come with a free NRL Live subscription for the 2018 season. To activate your free subscription, all you need to do is log into the NRL Live app from your Telstra mobile device and click the "I'm a Telstra customer" button.
It's also worth noting that Live Pass subscriptions auto-renew unless you explicitly opt out, so make sure to change your settings if you don't want to be charged indefinitely.
What devices are compatible with NRL Live Pass?
NRL Live supports a wide range of mobile devices through its respective mobile apps. For Apple users, the Official NRL app requires an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 9.0 or later. Android users need a smartphone with Android 4.4 or higher or a tablet with Android 4.2 or higher to run the Official Android NRL app. Users on Windows Phone, meanwhile, need to be running Windows Phone 8 or higher to access the Official Windows NRL app.
NRL Official App from iTunes Store
Stream the NRL through the official app with a weekly, yearly pass or for free as a Telstra customer.View details
Due to Telstra's agreement with the NRL, the NRL Live apps are subject to a number of limitations. The maximum display size of live streams is 7 inches diagonally, with full-screen mode disabled on devices with displays larger than 7 inches. You also can't output live streams to your TV through streaming devices like Google Chromecast or Apple Airplay. These restrictions do not apply to highlight videos or full match replays.
Support for non-mobile devices is limited to Windows and Mac laptops running a compatible web browser. Supported browsers include Internet Explorer 9+, Mozilla Firefox 28+, Google Chrome 31+ and Safari 6+.
Additionally, each NRL Live Pass subscription supports access for a maximum of 10 devices at any one time in order to prevent excessive account sharing.
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How much data does NRL Live use?
Watching matches and other videos through NRL Live can use up quite a bit of data, and if you're streaming on-the-go, it's important to be aware of the toll it'll take on your monthly data cap. As a guide, streaming an 80-minute NRL match to a tablet typically uses around 900MB of data while on a smaller phone screen that drops to around 400MB.
Once again, Telstra customers are at an advantage here. If you're on a BigPond ADSL, Cable, NBN, or Telstra mobile Internet connection, all NRL Live video content is unmetered – in other words, it won't count against your monthly cap. However, this offer does not apply to Telstra mobile broadband dongles, Wi-Fi hotspots or business broadband plans.
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Picture: Brett Taylor/Flickr