The new streaming app from FOX SPORTS wants to be the Netflix of sports, but does its content match what it's selling on the tin?
Update: Our Kayo review is now live.
When Netflix first launched in Australia, one of the most common questions we got was "will it stream sports?" The answer was, of course, no. Not only is it now obvious that Netflix is completely dedicated to housing and creating television shows and movies, but that sports broadcasting rights in Australia are also ridiculously complicated, with rights to certain sports, leagues and even matches disseminated among free-to-air providers, pay-TV providers and standalone apps like Cricket Australia Live.
That's all about to change with Australia's brand-new sports streaming app, Kayo Sports, which is looking to take the lead in the race to become the "Netflix of sports".
What is Kayo Sports?
The sports streaming app that was codenamed Project Martian was revealed to be Kayo Sports in November 2018. Kayo markets itself as a one-stop shop for live streaming sports in Australia with the rights to over 50 sports at launch. From Aussie rules to wrestling to... lawn bowls, Kayo has taken the extensive sports coverage previously only available through Foxtel - including ESPN and beIN Sports - and given it a new home.
Live sports is just the hook; Kayo will also house on-demand content like replays, interviews, documentaries and more.
Watch us go hands on with the Kayo beta
While the app is in its beta at the time of writing (Nov. 2018), we expect it to release on smartphones, Mac, PC, Apple TV, Telstra TV and more in the future.
Does Kayo Sports have a free trial?
Yes. You can test drive Kayo's sports streaming app for 14 days before committing to a month-to-month subscription. The free trial gives you unbridled access to the app's full suite of sports and services.
How much does Kayo cost?
There are two plans available for Kayo at launch and the only difference between them is how many simultaneous streams you can have. Kayo's standard plan lets you stream on two devices at the same time and will cost you $25 per month. The premium plan will let you stream up to three devices at once and will set you back $35 per month.
Otherwise, both plans stream in the same quality, allow access to the same number of sports and are compatible with the same range of devices. All you get for paying extra is an additional device to stream on.
What video quality does Kayo Sports stream in?
Both the standard and premium plans allow you to stream in high definition. So Foxtel manages to keep the "first to 4K" title when it comes to streaming sports in Australia, but Kayo's HD stream still has some interesting perks that aren't offered by any other sports streaming service in Australia.
On mobile, Kayo allows you to stream two different sports in split screen. Anything bigger than a smartphone screen (tablet, connected Apple TV etc.) will allow you to watch up to four sporting events simultaneously in split-screen mode.
While we're waiting to take Kayo's beta for a lap ourselves, we understand you will be able to stream all four sports in full HD at once. Which leads us to our next question...
How much data does Kayo Sports use?
Kayo's official documentation suggests the app will burn through 2.5GB per hour in standard definition and 3.25GB per hour in high definition.
Now, we have a few questions which we can hopefully answer in a meatier review. First, it's not clear whether four split-screen HD streams will result in a higher data usage rate. Second, it's not clear at the time of writing (Nov. 2018) which sports are available in HD or whether there are any options to lower your stream quality if you're low on mobile data.
Which sports can I stream on Kayo?
As we mentioned earlier, Kayo Sports will have the rights to stream over 50 different sports at launch. Kayo has backed some of the biggest horses in sport, with content from every FOX SPORTS channel, ESPN and beIN SPORTS in one streaming destination.
We've got a full list of Kayo sports available here, but here are a few key sports you can stream on Kayo:
- Ice Hockey
What other features does the Kayo app offer?
While we're going to be testing out Kayo's many features over the next few days, we have a broad idea of what's on offer. First, there's the split screen mode we discussed earlier. SplitView allows you to stream four different sports at once on the big screen and two different sports on mobile.
The Kayo beta app reportedly restricts SplitView on smartphones, but we're told it will be added once the app officially launches.
One feature any rabid sports fan will appreciate is the No Spoilers view. If you're late to the game, Kayo will allow you to hide all scores and news from your user interface so you can enjoy the sports stream without knowing how it all ends.
However, the feature we are most interested in is Key Moments. A content team over at Kayo will be marking the video's timeline with "key moments" as the action happens. So if you hop in 15 minutes after kick off, the video's progress bar will let you skip to the key moments you missed (e.g. goals kicked, tackles made) before catching up with the rest of the crowd.
When does Kayo officially release?
While there's no definitive release date yet, we're told the Kayo Sports app will launch officially in late November 2018.
Stay tuned for our full review of the app and a comprehensive look at what the app is packing.
How does Kayo compare?
Kayo Sports isn't the only sports streaming service out there. We've already compared what's available in Australia, including Optus Sport, NFL Game Pass, NBA League Pass and more.
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