Stan Sport: Everything you need to know

Formerly just a traditional streaming service, Stan moved into live sport in 2021, which was good news for rugby fans in particular.

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Australians now have yet another way to stream sport in 2021. On 9 November 2020, the Nine-owned Stan streaming service announced it would be launching Stan Sport.

The announcement was made after striking a deal with the Australian Rugby Union, securing a smorgasbord of rugby broadcast rights. A few days after that it confirmed it had also picked up some tennis. Here's all you need to know about Stan Sport.

What is on Stan Sport?

Stan first announced it would be securing all the rugby union on the Australian calendar and more in an exclusive deal for the next 3 years, live and most importantly ad-free. That included the Bledisloe Cup, Super Rugby AU, Super Rugby Aotearoa, Shute Shield, The Rugby Championship, Super W, Hospital Cup, Mitre 10 Cup, Currie Cup and SANZAAR Union home games.

For those hoping to watch on free-to-air, all Wallabies matches and 1 weekly Saturday Super Rugby AU game is shown on Channel 9. Then following on from that announcement, it also confirmed Stan Sport will be the home of the trans-Tasman tournament. The competition has Super Rugby teams from Australia and New Zealand contesting 25 crossover matches during the 6-week tournament.

Also it's not just rugby on the agenda. Stan Sport has landed the broadcast rights to 2 of the biggest grand slams in tennis for the next 3 years – Wimbledon and the French Open. Select coverage will still be on Channel 9 meaning it will now have all grand slams except the US Open, as 9 already broadcasts the Australian Open. Both Channel 7 and Fox Sports have lost the rights to the grand slams.

Stan Sport then made another statement move in June 2021 by securing the rights to the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League on a 3-year deal. Taking the rights from Optus Sport, it indicated Stan is serious about picking up some of the bigger sports broadcasting contracts available.

When did Stan Sport launch?

Stan Sport launched in February 2021 to coincide with the start of the Super Rugby AU season. It kicked off on 19 February.

How much does Stan Sport cost?

On 28 January, Stan Sport confirmed that it would cost $10 per month. However, you can only subscribe to Stan Sport as an add-on to an existing Stan subscription.

Regular Stan memberships are between $10 and $19 per month. So the true cost of Stan Sport is from $20 per month to $29 per month. If you want to watch in HD then the real cost is at least $24 per month. It is a little surprising you can't subscribe to the sport option alone.

Stan Sport's most valuable content will be the Wallabies fixtures which will be simulcast on Channel 9. Rugby viewership has also been on the decline in Australia for some time now, making it harder to justify the higher price point when compared to the competition.

Likely the easiest comparison for Stan Sport is with Optus Sport, which only has football. Optus Sport boasts exclusive rights to the English Premier League along with a number of other competitions for $14.99 per month, although as mentioned it has lost the Champions League and Europa League. The EPL rights are also up for bidding beyond the 2021–22 season.

Kayo Sports starts at $25 per month, but has a very diverse content library with over 50 sports including every NRL, AFL and Australian cricket fixture live. Stan Sport doesn't have the same level of premium sports content as Optus Sport or Kayo, but still costs more than the former and only a dollar less for HD than the latter.

Stan Sport free trial

Stan Sport has a 7-day free trial, while Stan has a 30-day free trial for new users.

Stan Sport compatible devices

Stan Sport is available on a wide range of devices. Of course it's compatible with your regular iOS and Android devices along with Mac and PC. In addition to those Stan Sport will be available on:

Set-top boxes and streaming hardware

  • Apple TV – 4th generation and later
  • Chromecast
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Fetch TV
  • Telstra TV
  • Foxtel Now box

Gaming consoles

  • Xbox One
  • Xbox One S
  • Xbox One X
  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation 5

Smart TVs

  • Samsung
  • LG
  • Sony
  • Hisense
  • TCL
  • Panasonic
  • Android TVs

Why did Stan get into sport?

There are 2 big reasons Stan is spreading its wings. The first is a turf war and the second is external threats, but both are due to competition.

To be frank Stan is going head-to-head with Foxtel. It made a big play in 2020 to get the HBO rights from Foxtel, but was unsuccessful. Both companies are fighting for the crown of Australia's most popular streaming service.

In December 2020, News Corp reported the total Foxtel Group which is made up of Kayo Sports, BINGE, Foxtel and Foxtel Now is up to 3.3 million subscribers. Kayo had reached 644,000 subscribers and BINGE 290,000.

Considering how much longer Foxtel has been around, Stan's subscriber numbers are fairly solid in comparison at more than 2 million in mid-2020. Not letting Kayo solely have a sports streaming market share is going to be a key battle.

The other reason is that Stan needs content. As Stan isn't the size of Netflix or Prime Video its content library is heavily made up of third-party content rather than originals. In years gone by that wasn't an issue.

However, with so many media companies now launching their own streaming services made up only of titles that they own, it's a big threat to Stan's business model. When Disney+ launched, Stan lost the rights to all of its Marvel, Star Wars and Disney content. That has only continued with the launch of new Disney+ channel, Star, which boasts loads of adult-focused content like Grey's Anatomy, Family Guy and the Deadpool movies.

That left Stan with a very valuable Showtime contract which gave it the rights to things like Yellowstone and Billions. But the arrival of Paramount+ in 2021 also spelled the end of that relationship, stripping Stan of shows like Dexter and Ray Donovan. Without a doubt that's part of what prompted Stan to create 30 new originals in the next 5 years and diversify by moving into sport.

Sports broadcast rights in Australia are extremely valuable as seen by the success of Optus Sport and Kayo Sports so far. The rights are also often sold to third parties such as ESPN, beIN SPORTS, Fox Sports or others, which for now reduces the risk of a brand new service launching that solely owns the right to an entire sport.

For those reasons Nine has seen an opportunity to minimise the threat to Stan and launch Stan Sport.

How does Stan Sport compare?

Name Product Free trial? Max. video quality Price
Kayo Sports Basic
Kayo Sports Basic
14 days
HD
$25/month
beIN SPORTS CONNECT (monthly)
beIN SPORTS CONNECT (monthly)
14 days
HD
$19.99/month
Foxtel Now – Sport pack
Foxtel Now – Sport pack
10 days
HD
$54/month
DAZN
DAZN
N/A
4K/UHD
$2.99/month
F1 TV Access Monthly
F1 TV Access Monthly
No
HD
$4.49/month
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