The pre-season for the 2019 AFL championship is about to kick off, but are you ready? Here's a guide to every fixture date, venue and start time, and tips on how to watch every game.
You know things are getting serious when the AFL JLT Community Series begins. After a hot summer filled with long lunches, waves and time relaxing with family, the best AFL players in the country and looking to get match-fit before the 2019 AFL season starts proper. New trades, rising stars and fresh combination need to be looked at and sorted out by coaches and their staff, too.
What is AFL JLT Community Series?
Sponsored by JLT Sport, the JLT Community Series is a run of pre-season warm-up matches – or friendlies – played by the AFL teams. The pre-season workload has been reduced over recent years, and the competition has no grand final, and only consists of each team playing twice.
Where to Watch the AFL JLT Community Series
The broadcast rights for the AFL in Season 2019 are owned by Foxtel and all AFL JLT Community Series games are to be broadcast on the Fox Footy channel. There are three ways to watch Foxtel in Australia, which we will detail below. The only other means of watching the games in Australia is through the official AFL Live Pass app.
This new streaming service offers the exact same Fox Sports content that you find on the traditional Foxtel services. However, it's dedicated to sport only, so can be enjoyed at a much lower subscription cost of $25 per month. It also features a stack of fantastic sports-specific viewing features that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, let alone Australia. It is our pick for any AFL fan, and it comes with a 14-day trial that will get you through the entire JBL Community Series.
The premium Foxtel service will set you back $68 if you wish to watch AFL matches in HD ($58 if not). This requires the traditional installation of a set-top box in your home, with the supplementary wiring - and potentially a satellite dish - so access isn't instant. You do get the Entertainment Pack as well as Sport as part of that cost, plus IQ is the only place to watch AFL in 4K (when broadcast in that format) and record sport (which is not really required in this era of on-demand replays). The Foxtel Go app comes with Foxtel IQ, allowing you to stream Sports content to most devices.
At $54, Foxtel Now is slightly cheaper than Foxtel IQ and allows you to instantly gain access to the Foxtel service without the hassles of hardware installation. It's mostly a streaming service like Kayo (there is a set-top box option for $99 should you want it), but you must get the Entertainment Pack to access Sports. Plus, you lose out on the sports viewing features.
AFL Live Pass
The official AFL Live Pass app also streams every game of the JBL Community Series and general AFL season. It's free for Telstra customers (a deal that is hard to argue with), but otherwise costs $16.99 per month. While cheaper than Kayo Sports and offering plenty for AFL fans in the way of stats and commentary, you don't get the bonus viewing features or access to any other sports, making it feel expensive by comparison.
AFL JLT Community Series Fixtures Schedule
Here is the when and where of every game in the 2019 JLT Community Series.
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Venue||Broadcast Time|
|Feb-28||Carlton||Essendon||Ikon Park||6.40pm EDT|
|Mar-01||West Coast Eagles||Geelong Cats||Leederville Oval||4.10pm WST|
|Mar-02||North Melbourne||St Kilda||Avalon Airport Oval (Werribee)||1.10pm EDT|
|Mar-02||Adelaide Crows||Port Adelaide||The Memorial Oval (Port Pirie)||3.40pm CDT|
|Mar-02||GWS Giants||Sydney Swans||Blacktown International Sportspark||7.10pm EDT|
|Mar-03||Brisbane Lions||Hawthorn||Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex||12.40pm EST|
|Mar-03||Richmond||Melbourne||Deakin Reserve (Shepparton)||4.40pm EDT|
|Mar-03||Gold Coast Suns||Western Bulldogs||Great Barrier Reef Arena (Mackay)||6.40pm EST|
|Mar-04||Fremantle||Collingwood||HBF Arena (Joondalup)||3.40pm WST|
|Mar-04||Geelong Cats||Essendon||GMHBA Stadium||7.10pm EDT|
|Mar-08||GWS Giants||Adelaide Crows||UNSW Canberra Oval||7.10pm EDT|
|Mar-09||Port Adelaide||North Melbourne||Alberton Oval||12.40pm CDT|
|Mar-09||Melbourne||Brisbane Lions||Casey Fields (Cranbourne)||4.10pm EDT|
|Mar-09||Hawthorn||Richmond||UTAS Stadium (Launceston)||7.10pm EDT|
|Mar-10||Sydney Swans||Gold Coast Suns||Oakes Oval (Lismore)||1.10pm EDT|
|Mar-10||Western Bulldogs||St Kilda||Mars Stadium (Ballarat)||4.10pm EDT|
|Mar-10||Fremantle||West Coast Eagles||Rushton Park (Mandurah)||4.10pm WST|
|Mar-11||Collingwood||Carlton||Morwell Recreation Reserve||2.10pm EDT|
How to Watch AFL Overseas.
If you're going to be out of the country while the AFL JLT Community Series is on, then your local Australian accounts will not work. This is due to various clashes in broadcasting rights between Australia and International markets. If you'd still like to continue watching AFL overseas, you'll need to look into the Watch AFL service, which is directly catered to out-of-market viewing of the 2019 AFL Season.
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