After falling victim to the global Covid-19 sports shutdown like just about every other major league in the world, Australian Rules Football is finally back as the defending AFL champion Richmond Tigers look to get their campaign underway with a victory over bitter rivals Collingwood on Thursday, June 11. In total, there's no less than nine AFL fixtures to look forward to over the restart weekend, so follow our guide as we explain how to live stream the AFL and watch every match wherever you are in the world.
The 2020 AFL season is back and will even welcome a small amount of fans to some matches, but most people will be watching on TV. In Australia, great value streaming service Kayo Sports features every match live and offers a FREE 14-day trial - while followers abroad can make use of the affordable Watch AFL service.
Four-time Premiership winners West Coast Eagles are also being widely tipped to be title contenders this time out, having finally added midfielder Tim Kelly from Geelong to their ranks, as well as welcoming key player Nic Naitanui back to full fitness.
Also interesting to see will be how the AFL manages the re-introduction of fans to live sporting events, as small numbers are expected to be allowed into stadiums in certain territories. How this is handled could well provide a blueprint for the rest of the world as sport begins to resume after the coronavirus crisis, so there's more than one reason to take an interest in Aussie footy these days.
Whether you're new to the game or are a die-hard fan, read on for our full AFL live stream guide and find out how to watch Aussie rules footy online from anywhere.
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Live stream AFL in Australia: watching for free and online
The Australian Football League has a broadcast deal with both pay TV and free-to-air. The channels of the Seven Network. holds the free-to-air broadcast rights for all matches, including the finals, while Fox Sports is the pay TV broadcast partner.
According to the deal, Channel Seven can show up to five matches per week live, while Fox can present every single game either on the dedicated 24/7 Fox Footy channel (504) or on Fox Sports (channel 503).
However, Footy fans are advised to check the free-to-air TV listings each week as the broadcast of matches of non-Victorian teams will be broadcast live in that team’s home state on free-to-air alongside Foxtel. This means that matches that are on offer on free-to-air will differ from state to state each week.
Seven Network's coverage will be available live online for viewers in Australia via the network's 7Plus streaming service, however if you're a big AFL fan and are looking to stream matches we recommend Foxtel's over-the-top service Kayo Sports as the best way to live stream the action from Down Under.
It lets you watch every single AFL match across the regular season - and of course all the final series and Grand Final action. It's also cheap, offering the choice of a $25 per month basic package or $35 a month premium offering. The only difference between the two is the amount of screens you can stream to simultaneously - two on Kayo basic and three on Kayo premium.
Kayo Sports is contact-free and offers a 14-day FREE TRIAL so you can check it out for yourself, no strings attached. It's available on nearly all modern devices including Android and iOS mobiles, Macs, PC, Chromecast, select smart TVs and Android TVs, PCs and Macs, and Telstra TV boxes, with console support listed as "coming soon".
How to live stream Aussie rules footy wherever you are
Watching the AFL in Australia is easy, but what about in other countries around the world where the excellent Kayo Sports service isn't available? There's no need to miss a second of the Aussie rules action, thanks to Watch AFL - a global subscription service that will give you access to every single AFL match this season. Available across all corners of the globe, the league's official streaming service can be had on weekly, monthly and annual deals - of which the latter represents the best value.
Here's how Watch AFL is priced for the 2020 season.
- Weekly: US$17 / £13 / €17 - GET PLAN
- Monthly: US$33 / £25 / €33 - GET PLAN
- Annual: US$165 / £130 / €155 - GET PLAN
How to watch the AFL in New Zealand: live stream details for the 2020 season
You can follow all the Aussie football action in New Zealand on Sky Sports.
Subscribers can stream the AFL on a wide range of devices via the Sky Go app. Alternatively, you can also watch the AFL on-the-go without a Sky Sports with a Sky Sports Now pass (formerly Fan Pass). This standalone streaming service gets you access to Sky Sports channels 1-4 and can be had for $59 a month - or $39 a month if you sign up for six months.
If you're a Kiwi who subscribes to one of Sky's services but find yourself abroad, you may find that you're unable to access your usual coverage thanks to geo-blocking - however, you can use a good Virtual Private network service such as our recommendation, ExpressVPN, to easily (and legally) get around this by pointing your device back to your home island.
How to watch the AFL in the UK: live stream Aussie rules football
Subscription service BT Sports has exclusive TV rights to show the AFL in the UK and will be broadcasting select matches live throughout the season.
If you're looking to stream matches, the BT Sport app or BTSport.com is where you need to go, enabling mobile, tablet and PC viewing.
However, AFL fans in the UK are probably best served by the previously mentioned Watch AFL service, which gives you streaming access to all the footy - every single match - for just £13 a month.
How to watch the AFL in the US
Fox Sports has the rights to the AFL in the US and will show select matches live across FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Sports 1, and will have full coverage of the final series and Grand Final. However, for those who don't want to cough up for a costly premium TV contract, Watch AFL is again your go-to service for streaming the AFL from abroad as is priced at a very reasonable $17 a month for every single game.
Live stream the AFL: How to watch in Canada
TSN brings Canadians select AFL coverage, split across TSN2, TSN5 and online via the TSN website and TSN App.
However, if you don't fancy shelling out for a pricey premium TV contract, there's always the excellent Watch AFL option which is also available in Canada.
How to live stream the AFL and watch online from outside your country
Australians who subscribe to a service like Kayo but find themselves abroad for the next big AFL clash will probably find it's down to a geo-blocking restriction. When this is the case, the simplest and most reliable solution is to use a VPN service to change your IP address to a difference location.
This will generally let you tune in to your local coverage, just as you would from home, and means you don't have to trawl the sketchier corners of the internet for an illegal stream.
Our software experts have test more than 100 VPNs and it's ExpressVPN that comes out on top. There are plenty of reasons why, but the main factors are its speed, security and simplicity to use - you can get started in no time at all.
We also like the fact that you can try it out effectively for free, thanks to its 30 day money-back guarantee. You can use it with loads of devices at once including Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPads, tablets etc. And if you subscribe to ExpressVPN now, you'll also get 49% off the usual price as well as 3 months extra FREE.
VPNs are ridiculously easy to set up and use and aren't just for watching the AFL abroad - they're a great first line of defence for your online activity and many people use them to get around other geo-blocked websites or to access foreign Netflix content.
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