+ Tuesday June 18th, 2019

I signed up with Kayo Sports for $25 a month, and its bye-bye Foxtel

We’ve written a little about Kayo sports so far, including their colossal lineup of sports over the Christmas and New Year period. As a regular watcher of sports on TV (in fact, it’s close to the only thing I watch on TV these days), you’d probably not be surprised to know that I’m also a Foxtel subscriber. For years, Foxtel has been the go-to for the Australian sports consumer, because so much of the broadcast sport is on Foxtel and nowhere else.

With Kayo, that’s changed.

My sport of choice is Football (or Soccer, or Association Football as you may know it). In Australia, you might be lucky to get a free-to-air match each round, and you can watch a few matches of the Westfield W-League as well, but if you want to watch every A-League match – as I do – then its Foxtel or nothing.

Now, it’s Foxtel or Kayo, and the decision is a very easy one.

Why keep Foxtel, if you’re a sports fan?

You see, Kayo starts at $25 a month, and that gives you HD streaming on two devices at once. For $35, you can add a device and watch on three at a time.

This compares rather favourably with Foxtel, where the entry-pricing to watch Football is $68 a month to watch in HD, or $58 in standard definition. Granted, with Foxtel you can watch a lot more than just sport, but it’s time to tell Foxtel what they’ve been dreading hearing from customers for years.

Foxtel isn’t worth it anymore. In 2018, the new content worth watching isn’t on Foxtel, it’s on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Stan, or any one of a number of streaming services. In fact, there’s very few reasons to bother with Foxtel, and for many, sports were most of those reasons. With Kayo cutting that segment out, I’d argue there’s really no reason to have Foxtel at all, unless you like watching reruns of the Simpsons or other repeats.

What’s good about Kayo?

Apart from the excellent pricing, the interface and the options for viewing are brilliant. Borrowing clearly from Netflix’ interface, Kayo is easy to use on the desktop and mobile. You can tailor the experience to the sports you want to watch, with your teams and chosen sports filtering to the top.

Better, if you can’t decide what to watch, you can watch Fox Sports channels directly and find something to your taste.

The streaming quality is also excellent. It’s easily the equal of Foxtel’s HD, and it doesn’t need the world’s fastest internet connection to work, either. We’re stuck with Optus 4G at home and Kayo’s HD streaming works very well, using on average 5 to 15mbps to do its thing. As I write, the kids are upstairs watching Netflix and I’m streaming a re-run of last night’s Sydney FC game (in HD) and it’s perfect.

The best bit? I can choose what I want to watch on my phone, and Chromecast it to the TV. Yes, it supports Chromecast “out of the box”, and the experience is perfect.

Is there a downside to ditching Foxtel for Kayo?

Ultimately, it depends on what you use Foxtel for (or whether you’ve got it to start with). For easily the last couple of years, we’ve barely watched anything on Foxtel except for sport. Flicking through the TV guide has been a frustrating experience, flicking past screens and screens of TV shows we’ve no interest in ever watching.

For us, there’s virtually no downside. We save money, lose a device from our media centre, save on power, and we still get streaming football each weekend. Probably the only downside is that it’s reliant on your internet connection, and if that drops (or if you exceed your quota) you might feel the pinch.

For others who actually watch Foxtel content, well yes you’re going to lose a bit. I’d argue that loss isn’t much, if I’m honest, as Foxtel hasn’t offered anything worthwhile for years.

Should a football fan switch to Kayo?

If the only reason you’ve got Foxtel is to watch a bit of football, then that’s an emphatic hell yes from me.

If you only watch football, then you’ll have your fill. You get access to the A-League, W-League, FFA Cup, Australian Internationals, AFC Champions League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, EFL Championship, FA Cup, MLS, ISL, and FIFA Club World Cup.

In fact, about the only exclusion is the Premier League, where Optus has the streaming rights in Australia, but you can get that too for $15 a month from Optus and still come out ahead over Foxtel’s entry pricing.

If you don’t care so much about other football and really only watch A-League or W-League, Telstra have a cheaper offering (the $99.99 a year My Football Live app), but I’d argue the user interface isn’t as good as Kayo offers.

What about for me?

The decision is a no-brainer. We’ve taken up Kayo’s 14-day free trial, and that ends in the first week of January. In the next two weeks I’ll have plenty of time to watch some football, check out what else Kayo has to offer, and make a decision.

The reality, though, is that decision is already made.

Foxtel’s gone, and $40-odd a month is going straight back into my wallet. For years, the Australian sports consumer has wanted streaming access to the best of Australian sport without having to pay an artificial premium for content they neither need, want, nor will watch.

Kayo appears to be the answer.

 

Editor’s note: No, this isn’t an advertorial. As with some other stories, Chris signs up to things he likes, and if he’s really impressed, he writes about them in the hope it’ll be informative for others. After 14 days, he’ll be paying for Kayo the same as anyone else.

Kayo Sports 4.5 / 5

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Arog
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Arog

Chris, can you please confirm that all BeinSports football is streamed on Kayo? For example the SPL (Scottish) isnt in the KAyo list but selected games are broadcast on beinsports. i want to make sure that content is available.

Richo
Guest
Richo

with the kayo i tried to stream an old AFL game to the TV and no joy. no problem with other sports so far.

Phill Edwards
Guest
Phill Edwards

One thing you failed to mention in Foxtel’s favour is that you can record and watch later. You can’t do that with Kayo and it’s a big difference in my opinion.

Craig Mitchell
Ausdroid Reader

It says it’s “live & on demand”, so I would have thought there is no need to record?

Phill Edwards
Guest
Phill Edwards

I need record when I want to see the match but can’t watch it when it’s actually on but want to watch it later.

DogGunn
Ausdroid Reader

On demand means you can just stream the match when you want after the fact. No need to record.

Sim
Guest
Sim

Kayo vs Foxtel Now? I use it for kids stuff plus sport.

Essential
Guest
Essential

I wonder how long before they will start breaking down to premium or non premium sports. Oh the price hike will come first then the classification of sports.

zeitgeb3r
Guest
zeitgeb3r

Kayo is owned by Foxtel and Telstra.
See Kayo Terms and Conditions webpage.

Blake Strong
Guest
Blake Strong

Not a big fan of the HBO shows then?

bradre
Guest
bradre

Can anyone please confirm if AFL replays are still the same craptacular 2mbps stream that has been haunting Telstra and the various ‘Footy Play’ services these past few years?

One thing in this review really doesn’t add up – if the streaming quality is good, then how come Foxtel Now is so bad? Surely it’s the same infrastructure..

bradre
Guest
bradre

Can anyone please confirm if AFL replays are still the same craptacular 2mbps stream that has been haunting Telstra and the various ‘Footy Play’ services these past few years?

One thing in this review really doesn’t add up – if the streaming quality is good, then how come Foxtel Now is so bad? Surely it’s the same infrastructure.

Jake
Guest
Jake

As good as Foxtel for tennis?

Brad
Guest
Brad

Look forward to the Kayo Android TV app coming soon for my Nvidia TV instead of using my Google Pixel 2 XL and Chromecast which does not really work perfectly 100% of the time for me.

Mark Thorne
Guest
Mark Thorne

If u just watch football or soccer when don’t u just get Optus sport for $20 instead

Darko
Guest
Darko

Because Optus is only showing English Premier League, where as Kayo & Foxtel have everything else.

Ben
Guest
Ben

No Eurosport channels or content on Kayo though. Probably the only downside. Some of that stuff was really interesting to watch when I had Foxtel. Should probably mention that in your article.

Steven Last
Ausdroid Reader

if Kayo had EPL i’d be ballz deep into it. I think i’ll join when NRL kicks off.

Hoges
Guest
Hoges

You need to have Chromecast ultra for it to work properly. Regular Chromecast is not supported by kayo.

Warren
Guest
Warren

Ben, I found the chromecast inadequate for this, and upgraded to the ultra which seems way smoother.

Quasar
Guest
Quasar

I do have to wonder how much this will eat into subs given it seems like sports and HBO are the main things keeping people subscribers.

For me not being a subscriber and totally used to and indoctrinated into streaming service pricing models, I find 25$ a month hideously expensive. But then the only sport I really watch (or watched) was cricket.

Ben Bradey
Ausdroid Reader

I find the Chromecast experience a bit lacking the ball movement is jarring. Phone is perfect. How do you find the ball movement on Chromecast?

Luke Vesty
Ausdroid Reader
Luke Vesty

As mentioned by others above, Kayo officially supports Chromecast Ultra. If you use older generation Chromecasts your mileage may vary.

Ricky M Nolan
Guest
Ricky M Nolan

Can I ask if you are able to stream fox footy channel 504? Is it the same as watch 504 on a set top box? And does it stream 501, 502, 503 as well?

Carter Smith
Ausdroid Reader

It is worth noting that there is a delay of a few seconds vs the live tv broadcast which probably doesn’t matter for most, but is important for some.

Warren
Guest
Warren

Let people not forget that Kayo is still part of the big, evil foxtel empire.

The funny thing for me is that when Patrick Delaney was coming up with this concept, the other foxtel execs biggest fear was churn rates from the way higher margin full foxtel product for this service. They tried to make the price point high enough so that people have to really question whether leaving foxtel was the best solution.

And all I can see the whole internet over is people saying bye bye foxtel.

It’s a small bit of pleasure to see Rupert’s margins decrease a little.

Björn
Ausdroid Reader

I have been mightily impressed with kayo. I purely watch Australian football as well and the ability to just Chromecast the aleague has been awesome.

Ben Bradey
Ausdroid Reader

How do you find Chromecast on TV? For me the ball movement is a bit jarring

Taleim
Guest
Taleim

What about Foxtel now vs kayo? I currently use Foxtel now plus sport, as I like some tv as well.

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