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.