It’s that time of year again – footy is back. After a shortened season last year, both fans and players alike will be itching to launch head-on into an uninterrupted 2021 campaign.
And the opening weekend is shaping up to be a cracker. Defending premiers Richmond will kick off the 2021 season tonight (Thursday, 18 March), when they host last year’s 11th placed Carlton at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia. Bounce time is 7:25pm AEDT / 8:25am GMT / 4:30am EDT. The Tigers will no doubt be looking to make this season one to remember, eyeing off their first ever three-peat following back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2020, so it’s likely going to be a game you won’t want to miss.
Tomorrow's (Friday, 19 March) only fixture sees the Western Bulldogs make a trip to Collingwood, while 2020 grand finalists Geelong will head to Adelaide in one of four matches on Saturday. A further three games are scheduled for Sunday, with defending minor premiers Port Adelaide starting proceedings against North Melbourne at 1:10pm AEDT / 2:10am GMT / 10:15pm EDT.
To make sure you don’t miss a minute of the action, we’ve created a guide on how to watch every game in 2021, whether you're in Australia or currently overseas. Read on to see how you can get access to every minute of play.
AFL live stream in Australia: watch for free and online
There’s a few options if you’re looking to watch AFL Down Under, with the broadcast deal covering both free and paid TV, as well as online streaming services.
Channel Seven has the free-to-air rights, allowing them to broadcast up to five games a week live, but the fixtures being shown live will vary depending on which state you’re watching from. You’ll also be able to see Seven’s coverage via the 7Plus streaming service online.
Fox Sports has the paid TV deal, showing every game each week via Fox Footy or the dedicated Fox Sports channel.
If you’re looking to stream games online, the best option for dedicated footy fans is Foxtel’s over-the-top sister service, Kayo Sports. A Kayo subscription will let you watch every AFL game across the regular season, along with the entire finals series and, of course, the big dance at the end of the year.
Kayo will set you back just AU$25/month for the basic package, which includes simultaneous streams on two screens. And if you’re looking to stream across more devices, the premium package will give you three screens for just AU$35/month.
Kayo Sports offers a no-lock-in contract and gives all customers a 14-day FREE TRIAL so you can check it out before you fully commit. You’ll be able to watch on most devices, including Android and iOS mobiles, Macs, PC, Chromecast, select smart TVs and Android TVs, PCs and Macs, and Telstra TV boxes.
AFL live stream overseas: watch live and online
While Kayo Sports is your best shout when it comes to online streaming in Australia, unfortunately, it won’t work overseas. For anyone outside Australia, Fox Sports’ other streaming service, Watch AFL, is the best way to follow your team.
Watch AFL will give you access to every match of the 2021 AFL season, along with the 2021 AFLW Season & the 2021 AAMI Community Series. And for those die-hard fans, the streaming service even lets you go back and re-live matches from the 2017 season onward.
You can sign up for weekly, monthly or annual subscriptions. As soon as you subscribe, you’ll be able to start watching instantly. Please note that while you can purchase a subscription to Watch AFL from anywhere in the world, you cannot view the content if you're in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific Islands. See below for Watch AFL’s pricing info in 2021:
Weekly: AU$20 / US$16 / £11 / €13 - Sign up here
Monthly: AU$39 / US$31 / £22 / €25 - Sign up here
Annual: AU$199 / US$155 / £111 / €130 - Sign up here
The AFL also has broadcast deals with a number of international partners, giving paying customers access to games. Some of the main overseas broadcasters include Sky Sports (New Zealand), BT Sports (UK), Fox Sports (USA), TSN (Canada) and Australia Plus (Asia/Pacific).
What if I go on holiday when the game is on?
For Aussies who subscribe to streaming services like Kayo, you’ll find these don’t work if you head overseas on holiday (not that anyone can really do that at the moment anyway).
But if you do find yourself abroad and unable to access your streaming account, your best option is to use a VPN service to change your IP address to a different location. This should let you access your local coverage as you would back home.
T3’s tech experts have ranked the best VPN, making it easy for you to find the best one to meet your needs.