Kayo Sports review: The high cost of sports fever

A sporting addition to any sports-loving home.

Kayo Sports
Kayo Sports
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Popular sports
NRL, AFL, cricket, netball
Max streaming quality
1080p (at 7.5Mbps)
Max streams
2 simultaneous streams
Nathan Lawrence
Feb 15, 2023
Icon Time To Read8 min read
Quick verdict: Is Kayo Sports any good?
The biggest change in the two years between the initial and updated review is Kayo Sports costs more. It’s still undeniably the best service for a range of sports streaming in Australia with decent inclusions. But the climbing cost and continued quality-of-life concerns hold it back.
pro
Pros
pro Massive sports library
pro 1080p streams + SplitView
pro Mini replays for popular content
con
Cons
con Climbing cost for Kayo Basic
con Manually refreshing for new content
con Odd featured layout inclusions
Kayo Sports Review

In November 2018, Foxtel finally gave internet-savvy sports fans what we’ve always wanted: a sports-centric online streaming service. Traditionally, sports nuts like me had limited choices. It was either fingers crossed for free-to-air coverage, head to a sports bar or pay for a Foxtel box. Eventually, Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go freed us from the box, but you still had to pay for the Foxtel basic package before accessing sports (the thing you really wanted).

Thankfully, that changed with the arrival of Kayo Sports in 2018. Fast-forward a few years and I’ve spent hundreds of hours streaming live sports and replays via Kayo. Binge is now the replacement for those looking to cut the cord for Foxtel’s mainstream TV and movie content, while Kayo remains as the cord-free sports streaming equivalent.

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How much does Kayo cost?

Prices start at $25 for one stream.

Two years ago, the Kayo choices were $27.50 for Basic and $35 for Premium, with two and three simultaneous streams, respectively. Nowadays, there’s Kayo One for $25 a month (one stream) and Kayo Basic for $35 a month (two streams). It’s a simplified pricing structure, but the inclusion of Kayo One feels like it was created to justify making Kayo Basic more expensive.

In comparison, Stan Sport costs $27 for SD steams on one screen, $31 for three HD streams and $36 for four 4K streams. Admittedly, Kayo has dozens of sports options while Stan has seven. Competing services like Optus Sport ($24.99 per month or $199 per year) and Paramount Plus ($9.99 per month or $89.99 per year) only offer different codes of the same sport: soccer.

How does Kayo Sports compare?

We’ve got a deeper analysis of Australia’s various sports streaming services but below is a brief overview of your options. See how Kayo’s prices stack up against typical streaming subscriptions below.

Service
Sports
Trial
Streams
Max quality
Monthly cost
Kayo Sports437 days1 (One), 2 (Basic)1080p$25 (One), $35 (Basic)
Foxtel Now4310 days2720p$54 (Sports + Essentials)
Stan Sport77 days1 (Basic), 3 (Standard), 4 (Premium)4K$27 (Basic), $31 (Standard), $36 (Premium)
BeIN Sports Connect27 days11080p$14.99 (monthly), $179.99 (annually)
Optus Sport1 (soccer)None11080p$24.99 (monthly), $199 (annually)
Paramount+1 (soccer)7 days31080p$9.99 (monthly), $89.99 (annually)
Prime Video1 (swimming)30 days21080p$9.99 (monthly), $79 (annually)
Info Box

What is Kayo Sports?

Kayo Sports is the digital streaming-only arm of Foxtel Sports. Kayo launched in November 2018 as a way for Australians to stream the range of Foxtel Sports content without having to use a Foxtel set-top box.

What sports are on Kayo?

A sports bar-like selection of sports.

Kayo is effectively Foxtel’s sports content across all its brands in a standalone subscription service. This means you have both ESPN channels, as well as all Fox Sports channels, including Fox Footy.

All of these channels can be watched live, but Kayo takes it one step further over Foxtel by allowing you to rewatch old games that you might have missed, as well as sporting documentaries such as ESPN’s 30 for 30.

Here’s a selection of the 43+ sports you can watch on Kayo Sports that have multiple code options to choose from:

  • Cricket (men’s, women’s, BBL, internationals and others)
  • Netball (Quad Series, Super Netball, Constellation Cup and others)
  • US Football (NFL, NCAA College Football, USFL)
  • Basketball (NBA, NBL, Women’s Basketball World Cup and others)
  • Motorsport (Supercars, F1, MotoGP and others)
  • Rugby League (NRL, State of Origin, World Cup and others)
  • AFL (men’s and women’s leagues)
  • Football (Serie A, Bundesliga, EFL Championship and others)
  • Golf (US PGA Tour, PGA of Australia, LPGA Tour and others)
  • Field Hockey (men’s and women’s World Cup, Hockey One)
  • Ice Hockey (NHL, AIHL)
  • Rugby Union (men’s and women’s World Sevens)
  • Tennis (ATP Tour, WTA Tour)

There are also a range of sports without multiple codes to choose from:

  • Athletics
  • Major League Baseball
  • Bowling
  • Boxing
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Diving
  • Equestrian
  • Esports
  • Extreme
  • Fitness
  • Horse Racing
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Lawn Bowls
  • MMA
  • Poker
  • Rodeo
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Weightlifting
  • Winter Sport
  • Wrestling

Finally, other sports include things like pool, water polo, cornhole, chase tag and lawnmower racing. It’s unlikely anyone is going to be signing up to Kayo Sports to watch everything, but there’s always some live sports streaming. That said, options like NBA don’t include every game, and cricket tragics like me will be occasionally disappointed that big-ticket international matches aren’t always available for streaming on Kayo.

Similarly, there is some padding going on in that list. For instance, ‘men’s internationals’ is one of the categories for rugby union, but that’s a repository of old match replays before Stan nabbed the rights. There are also occasional errors, like how the sailing category had a bunch of darts content listed in it.

User interface from Kayo Sports

What devices is Kayo Sports available on?

All major bases covered

There’s a long list of supported Kayo Sports devices on the Kayo website, but it breaks down into the following categories:

  • Android smartphones and tablets (Android 6 and above)
  • iOS smartphones and tablets (iOS 13 and above)
  • Android TV (version 7.0 and above)
  • Computers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge browsers)
  • Apple TV (4th gen or higher)
  • Selected Android TVs
  • Samsung TVs (2017 and later models)
  • Selected Hisense TVs (2019–2021 models)
  • LG TVs (2018 and later models)
  • Telstra TV
  • Chromecast (Ultra models and later are best)
  • PlayStation 4 and 5

Kayo Sports computer and browser support

Kayo Sports also works for web streaming on computers via these browsers:

  • Chrome (MacOS 10.12+ or Windows 10+)
  • Safari (MacOS 10.12+)
  • Firefox (MacOS 10.12+ or Windows 10+)
  • Edge (Windows 10)

While PlayStation 4 and 5 owners can download the Kayo Sports app, it’s still listed as part of the development roadmap for Xbox users. Note that the Xbox version was flagged as part of the roadmap two years ago when I initially wrote this review.

What’s Kayo Sports like to use?

Easy to use once you understand its quirks.

For the most part, Kayo Sports is a dependable app, once you get used to how it organises content and understand that, at least for Android TV devices (specifically the Nvidia Shield TV Pro, which was used for the majority of the tests), it operates more like a web browser than an app when it comes to how it updates.

If, for instance, a stream ends for one sport–and, frustratingly, Kayo doesn’t automatically switch channels or offer intuitive ‘watch next options’–you need to manually refresh either the homepage by restarting the app or a sports category by shifting between them to see the new content. This is still the case on Android TV two years after complaining about this app shortcoming.

You’ll also quickly clue on to the reality that Kayo is a stream of whichever Foxtel channel is showing a specific sport at a particular time, which starts and stops once the Kayo controllers determine it should start and stop. It’s a quirk you become accustomed to for switching between sports streams. On one hand, this is technically a perk for those who have memories of being frustratingly forced to switch channels to continue watching a match that’s been shifted off a priority Foxtel channel. On the other, it feels jarring for a stream to suddenly end without being automatically switched to another one or prompted with what to watch next.

It doesn’t help that free-to-air commentary is more insightful and of a better quality than what’s sometimes on offer on Kayo. Free-to-air cricket also gets better between-innings commentary for the Big Bash League, whereas Kayo is stuck with a slew of back-to-back, oft-repeated ads instead of analysis.

The value detracts further when you see mic-wearing players clearly speaking to the free-to-air stream, while shoddy camera work is a regular occurrence that tarnishes the live experience and ruins replays. To add insult to injury, there were a couple of occasions where streams didn’t start on time or were incorrectly linked, which meant part of the pre-match analysis was missed. Two years later, there’s still a tendency for live streams to start bang on time; your other option is to stay at the mercy of the curated live channels.

Play Video

In fairness, I’ve streamed thousands of hours of Kayo Sports content in the past couple of years—across cricket, basketball, NRL, AFL and netball—and it’s more frustrating than anything else to work around the minor quirks. When you learn to speak Kayo’s language and get into the nitty-gritty of watching sports, Kayo Sports is great, whether you’re actively engaged with it or have it on in the background. SplitView is a particularly neat feature for single-screen users, which is logically limited to two side-by-side sports on mobile devices but you can follow up to four sports on the one screen on other devices.

Quirks aside, Kayo is a marked improvement compared to my struggles with Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go in the past. One thing worth noting is that Kayo is very good at sniffing out a virtual private network (VPN) connection. This means it’s trickier for Aussie international travellers and expats to access Kayo while abroad. I did have success with Windscribe VPN, PureVPN and ExpressVPN in my Kayo streaming tests.

How much data does Kayo use?

Anywhere from 300MB an hour up to 13GB per hour.

Kayo uses pretty much the same amount of data as any of your other streaming services such as Netflix and Stan. This means you’ll see about 1.5GB of data per hour if you’re watching at 720p, or around 3.25GB per hour if you’re watching at 1080p.

Remember if you’re multi-streaming you’ll need to multiply those numbers per the amount of streams you have going at once. The more you stream, the more data you’ll use. There’s a 1.5Mbps minimum bandwidth requirement for streaming but a 2.5Mbps minimum bandwidth requirement for seamless streaming. Kayo advises at least a 4Mbps for 720p and 7.5Mbps for 1080p. SplitView is available on Android, iOS, web browser, Android TV and Apple TV devices.

Here’s a handy table from the Kayo website to help track how much data you’ll use per stream, per hour, depending on the quality of the stream (with our additions and data-usage estimates for lower-bandwidth streaming).

SplitView videos
Video quality
Bandwidth
Data usage (per hour)
1360p1.5Mbps (min. streaming speed)300MB
2360p1.5Mbps (min. streaming speed)600MB
3360p2Mbps900MB
4360p2.67Mbps1.2GB
1480p1.5Mbps (min. streaming speed)500MB

If you’re looking to stream Kayo Sports on the go, we recommend a mobile plan with at least 40GB of data. You can check out some popular picks from our comparison engine below.

For home internet, we recommend at least an NBN 50 plan (or equivalent) for streaming Kayo, as it allows for seamless streams across multiple screens in the home, including SplitView. Choose from one of the popular NBN 50 plans below.

Alternatively, for the sports bar-like home that wants to stream Kayo on three screens with four videos in SplitView per screen, you’ll need at least 86.67Mbps of download speed for all those videos. We recommend using an NBN 100 plan (or equivalent) if that sounds like you. Check out popular NBN 100 plans from our comparison engine.

How to cancel Kayo Sports

Kayo has a 7-day trial, but you have to create an account and add a valid payment method to start it. There’s also a Kayo Freebies feature, which has a weekly updating selection of live and on-demand content.

It used to be that you had to visit a special link to cancel Kayo. Nowadays, it’s a lot more straightforward. Follow these steps to cancel your Kayo Sports subscription:

  1. Log in to Kayo Sports
    via web browser.
  2. Select your profile.
  3. Click on the three horizontal bars in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select ‘My account’.
  4. Click on the ‘Cancel Subscription’ option.
  5. Click ‘I agree’ and follow the cancellation prompts.

Is Kayo Sports worth it?

Great value for one screen but less so for more.

If your live sporting tastes extend beyond whatever’s available on free-to-air or being dependent on your nearest RSL or sports bar, the reality is you only have two options: Foxtel or Kayo. Foxtel is more expensive than Kayo for just sports, which makes Kayo the logical choice.

Still, given the quality-of-life detractors outlined above, some of the sports categories that feel more like padding and changes in pricing, paying for Kayo isn’t so much the best choice as it is the only one available for streaming sports.

Service
Details
Monthly price
More info
Binge LogoBinge Standard plan
4K streaming
2 streams
Deal: 7-day free trial
$18/mth
Apple TV+Apple TV+ plan
4K streaming
6 streams (Family Sharing)
Deal: 7-day free trial
$12.99/mth
Disney PlusDisney+ Standard plan
HD streaming
2 streams
Deal: $139.99 for 12mths
$13.99/mth
Disney PlusDisney+ Premium plan
4K streaming
4 streams
Deal: $179.99 for 12mths
$17.99/mth
NetflixNetflix Standard + Ads
HD streaming
2 streams
$7.99/mth
StanStan Basic plan
SD streaming
1 stream
$12/mth
Kayo SportsKayo One Plan
HD streaming
1 stream
Deal: 7-day free trial
$25/mth

How we review sports streaming services

Reviewing a sports streaming service starts with the price. Foxtel used to be the only way to watch sports, so costs are taken in relation to how much it costs to get sports via Foxtel Now. The more sports a service offers, the better the overall value, but we do factor in the quality of the sporting codes available.

The next step is to check out features like how many simultaneous streams are available and the quality of those streams. We much prefer 1080p streaming as a minimum, but bonus points if 4K streaming is available.

We then spend time streaming the sports, taking note of any features like multi-view videos or user-interface detractors that get in the way of sports.

Kayo Sports FAQs

Kayo Sports is significantly cheaper than Foxtel, with prices starting at $25 a month for one stream or up to $35 a month for three simultaneous streams. Compared to the $54 monthly fee required for Foxtel Now, there’s money to be saved with Kayo.

Kayo Sports has a couple of options for free viewing. The first is Kayo Freebies, which has a curated selection of live and on-demand content for no charge. The other option is a 7-day trial, but you need to provide payment details first.

The only difference between Kayo Sports subscriptions is the number of simultaneous streams. Kayo One has one stream, Kayo Basic has two simultaneous streams and Kayo Premium has three simultaneous streams.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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