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How to watch every major NRL event live in Australia
Okay, sport, let’s dive into some football. No, not the kind of football where players take a dive as seen on Optus Sport. No, not the other kind of football where players messily dive on the ball as seen on Kayo. And, no, not even that other type of footy where stocky players drive the ball towards the try line as most recently seen on Stan Sport. This isn’t about A-League, AFL or rugby union; this page is all about where and how to watch every major NRL match in Australia.
Below is a round-up of the best sport streaming places to get your NRL kicks.
How to watch the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership season
There are 25 weeks of NRL in 2021, and the schedule is a bit all over the place in terms of kick-off times and which days have how many matches, but this is what you can rely on. You’ll find one match on Thursday, two on Friday, and two or three matches on Saturday and Sunday, for a total of eight matches per round.
For free-to-air fans, Nine has the rights to three of the matches for each round – the game on Thursday night, the later of the two games on Friday and one of the Sunday games – which means you can watch these matches on Nine or 9Gem (depending on your region). As the season gets closer to finals, the last five Saturday night games will also be watchable on Nine or 9Gem.
The remaining five games of the regular season are exclusive to Foxtel, which means you either need to use Foxtel, Foxtel Now or Kayo to watch them. Foxtel also shows the games that are shown on free-to-air, so you can catch all eight NRL weekly matches on Foxtel, Foxtel Now or Kayo.
All pricing and deal information is accurate at the date of publish (27 April 2021).
How to watch the 2021 NRL finals
While the preliminary finals matches can be watched on free-to-air and Fox services, it’s time to fist pump if you’re a fan of free-to-air games because Nine has the exclusive rights to the NRL grand final. That means you’ll only be able to watch the season finale of NRL on Nine or 9Gem.
How to watch State of Origin 2021
This is another win for free-to-air fans. Nine has the exclusive rights to State of Origin, which means State of Origin 2021 will only be viewable on Nine or 9Gem. The first match is being played in Melbourne on 9 June 2021, with match two in Brisbane on 27 June 2021, and the third match in Sydney on 14 July 2021.
NBN plans for streaming NRL
Whether you’re watching NRL on Foxtel Now, Kayo or via the 9Now app, you’ll want an NBN plan to keep up with your streaming needs. Thankfully, you only need around 7Mbps of download bandwidth to comfortably stream any of these services in HD. While this means you technically could opt for an NBN 25 or even NBN 12 plan, below is a daily updating list of popular NBN 50 plans, which gives you the versatility of multiple concurrent streams.
Mobile plans for streaming NRL
Fancy your footy on the run? Kayo is the most data-hungry of the NRL streaming services, using up to 3.25GB of data for each hour of streaming, which means you want a plan with plenty of data to keep up with your NRL streaming on the go. Below is a daily updating list of SIM Only and Prepaid plans that have at least 100GB of data.
NRL matches on demand
If you sign up for an account on the official NRL website, click on that ‘More’ button on the left navigation bar to access full match replays, minis and highlights for classic series of yesteryear. This includes State of Origin, grand finals and classic matches.
Watch NRL from overseas
Not in Australia? No worries, cobber. You can sign up to the imaginatively named Watch NRL service, which is championed by the NRL, to watch the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership season live. It costs AU$20 for a weekly subscription, AU$39 for a monthly subscription or AU$199 for 12 months.