Get ready for a new season of great goals, singlet vests and dangerous mid air collisions - Aussie Rules football is back!
With so much of the sporting calendar around the world wiped out by the Coronavirus crisis, there's more interest than usual in the AFL as it is somewhat controversially, set to go ahead largely as planned. The new season begins on Thursday when the defending champs Richmond Tigers set to clash with Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Richmond go into the 2020 season as favorites and boast a pretty much unchanged team from last year's championship winning squad. Meanwhile, four-time Premiership champs West Coast Eagles are also being widely backed for glory this season having added highly-rated midfielder Tim Kelly from Geelong to their squad.
Whether you're already a die-hard Aussie rules fan that is unable to see their team play thanks to the COVID-19 ban on supporters at matches, or you're desperate for any sort of live sports action during the lockdown, read on to find out how to watch the new Aussie rules season, no matter where you are in the world, with our AFL live stream guide.
AFL 2020: Where and when?
Although the 2020 AFL season is still going ahead as planned, there have been some significant changes to the format this time out due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The season is set to run as usual from March through to September, however the length of the season has been curtailed from 23 rounds to a maximum of 17, with clubs to face each other once. From there, the four-week finals structure remains as scheduled with the top eight teams competing in playoffs as they bid to reach the AFL Grand Final.
Matches are also being shortened, with quarters reduced from the usual 20 minutes each to 16 in order to mitigate the risk of players getting the virus, while games are set to be played in empty stadiums without supporters.
Watch the AFL season online from outside your country
We have details of all the US, UK, Australian and Canadian broadcasters of Aussie Rules football further down in this guide. If you're intent on watching the AFL, but find yourself away from home then you'll run into problems when trying to stream your domestic coverage online from abroad as its likely to be geo-blocked.
That's where a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be a lifesaver. They allow you to virtually change the ISP of your laptop, tablet or mobile to one that's back in your home country, letting you watch as if you were back there.
VPN's are incredibly easy to use and have the added benefit of giving you a further layer of security when surfing the web. There are lots of options, and we recommend ExpressVPN as our #1 pick due to its speed, security and ease of use. It can be used on a vast array of operating systems and devices (e.g. iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, Roku, games consoles, etc). Sign up for ExpressVPN now now and enjoy a 49% discount and 3 months FREE with an annual subscription. Or give it a try with its 30-day money back guarantee. Looking for other options? Here are some alternatives that are on sale right now.
No matter where in the world you may be, a VPN is one of the easiest ways to watch Aussie Rules football. Get in on this deal now!
How to watch Aussie Rules football online in the U.S.
Fox Sports has exclusive live TV rights to show the AFL in the U.S. and will be broadcasting select matches live across FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Sports 1. The network will also have full coverage of the final series and Grand Final. If you're a cord cutter that's not keen on shelling out for a costly premium TV contract, then Watch AFL is likely to be your best bet.
The global service is the league's official streaming offering and gives you access to every single AFL match this season. You can subscribe to the service on a weekly, monthly or annual basis - with the latter representing the best value. Check out the pricing below:
- Weekly: $17
- Monthly: $33
- Annual: $165
Watch AFL is your best (and only) option to watch the 2020 season from the U.S.
How to stream the 2020 AFL season in the UK
Subscription service BT Sports has the rights to show the AFL in the UK and will be broadcasting choice matches live throughout the season. If you're looking to stream matches, the BT Sport app or BTSport.com is where you need to go, enabling mobile, tablet and PC viewing. Much like the US, if you're a big AFL fan and are based in the UK, your best option is to sign up to the previously mentioned Watch AFL service, which gives you live streaming access to every single match of the season - for just £13 a month.
Live stream AFL 2020 in Australia
Broadcast rights for the Australian Football League in its host nation are split between pay TV and free-to-air. The Seven Network holds the free-to-air broadcast rights for all matches, including the finals, while Fox Sports is the pay TV broadcast partner.
Under the terms of the deal, Channel Seven can show up to five matches per week live, while Fox can show every single game either on the dedicated 24/7 Fox Footy channel (504) or on Fox Sports (channel 503).
You'll need to check the free-to-air TV listings each week as the broadcast of matches of non-Victorian teams will be broadcast live in that team's home state on free-to-air alongside Foxtel. This means that matches that are on offer on free-to-air will be different from state to state. You can live stream Seven Network's coverage online for viewers via the network's 7Plus streaming service, however if you're a big AFL fan and are looking to stream matches we recommend Foxtel's over-the-top service Kayo Sports.
It gives you access to every single AFL match across the regular season along with the final series and Grand Final action and starts from $25 per month for the basic package which will allow you to stream to two devices simultaneously. Kayo Sports is contact-free and offers a 14-day free trial so you can check it out with no strings attached. It's available on nearly all modern devices including Android and iOS mobiles, Macs, PC, Chromecast, select smart TVs and Android TVs, PCs and Macs.
Live stream Aussie rules football live in Canada
Canadian AFL fans also have a decent set of options for watching this year's AFL campaign. TSN will be showing coverage throughout each round of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, with broadcasts set to be shared out across TSN2, TSN5 and online via the TSN website and TSN App.
If you don't fancy shelling out for a premium TV contract for TSN, there's always the Watch AFL option which is also available in Canada.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the Android Central team.