OVO ahead by a country mile when watching sports on mobile

OVO Mobile sports streaming

If you want to watch sport on your mobile device, there isn’t a lot of choice when it comes to choosing a particular telco. Several mobile providers offer either free or cheap live sports streaming if you have one of their pre-paid or post-paid plans, but you have to go with the flow when it comes to which operator provides what sport.

Here’s a quick summary of which telco you need to turn to for different sports coverage:

How the sports deals work?

Every provider works slightly differently but basically you need to have a mobile plan with the telco that you want to watch sports with. This is a bit of a pain, because if your normal telco is Vodafone and you want to watch AFL on your mobile device as it happens, you need to have a plan with Telstra as well. If you are a fan of several different sports, that could mean three or more different plans, which could not only get expensive but complicated. Let’s face it, you don’t particularly want to keep switching SIM cards over when you want to watch a particular sport, or for that matter buy several different phones.

The Telstra Sports Package

If you want to watch AFL, NRL, or live netball, you need a Telstra plan. You need to be a Telstra customer and have:

  • Either a pre-paid or post-paid pan
  • A Telstra mobile broadband plan
  • An active $30+ recharge
  • A compatible mobile device

Each of the codes is watched using a Telstra “Live Pass”. To get a Live Pass, you need to apply before 31st December 2017

You can use the Live Pass(es) only until 31st January 2018, so the earlier you redeem the sports offer te longer you will be able to use it. Telstra hasn’t indicated whether the coverage will be continued next year in light of some of the criticism emanating from AFL and NRL fans in particular, but you are certainly stuck with Telstra through 2017 at any rate!

Watching any of the three sports is data free. That means that whatever you watch doesn’t come out of the data plan you have with Telstra, which seems a bit of a bonus until you realise that that’s what the other sports providers are doing, too!

There has been a lot of recent criticism of the live streaming of AFL and many fans have been livid. The criticism mainly focuses on the size of the screen they can see when they are watching matches – it’s too small!

Optus Sports Coverage

Optus main drawcard is EPL, although they are negotiating for A- League coverage and some Socceroos matches as well. EPL is available either by watching live matches on the big screen using an Optus app, or on a mobile device. Optus’ EPL coverage has been criticized on two fronts. The first is that its arrangement with the EPL means you can’t watch EPL any other way, which has been annoying for loyal EPL fans. Secondly, the quality of the streaming hasn’t been consistent, with many instances where buffering has prevented comfortable viewing.

OVO Mobile

OVO is a relatively newcomer on the telecommunications scene. It is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). MVNOs are multiplying like wldfire in Australia and it can be hard to keep up with their pros and cons. They all use one of the main three telcos (Telstra, Optus or Vodafone) networks, so to some extent their coverage is determined y the strengths and weaknesses in the main provider.

OVO uses the Optus 4G network, or when 4G is unavailable, uses its 3G network.

OVO provides free live sports streaming data free. As long as you have a data plan with OVO and you can access the Optus 4G network (that means it might be hard away from towns and cities), you can watch gymnastics, drag racing and superbikes, which is the latest sport to be offered.


You can watch live sports with your mobile device but you do have to have a plan with the telco that offers the sport you are interested in. So far, both Telstra’s coverage of AFL, NRL and netball and Optus’ coverage of EPL has come in for some criticism. OVO seems to be going from strength to strength with the latest offering of World super bikes exciting petrol head fans.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.