Entertainment |

We’re evolving the way we deliver live AFL and NRL games

By Rebecca Haagsma February 2, 2021

More screens, more sports, more value – we’re giving Telstra sports fans an unmissable offer.

For nine years, Telstra’s AFL Live Pass and NRL Live Pass have been there for every killer kick, big bounce, tremendous try and glorious goal from the Toyota AFL Premiership and NRL Telstra Premiership. When we forged a path for live streaming sport on your mobile device in 2012, nothing else like it existed at the time.

Now, your favourite movies, TV shows, music, and live sports can be accessed in just a few taps. How and where you enjoy entertainment and your expectations have changed greatly in this time. Aussies have told us they want to watch more diverse content on more screens, especially the telly at home.

While Live Pass has provided a great sporting experience over the years, we are replacing it with Kayo, which has quickly become the premium sports streaming service in Australia, and we’re excited to provide an exclusive offer for you to watch a wider range of sports on your choice of screen.

Today we’re launching an exclusive offer for customers who have previously used the NRL or AFL Live Passes. Eligible customers will now receive a special offer from Telstra of $20/month off Kayo’s Basic subscription (usually $25/month) for 12 months – meaning you can enjoy all the sports you want with Kayo for just $5/month for 12 months.

If you’re a Telstra mobile customer, but haven’t watched AFL or NRL games on our apps before, we’re also offering $10/month off Kayo for you to get into the footy craze.

With these exclusive offers, you’ll be able to catch the action from a line-up of more than 50 of the best international and domestic sports in 2021.

Kayo also takes sports streaming to another level offering multiple sports on multiple screens at once. With features like SplitView on selected devices, you can watch up to four events at once so you don’t miss a minute, even when scheduling conflicts happen for those big games.

The AFL Live App and NRL Official App will remain powered by Telstra, and will still be the home of all the other features you know and love, including match replays, live scores, highlights, stats, and other great features on the AFL, AFLW and NRL apps.

We continue to be committed to supporting AFL and NRL. In fact, we have recently renewed our partnership with the AFL through to 2024 which also includes making Marvel Stadium in Melbourne one of the most advanced in the world.

For those who have been with us for a while, thank you for helping us drive the revolution of watching live sport on your mobiles.

Like many things at Telstra, we’re honoured that Live Pass laid a foundation of innovation for even better ways to experience the things we love as a nation. And there’s few things Aussies love more than the footy.

Things you need to know about the “$20/month off Kayo for 12 months on us” offer from Telstra

  • Offer available to eligible AFL or NRL Telstra Live Pass customers. Must redeem by 31 May 2021. To be eligible, customers must have redeemed a Telstra AFL or NRL Live Pass service prior to 22 Dec 2020 and maintain that active Telstra service used to redeem it.
  • Must sign up through My Telstra. Kayo standard monthly fees (currently $25/mth for Kayo Basic) apply after offer period unless you change or cancel. One redemption per customer. If you cancel, you cannot restart the offer. Not available in conjunction with any other Kayo offers. Not compatible with third party billing platforms. Telstra billing not available for existing Kayo subscribers on another payment method. Eligible users will receive details of the offer via direct communication from Telstra with instructions on how to take up the offer through Telstra.
  • Customers who have previously purchased an annual subscription to AFL Live Pass or NRL Live Pass will receive a partial refund, depending the term length remaining on their subscription.
  • There is no change to Live Pass for the Netball Live Official App or My Football Live App as a result of this announcement

Things you need to know about the “$10/month off Kayo for 12 months on us” offer from Telstra for Telstra consumer customers

  • Offer available to Telstra consumer customers. Must redeem by 31 May 2021. Must sign up through My Telstra. Kayo standard monthly fees (currently $25/mth for Kayo Basic) apply after offer period unless you change or cancel. One redemption per customer account. If you cancel, you cannot restart the offer. Not available in conjunction with any other Kayo offers. Not compatible with third party billing platforms. Telstra billing not available for existing Kayo subscribers on another payment method.
AFL 2019 Round 16 - Hawthorn v Collingwood
Entertainment |

Our ambition to build one of the world’s most advanced sporting stadiums

By Luke Hopewell December 23, 2020

We haven’t spent much time in stadiums this year, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to cheer on your favourite team in the future. That’s why we’re working with our friends at the AFL to make Marvel Stadium one of the most advanced in the world. Here’s what the future of in-person sport might look like.

Our deal announced today means we’re deepening our partnership with the AFL through to 2024. This includes AFL’s digital assets like their websites, the official app, and sponsorship elements. One other exciting aspect of the deal are the changes we’re looking to make at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.

As part of the deal, we’ll be working with the AFL to upgrade its network and technology to make it one of the world’s most advanced stadiums. We’re talking 4G and 5G upgrades, artificial intelligence, mixed reality and edge computing applications at the ground.

As the sport and the way fans consume it rapidly changes and evolves, we want to make sure the in-person experience is just as advanced and modern.

We thought we’d celebrate today’s announcement by gazing into the crystal ball to imagine what the in-person sport experience could look like in the future.

Fast facts at your fingertips

If you love sports and stats, your phone could become the portal to all kinds of information in the stadium of the future. Opening an app could give you a world of new information about your favourite players.

In fact, we already have great tech on the field tracking the performance of the players in the form of our Telstra Tracker.

The Telstra Tracker combines technology and sport to bring fans closer to the game with live player insights. It tracks including player speed, intensity and ground coverage.

For example, did you know that if you combine the running efforts of all players across the regular AFL season in 2019, the players would have travelled a combined total of 111,628 kilometres? That’s over a third of the way to the Moon!

Getting access to this sort of data in real time could be a possibility for the future of footy and further enhancing the sporting experience for hardcore fans.

In-stadium streaming

Being at the stadium means you can get be closer to your favourite teams. But from your seat, you may miss some of the action on the field because of your distance or elevation. With faster networking in stadiums, you may not ever miss a single detail ever again.

If future sporting and entertainment stadiums have fast5G or WiFi networks capable of transmitting high-res video to thousands of many devices at once, this means you can view the game – and watch all the highlights – at different angles when you’re on the stadium seat, so you can catch all the action. Goodbye, FM radio for listening to commentary from your seat!

And with cameras becoming smaller and smaller, we may see players wearing them for a first-person view of the game, or even have one built into the ball, umpire, or goal post!

Future food

What would the footy be without iconic stadium feeds?

In the future, using an app or AR, we may be able to see all the food and drink vendors around the stadium, with distance indicators showing the closest choice, with the quickest lines, and the route to get there.

From there you may be able to place a pick-up order from your seat to help beat the queue. Alternatively, you may even be able to get food delivered directly to your seat (first with people and then maybe with robots). How easy and convenient could that be!

AI on the field

With a range of sensors, 4K cameras and other measurement equipment on the field, umpires may get more help than ever thanks to faster data processing and edge computing.

Edge computing sees data and computational activities normally processed at a distance in the cloud moved “closer” to where you need it. That way your data is processed quickly and arrives back faster. That means you can have thinner, lighter and more connected devices do more than ever.

Umpires of the future could take advantage of the amount of data available to create eyes in the back of their heads. Umpires could use their virtual duplicate – which is collating data from all over the ground – to have absolute certainty on a call, making the game faster and fairer for everyone.

Augmented reality

Augmented Reality – or AR for short – is an incredible way to mix virtual experiences into the real world. It’s a very cool, immersive and powerful technology, and while some innovative applications of it so far have been the wildly successful Pokémon Go game, using filters on Snapchat, or even place furniture around your home, through our partnership with the AFL we’ve enhanced what we hope is the first of many currently static features of the app using AR.

In the stadium of the future, you may be able to open the official sport or stadium app, hold it up in front of you and see the names and stats of players running around the field in real time.

This could be an exciting new frontier for the way we bring in-depth sporting content to Aussies. It builds on a long and proud history of blending sport and technology together to bring the game, and all the peripheral aspects of it, to fans in new and better ways.

Connectivity you can depend on

Of course, none of this is possible without upgrades to the networks that support the stadium of the future. Right now, we have both 4G and 5G in select stadiums around the nation, including at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The stats around our 5G upgrade at the ‘G tell us exactly how essential strong connectivity is when an event is on.

Crowds of up to 100,000 pack the MCG during big events, and in 2018 alone we saw a massive 3.8 terabytes of data sent over our mobile network from the MCG alone. That’s up 22% from 2017, demonstrating that people are more and more connected when they’re at the match.

To put it in perspective, all that data is equivalent to 1200 hours of HD video content or 27 billion SMS messages.

That’s why one of the most important upgrades we’ll be working on at Marvel Stadium is a 5G upgrade to support potential future applications to truly evolve the stadium experience. From booking a seat to parking to engaging with the game, attendees will be soon be able to experience a new stadium experience before, during, and after they attend the game.

Nic Naitanui of the Eagles looks to pass the ball during the round nine AFL match between West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on August 01, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images via AFL Photos)
Entertainment |

Guess What we learned from West Coast Eagle star Nic Naitanui

By Luke Hopewell September 7, 2020

Our new podcast Hey, Guess What? is all about connections, and the moments in your life when you share something deeply personal with your loved ones, forge new relationships and carve out new meaning. West Coast Eagles’ star player Nic Naitanui has a lot to be proud of in his life, and he sat down with host Marc Fennell to talk about his path to the big time.

Hey, Guess What? is a new podcast from Telstra that looks to teach us all a little something about who we’re connected to, how we grow and what it all means. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you find great podcasts.

On his family…

Nic actually has a twin brother named Mark, and when he made it to the big time, that was his first phone call.

When you hear him speak, you also realise he has a close relationship with his mother following the death of his father.

“There was times, you know, we didn’t have much growing up. So I’ve been convinced my mum had to buy new 200 dollar footy boots or pay the footy fees was hard. So I think, you know, when I was told that I was going to play my first game, it was almost a sigh of relief, but also a sense of, I guess, proving that all the hard things that we went through was all worth it.”

“Growing up in my teenage years as well as not having my father and we didn’t take a bit of responsibility and with myself and my twin brother in particular had to grow up really quick. And we learnt some life skills at a very young age so we could cook, we could clean and we could do it all, you know, while I was still in primary school.”

“And you build that independence and I guess self-sufficiency along the way as well.”

On how he got into football…

Before there was the AFL, Nic played basketball. His build and the height of his jump made him great for the game.

“I remember walking home from primary school and I always carried a basketball with me and I saw these kids. My next door neighbour went on to play for Carlton and then one went on to play for the Fremantle Dockers – and they were walking and kicking this funny shape. The Kangaroo leather thing at the front of the house.

“And I’m thinking, ‘why are they bouncing this weird ball like that?’ So, I go over there and ask. And they showed me how to do it and how to kick it. I still can’t kick it. But they taught me that the basic skills and yeah, from then on, you know, I went down and joined the local footy club and I just fell in love with the game.”

Nic Naitanui of the Eagles looks to pass the ball during the round nine AFL match between West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on August 01, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images via AFL Photos)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 01: Nic Naitanui of the Eagles looks to pass the ball during the round nine AFL match between West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on August 01, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

On dealing with racism…

“There’s always that person that doesn’t like you because of your skin tone. So, yeah, I’d like to be honest, like if I tweet something, there’s always one person that says something racial or, you know, back to your country, things like that.”

“I find it hard as well at times now to hold my tongue and not respond. There’s been so many times that I just want to message them back. But you can’t just give them a voice. You give them a platform which they don’t deserve. So yeah, fingers crossed [racism] does [go away]. You know – it is eradicated at some stage. But just to be real with you. Like, I don’t think it ever will.”

You can hear Nic talk about these issues and more – including his incredible journey through injury and who inspires him – in our new podcast, Hey, Guess What?, hosted by Marc Fennell. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or wherever you find great podcasts.

AFL goes augmented reality with Live Pass
Entertainment | Tech and Innovation |

Heads up! Augmented Reality debuts in official AFL app in world first for sport

By Rebecca Haagsma September 3, 2020

While most of us can’t get to a game right now, we’ve been busy dreaming up ways technology can take you closer to the action, and with Augmented Reality, we believe that AFL fans and Australia can lay claim to deploying the technology in this way for the first time ever, globally.

In case you didn’t know, Augmented Reality – or AR for short – is an incredible way to mix virtual experiences into the real world. It’s very cool, immersive and powerful technology, and while some innovative applications of it so far have been the wildly successful Pokémon Go game, viewing animals from Google, or to place furniture around your home, through our partnership with the AFL we’ve enhanced what we hope is the first of many currently static features of the app using AR.

We know from the way our fans interact with the app, that outside of streaming the game, or checking the scores and ladder, the announcement of each team’s line-up of players each week – who is in, and who is out – generates the most interest.

With that in mind, we updated the AFL Live Official app to give users a totally immersive way to view and interact with each club’s line-up for the coming round, and it’s features like these that we think will get better with 5G.

By following the prompts in the app, users simply need to find a surface and activate AR. It’s completely interactive, so users can pinch in and out to zoom in on the players, and tap on them to see their stats projected onto the virtual big screen.

AFL goes augmented reality with Live Pass

Cool, but what’s next?

This is an exciting new frontier for the way we bring sporting content to our users. It builds on a long and proud history of blending sport and technology together to bring the game, and all the peripheral aspects of it, to fans in new and better ways.

Developments using AR like this join a bunch of features fans love in the app, notably every match streamed via the app and Live Pass; speed and distance analysis for each player via the Telstra Tracker; and the brilliant (if we do say so!) AFL Stats Pro, where fans can watch individual player highlights from any match to see every involvement of their favourite player.

Sport in Australia was among the first in the world to return to play safely, and it’s that pioneering and resilient spirit that our team has taken inspiration from to develop this feature.

With AR, we see a future where Telstra Tracker allows us to watch players in real-time as they run around the field during a game to make it an entirely new experience all over again. We hope to give users the ability to isolate a player, produce real-time position replays and give you professional-grade tools from the comfort of your lounge room. Your fantasy league won’t know what hit them.

These experiences show the power of 5G as it becomes more available to our users. We’re familiar with the overwhelming speed and bandwidth benefits that comes from 5G availability, but we’re going one step further, fusing it with our innovative spirit to make experiences that have been teased for years a reality.

Stay tuned as we continue to mix sport and technology to bring better and better experiences to all footy fans.

Young professional working remotely flexibly at a restaurant with laptop, mobile phone and headphones
Devices | Entertainment | How To | Network |

How to set up the best multi-screen sport experience

By Luke Hopewell June 12, 2020

Young professional working remotely flexibly at a restaurant with laptop, mobile phone and headphones

After an impromptu off-season filled with everything from dice footy to marble racing (it’s real, I swear), the footy is officially, mercifully back! During quarantine, however, the kids may be hooked on Xbox or streaming movies, meaning that the living room TV is on the bench for this weekend’s action. Thankfully, if you’re a Telstra fixed broadband customer, you can tweak your home Wi-Fi network to watch every second of the action, in lots of places! Here’s how.

To make your sports viewing experience one that can be done from the back bedroom, upstairs living room or even the pool room, you’ll need both a strong Wi-Fi network and the right apps on your smartphone.

Strengthen your Wi-Fi

Telstra Smart Modem 2

Telstra fixed broadband customers have the home-field advantage when it comes to streaming thanks to the Smart Modem 2. It’s more than your average modem, with beamforming technology that ‘locks on’ to your devices for better reception.

To make the most of your Smart Modem 2’s technology, locate where you’ve situated your modem and ensure it’s placed in a central location between your favourite devices. Wi-Fi signal going through walls is like playing four quarters running into the wind, so ensure there aren’t big walls blocking you off from your modem.

To ensure you’re getting the best Wi-Fi signal in your chosen area before the first bounce, download the Telstra Home Dashboard app to ensure you’ve got the right coverage around the house. The Home Dashboard app helps you make a map of your Wi-Fi signal based on the floorplan of your house. That way you know where the best spots for streaming are.

If you’re in a larger house or you’ve spotted a red zone that could be getting better coverage, you may want to opt for our new Smart Wi-Fi Booster Gen 2. It is specifically designed to work together with the Smart Modem Gen 2 to improve in-home Wi-Fi. With a simple two-button setup, the single booster will pair directly to the modem and boost wireless coverage, helping to reduce or resolve black spots and extending wireless coverage from the modem’s base.

Incredible, whole-of-home coverage is more than possible thanks to our awesome suite of fixed home connectivity gear, and once your connection is running smoothly you can fire up our exclusive collection of sport streaming apps for the best viewing experience.

Get the right apps

Telstra customers get the best sporting codes on offer through a range of different streaming apps.

Firstly, there’s Kayo. Kayo takes sports streaming to another level offering multiple sports on multiple screens for up to three users at once. With features like SplitView, customers can watch up to four events at once so they don’t miss a minute, even when scheduling conflicts for those big games clash. Kayo allows fans to follow the action on the go on mobile, at home through streaming devices like the Telstra TV, or on a PC or tablet.

And if you want more, there’s always Telstra Live Pass. Telstra mobile customers get access to every live match of the 2020 AFL season, live and data-free via the AFL Live official app. Normally worth $99.99 a year and free for Telstra mobile customers, the service is available for both Apple and Android users (live streaming limited to 7” screen viewing size).

Plus, when other codes return to the field to round out the 2020 season, you’ll also have access to them via the respective apps.

New and returning Kayo customers on Telstra consumer post-paid plans can get Kayo Basic for $15 a month for 12 months; saving $10 a month on the service for 12 months (data charges may apply).

Our customers get access to an incredible world of sport and whole-of-home connectivity when they sign-up, and as various codes all take to the field once again, it’s a great time to be watching.

Game on!