2020 NRL - 2020 NRL Season Launch - Captains
Entertainment |

Still simply the best: NRL is back for 2020

By Genelle Sharples March 10, 2020

30 years on, it’s back again – the iconic rugby league anthem that we all know and love will be centre stage for this year’s NRL Telstra Premiership, and the sport itself is set for another barnstorming season.

‘The Best’ became the anthem for NRL when it debuted and has inspired a new generation of fans and players, including some of Rugby League’s greatest talent. Since its launch in 1990, the clubs and the technology behind the game may have evolved, but the passion and excitement of Rugby League are as strong as it was 30 years ago.

Put simply, Rugby League in Australia is still simply the best.

2020 NRL - 2020 NRL 2020 Season Launch - Captains
Digital image by Gregg Porteous, NRL Photos

We’re proud to continue our long-running partnership with the NRL – this is our 19th year sponsoring the NRL Telstra Premiership, and each year we push to innovate and find new ways to bring one of Australia’s most loved sports to as many of its fans as possible.

It’s easier to stay up to date with each match, team and player through the NRL Official App on iOS and Android, with live scores, match previews and highlights, news, draw, the ladder and more. Eligible Telstra mobile customers also enjoy free access to the Live Pass (worth $99.99) with live game streaming, that’s data-free of every one of the 192 games in the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership regular season through Live Pass.

To keep up with the 2020 NRL season, we’re giving you more bang for your streaming buck with exclusive access to Kayo Basic for $15 a month (normally $25 a month) and Kayo Premium for $25 a month (normally $35 a month).

Kayo compliments our already existing streaming service Live Pass, giving eligible mobile customers access to matches from the upcoming NRL and AFL seasons, to Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, and Suncorp Super Netball on mobile.

I’ll be belting out my best rendition of Tina Turner’s stadium-filling hit when the first game kicks off this Thursday, March 12 and the Eels go up against the Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium. You can watch along from 8:05PM on Channel Nine free-to-air and on the Fox League channel on Foxtel.

Best of luck to all this year’s captains and their teams for a record-breaking season ahead!

Entertainment | Telstra News |

Sport for good as codes kick off bushfire relief rounds

By Genelle Sharples February 28, 2020

This fire season taught us that the spirit of community is stronger than ever in Australia. Nothing brings a community together like sport, which is why we’re buoyed by the upcoming rounds set to be played for bushfire charity relief in the NRL, AFL and Netball. Here’s how to get amongst the action and back local communities at the same time.

NRL

2019 NRL Round 20 - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers, Bankwest Stadium, 2019-08-03. Digital image by Nathan Hopkins © NRL Photos
Digital image by Nathan Hopkins © NRL Photos

Ahead of the official season kick-off in two weeks, the Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers are set to clash in the name of bushfire relief.

It’s the EISS Super Sapphire Trial Tribute round, also known as the “Best of the West”, set to be played at the Bega Recreation Ground on February 29. The trial game was moved from Penrith to Bega to support the local community in the wake of the fires. The NRL is also providing free tickets to Sapphire Coast residents who have registered at a bushfire recovery centre since October.

Getting out to the ground throughout the weekend festivities is a treat for anyone who can, with a wide-ranging weekend of sport and entertainment. The three-day festival of footy will feature a number of games, as well as a free performance from Aussie ARIA winner, Amy Shark.

We’ve rolled out networking and broadcast gear for the game, so fans can have great connectivity on the day. Fans not able to get out to the game can watch the match through the NRL Live Pass, data-free for Telstra Mobile customers.

AFL

AFL 2019 Round 16 - Fremantle v West Coast
Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Of course, if you prefer your footy to be AFL-flavoured, there’s a charity round for you also.

The AFL is set to host an unprecedented State of Origin round to raise funds for disaster relief, alongside a $2.5 million donation made by the league.

The match played between Victoria and the All Stars will take part in the charity State of Origin at Marvel Stadium on Friday February 28.

Tickets are currently on sale, and Telstra mobile customers can watch the match live, fast and data-free through the AFL Live Pass.

Netball

Netball fans can also get in on the action thanks to its own bushfire charity match. The match will showcase the best Aussie Netball has to offer on March 1 when the Australian team will take on the All-Stars.

Super Netball’s pre-season is also working hard to raise money for bushfire recovery also, with funds set to go to the Red Cross bushfire appeal and other recovery projects.

Netball fans can get all the action from Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena live and data-free to their mobile using our Netball Live Pass.

We continue to support the communities and first-responders who are affected by the unprecedented bushfire season.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the bushfires, assistance can be sought from our Bushfire Assistance hub.

2019 NRL Round PF - Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs, GIO Stadium, 2019-09-27. Digital image by Grant Trouville © NRL Photos
Entertainment |

Who is the most streamed team of the 2019 NRL season?

By Rebecca Haagsma October 3, 2019

2019 was another strong year for mobile sports streaming with the Telstra Live Pass and NRL Official App, but from the 16 teams out on the field each weekend, which drew the most attention? These are your most streamed teams.

We are committed to providing technology that brings fans closer to the sport they love, and this year we saw the Telstra Live Pass go beyond 3 million subscribers for the first time, with current numbers sitting at 3.2 million. That’s up 29 per cent on the same period last year and we couldn’t be happier.

We’ve partnered with the NRL for almost 20 years now, and we’re proud to use our network and technology to make the way people consume sport in Australia better than ever.

In total, 302 million minutes of NRL were streamed in 2019 to the end of the regular season, as part of the almost 800 million minutes total across all the sports we partner with that have been streamed live so far in 2019.

Each year we celebrate these milestones by awarding the club whose matches were streamed the most with our ‘most streamed team’ award, which is presented at the Dally M Awards night.

So which team won?

2018 NRL Round 10 – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Brisbane Broncos, Suncorp Stadium, 2018-05-12. Digital image by Scott Davis © NRL Photos

In 2017, the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles took home the gong. In 2018, it was Newcastle. This year, it’s the Canberra Raiders – well deserved given their stellar season so far and their first Grand Final appearance since 1994.

The Raiders topped the charts with fans streaming over 43.5 million minutes in the NRL Live Official App and Telstra Live Pass, just edging out last year’s most streamed team – the Newcastle Knights – who came in just shy of 43 million minutes streamed.

Coming in third place was the New Zealand Warriors with 42.95 million minutes streamed, followed closely by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles’ 41.7 million minutes. The tight competition between teams on Live Pass, as well as on the field, shows us that streaming sport is equally loved Australia-wide.

2019 NRL Round 02 – Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm, GIO Stadium, 2019-03-22. Digital image by Gregg Porteous © NRL Photos

The most streamed single match in 2019 was the nail-biting 11-10 game between Manly and Melbourne in round 19. Unsurprisingly, the highest number of active devices came from NSW during that game, with 46 per cent of the streams overall.

The growth in subscribers and minutes streamed shows there is strong demand from fans to be able to watch sport on the go, when they aren’t able to get to the game or watch it on TV.

We’ve found that the most popular matches are the ones that are decided in the final minutes, as fans keep a close eye on the score through the app’s match centre, and if its close will start to stream the crucial final minutes.

Congratulations to the Raiders and their fans this season!

Telstra Tracker top performers revealed

Another key partnership with the NRL is the Telstra Tracker, giving fans an array of insights that reveal the NRL’s distance kings and speedsters and top distance teams.

The ability to give fans an insight into the incredible work-rate of a modern NRL footballer really puts in perspective what it takes to compete at the highest level, and what amazing athletes they are.

2019 NRL Round 20 – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers, Bankwest Stadium, 2019-08-03. Digital image by Nathan Hopkins © NRL Photos

Melbourne Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr recorded the highest speed by any player since tracking began – 38.5 km/h vs. the Cowboys in Round 5, while Manly’s Tom Trbojevic covered the most distance in any single match this year – 9.8 km vs. the Storm in Round 19. Penrith playmaker Nathan Cleary covered the most distance on average throughout the year – 8.7km (league average is 5.8 km per match).

Normal walking speed is just 5km/h on average, and a decent running speed for a normal person is around 24km/h.

Telstra Tracker - State of Origin
Entertainment | Tech and Innovation |

By the numbers: Telstra Tracker gives advantage to NSW for State of Origin 1

By Campbell Simpson June 5, 2019

With kick-off in this year’s State of Origin series just hours away, the Telstra Tracker offers some tantalising clues as to who might walk off Suncorp Stadium victorious tonight. Introduced to State of Origin for the first time in 2017, the Telstra Tracker combines technology and sport to bring fans closer to the game with live player insights.

Coaching, team cohesion and home-ground advantage all play crucial roles in determining winners and losers, but add to that the Telstra Tracker data from this year’s NRL Telstra Premiership – including player-by-player speed, intensity and ground coverage – and things start to look interesting. If you’re a Queensland supporter, you might want to look away now…

Speed

When it comes to outright speedsters, Telstra Tracker data from this year shows that the New South Wales trio of Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco lead all others as the fastest on the pitch tonight.

Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr, who has scorched the turf at 38.5km/h this season pips Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell (36.6km/h) and third best of the 34 players on show is Mitchell’s teammate James Tedesco (35.7km/h).

Newcastle’s Kalyn Ponga is the fastest player in a maroon jersey, but of the top ten fastest players selected, Queensland only has four.

High Speed Efforts

Sheer speed is clearly valuable, but it counts for nothing unless you can do it over and over again on the pitch. Sprints are defined as the number of runs in a game where the player reaches a speed over 20 kilometres per hour. When it comes to packing in the sprints, NSW’s James Tedesco leads the count so far this season.

Tedesco’s 40 count is 10 clear of the next best player involved in the Holden State of Origin series opener – Josh Addo-Carr’s 30 per game. Moses Mbye (29) leads the way for Queensland, with Michael Morgan (26) next best.

Average Intensity

Analysing the distance each forward averages through the course of 80 minutes each week, as well as average intensity (measured as metres per minute during their time on field) shows a significant advantage in work rate from the men in sky blue, while the Maroons hold a slight advantage in the halves, hooker, and backs.

The best of any of the forwards picked by both states is NSW’s Tyson Frizell, who covers 90 metres per minute during his 55 minutes on the field. He is followed by team mate and captain Boyd Cordner, who averages 88 metres per minute during his average 72 minutes per match. Next best is Jake Trbojevic (86), Paul Vaughan (85) and Angus Crichton (84) before you get to Queensland’s best.

In terms of distance covered, the Blues pack again has a significant edge. Crichton (7.5km per game) and Cordner (7.1) are the only forwards on show to cover more than 7km per match. Their edge counterparts Gillett and Kaufusi (both 6.9) are next best. The next four on the list are all Blues, with Trbojevic (6.8), Murray (6.3), Frizell and Klemmer (both 6.1) all covering more ground week to week than any of the Maroons.

Queensland have an edge in intensity in the playmakers and backs. However, with halfbacks asked to do much more running than hookers, the fact the Maroons have selected a club halfback at hooker (Ben Hunt’s average intensity of 86 is much higher than Damien Cook’s 72) and centre (Michael Morgan 79) masks what would otherwise be a slight edge to the Blues. Nathan Cleary’s average intensity of 96 is the best of any player on show.

Which team will emerge victorious as the series kicks off tonight? Will the numbers on the page bear out the predictions? Or are they just numbers at the end of the day? Good luck to both teams!

Entertainment |

26 games, four sports, one massive week of streaming

By Campbell Simpson April 24, 2019

Our biggest ever year of sports streaming is off and running, and for the first time we have matches from the AFL, NRL, Netball and Hyundai A-League playing over one chock-a-block week of sporting goodness.

Until now, the AFL, NRL, Netball and Hyundai A-League seasons hadn’t overlapped, but with the commencement of the Suncorp Super Netball season this week, we finally have all four up and running (and jumping and kicking and passing!) thanks to Telstra Live Pass.

Beginning with Wednesday’s match between Richmond and Melbourne in the AFL, and ending with the final match of the A-League home-and-away season between Perth and Wellington on Sunday the 28th, Telstra will for the first time stream all four sports via the Live Pass and official apps. That’s a total of 26 matches, with total plays across our four official apps expected to top 5 million views.

Telstra TV customers who download the official Netball Live app have even more reason to celebrate, with two live and exclusive matches streamed each week from the Suncorp Super Netball series.

We all lead busy lives, so sometimes getting out to a game or gaining control of the family TV remote control can be pretty difficult, that’s why we’re committed to bringing you the very best of Australian sport live, fast, and data-free wherever you may be.

A wide brown land deserves a wide choice in sports, so if Australia’s premier men’s and women’s domestic football and netball on your mobile isn’t enough, then Kayo has you covered. Just tell Kayo your favourite teams and you’ll get a never-ending stream of live and on-demand action on any device in your house, and of course on Telstra TV. There’s over 50 sports including AFL, NRL, Cricket, Football, Rugby Union, Motorsports, Basketball, Tennis and much more live or on-demand.

Exclusive to Telstra, you can even get up close and personal with your favourite sports with 2 months of Kayo Basic for just $5.* If you’re an existing Telstra customer, you can add it to your Telstra bill.

Throughout this year, every match of the AFL Premiership, Hyundai A-League, Suncorp Super Netball Series and NRL Telstra Premiership (excluding Grand Final) plus a number of other selected tournaments and matches will be streamed on the sporting apps over our network for those with a Live Pass subscription, giving you access to an unprecedented number of premier men’s and women’s international and domestic sport.

Last year, we streamed 670 matches to fans hungry to keep on top of the action; this year, we plan on bringing fans around 850 matches. You’re welcome – just don’t forget to charge your phone!

Since 2012, we’ve used world-class technology to go beyond just sponsorship, streaming our first ever match over Australia’s largest mobile network to become a genuine technology partner of the AFL, NRL, Netball Australia, and Football Federation Australia – and we streamed over 700 million minutes of sport during the 2018 season.

Eligible Telstra customers can use the official mobile apps of the AFL, NRL, Netball Australia and FFA to stream their favourite matches live, fast and data-free, unlocking $329 in value from their service. Non-Telstra customers can still get in on the action, with a number of subscriptions beginning at $2.99 a week, and other options available for monthly or annual passes.

We know that the thrill of cheering on from the stands can’t be replicated, too; that’s why with Telstra Thanks, we give customers access to discounted tickets to all these sports, from as little as $8 for juniors and $20 for adults, with other offers available from time to time like 2 for 1 tickets.

If you’re looking for something to do with friends or family this week, we have 26 reasons why you should choose to watch Australia’s best athletes, with thanks to Australia’s best network. If that doesn’t fill up time over the Easter break, then we don’t know what will.

* Monthly subscription, $25/mth after offer period.