It was a tough start to the 2020 NRL season in Australia, after Covid-19 saw the games postponed indefinitely in March. Move forward a few grim months for sports fans, and the National Rugby League is back, with matches resuming on May 28. Even better, it's easy to follow the 20 rounds of action from the regular season – and get excited about the series finals and finally the NRL Grand Final. Read on to learn how to watch the NRL live and stream every device online in 2020 – including for free – no matter where you are in the world.
NRL 2020 Checklist
The NRL season resumed on May 28 and excellent streaming coverage is available in Australia via Kayo Sports and its FREE trial period – as well as coverage of each match in the UK, Canada and the United States via the great value NRL Watch service.
As a quick introduction, the NRL is Australia's premier rugby league competition and includes 15 teams from across the continent – and one from New Zealand. For hardcore fans of Australia, knowing how to watch the NRL online is more important than now, as the stadiums will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future. But even if you can't attend in person, it's a relief to have a full stop from the rugby league.
This year's defending champions – or “prime ministers” – are the Sydney Roosters, and they will certainly put up a fierce defense of their crown. In 2019, they made history by becoming the first team to win two consecutive NRL titles since the creation of the Unified League, and this represented an 18th Premiership Rugby League trophy for the club in its together. Can they get a hat-trick this season?
One of the teams likely to get in their way is the local rivals, the Rabbitohs of South Sydney. This Roosters vs the Rabbitohs is the fiercest rivalry in all Australian rugby league football, dating back to the founding of the two clubs in 1908 as part of the now defunct New South Wales Rugby Leage, or NSWRL. Over the years, the Bunnies have won a total of 21 prime minister positions, which puts them ahead of the Roosters. But in LNR, it is the Tri-Colors which lead the way with four titles compared to the simple championship of Rabbitohs.
In 2019, the Rabbitohs had the upper hand over the Roosters in the regular season, but the Easts delivered their account in the qualifying final and beat their rivals by a dominant score of 30-6.
At the end of the regular season, the eight highest ranked teams advance to the NHL playoff style finals, reducing the top teams in the league to just two. They then take part in the grand finale of the NRL, which is one of the busiest sporting events in the world.
Read on to find out about the NRL and stream all Australian rugby league action games from anywhere.
How to watch NRL: live streaming in Australia for free
The free-to-air television coverage of the NRL is limited to three games per week in Australia and may vary from state to state depending on what is broadcast on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays evenings on channel 9. However, those that are streamed can be streamed live using the companion service of the 9Now network – and they tend to be the biggest devices of the week, so that's not a bad thing.
For those who want more comprehensive coverage (which we suspect are many people), we value the service over-the-top Kayo Sports as the best way to broadcast Down Under NRL live. It allows you to watch every NRL game throughout the regular season – and of course all the final series and the action of the grand finale. It is also inexpensive, offering the choice of a basic package of $ 25 per month or a premium offer of $ 35 per month. The only difference between the two is the number of screens you can stream simultaneously – two on Kayo basic and three on Kayo premium.
We probably don't need to point that out, but if you have friends who are also in LNR (and we bet you do), these two offers break down very affordably on a per person basis. Better yet, Kayo Sports is without a contract and offers a 14-day offer FREE TRY so you can check it for yourself, without any conditions. It is available on almost all modern devices, including Android and iOS mobiles, Mac, PC, Chromecast, some smart TVs and Android TV, PC and Mac and Telstra TVs, with console support listed as “ to to come soon ”.
The other option for watching NRL in Australia is via Foxtel, a premium TV offering that offers full coverage of rugby leagues on Fox Sports but is considerably more expensive than Kayo – and requires you to sign up for a 12 month plan .
Match times vary but are usually in the evening local time in Australia.
How to watch the LNR live from abroad
Watching the NRL in Australia is easy, but what about in other countries of the world where the excellent Kayo Sports the service is not available?
There's no need to miss a second of the action of the Australian rugby league, thanks to Watch NRL – a global subscription service which will give you access to each NRL match this season. Available whether you are in Boston, Birmingham or Bangkok, the official league streaming service can be obtained through weekly, monthly and annual offers – the latter of which represents the best value.
This is how the price of Watch NRL is evaluated in various places that love footy around the world – or rather, in various places where Australians who love footy are likely to want to watch the NRL 2020 season.
- Weekly: US $ 17 / £ 13 / € 17 – GET A PLAN
- Monthly: US $ 33 / £ 25 / € 33 – GET A PLAN
- Annual: US $ 165 / £ 130 / € 155 – GET A PLAN
Note that it's not available in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands – so let's look at other NRL live streaming options around the world.
How to watch the NRL in New Zealand: details of the live broadcast for the 2020 season
While the rugby union is the dominant code in New Zealand, the footy league is becoming increasingly popular – not least because New Zealand now has its own NRL team in the Warriors. You can follow them along with all the action in New Zealand on Sky Sports, which means customers can stream NRL across a wide range of devices via the Sky Go app.
You can also watch NRL on the go without Sky Sports with a Sky Sports Now Pass (formerly Fan Pass). This standalone streaming service gives you access to Sky Sports 1-4 channels and can be purchased for $ 59 per month – or $ 39 per month if you sign up for six months.
Kiwis who subscribe to one of Sky's services but end up overseas for the next big Warriors game may find that they can't access their usual coverage thanks to geoblocking – however, you can use a good virtual private network service such as our ExpressVPN, to get around this easily (and legally) by pointing your device to your home island.
NRL fans in the UK have the opportunity to Watch NRL service, which gives you streaming access to all footy – each match – for just £ 13 a month. It's a good choice for the real hardliners of the NRL, but for everyone, Sky Sports now broadcasts a whole series of NRL reports live on television (eight restart weekend games!) in the absence of its normal British sports calendar.
If you're not a Sky subscriber but want to log in, don't worry, because you can just buy a Sky Sports pass from Now TV with daily, weekly and monthly options all available off-contract – from just £ 5.99 per month for a mobile pass only.
This is a particularly good offer, as live sport seems to be coming back slowly, and more leagues should hopefully return to Sky Sports alongside the NRL soon.
How to watch the NRL: live broadcast of the Australian rugby league in the United States
Fox Sports has the rights to the NHL in the United States and hosts three featured games per week throughout the regular season, before moving on to full coverage of the final series and the grand finale. However, for those who don't want to cough for an expensive premium TV deal, Watch NRL is once again your reference service for the streaming of the NRL from abroad, at the price of $ 17 per month, very reasonable for each game.
Streaming the NRL: How to Watch in Canada
Canadian NRL fans are spoiled for choice as the excellent Watch NRL the option is joined by a national viewing option, Sportnet World. In addition to covering rugby from the Australian league, it also offers British rugby coverage from the Super League and Premiership, making it a great option for all fans of the sport in the White Far North.
Contact your local cable or satellite provider to find out more and add it to your package and you should have access to the SN Now companion streaming service at no additional cost – although those who are only interested in streaming may subscribe to SN Now on an autonomous contract, free basis. You will however need the SN Now + offer to get all of rugby.
How to watch the NRL live from outside your country
Australians who subscribe to a service like Kayo but find themselves abroad for the next big fight in the NRL will probably find that this is a restriction on geographic blocking. In this case, the simplest and most reliable solution is to use a VPN service to change your IP address to a different location.
This will generally allow you to connect to your local coverage, just like you would from your home, and that means you don't have to roam the vaguest corners of the internet for an illegal stream.
Our software experts have tested over 100 VPNs and it's ExpressVPN coming out on top. There are many reasons, but the main factors are its speed, safety, and ease of use – you can get started in no time.
We also like that you can try it out for free, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. You can use it with many devices at once, including smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPads, tablets, etc. And if you subscribe to ExpressVPN now, you will also benefit from 49% reduction on the usual price as well as 3 additional months FREE.
VPNs are ridiculously easy to set up and use, and aren't just for watching NRL abroad – they're a great first line of defense for your online business, and many people use them to bypass other websites geo-blocked or to access Netflix Content abroad.