How To Watch The 2012 Grand Finals From Anywhere

How To Watch The 2012 Grand Finals From Anywhere
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It’s a weekend packed with football as both the AFL and NRL Grand Finals hit our screens — but what happens if you want to see them in HD or you’re overseas? We’ve rounded up the available options for footy viewers across the country (and the globe).

Picture by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

It’s safe to assume millions of people will watch Hawthorn play the Sydney Swans in the AFL Grand Final on Saturday, and similar numbers will tune in to see Canterbury Bankstown play the Melbourne Storm in the NRL Grand Final on Sunday. While most of us will tune into free-to-air TV, there are other choices.

Live TV broadcasts

In the eastern states, Seven begins its AFL grand final broadcast from 1100 on Saturday, while the match itself starts at 1430. That equates to 1400 in South Australia and 1230 in WA.

Nine kicks off its main NRL grand final broadcast from 1200 Sunday in the eastern states, while the match itself kicks off at 1700. That equates to 1630 in South Australia, and 1500 in Western Australia.

Delayed HD broadcasts

Once again, anti-siphoning rules apply to the grand finals, which means the networks are obliged to show them on their standard networks to ensure everyone can see them even if they don’t have digital. There’s no legal blockage stopping the networks from also showing them on their existing HD digital networks (Gem for Nine, 7Mate for Seven), but neither channel is doing so. 7Mate is replaying the NRL final at 1830 on Saturday.

International TV networks

The AFL had a list of its international broadcast partners on its site. There’s a similar list for the NRL as well. Virtually all of these are pay TV providers, so you’ll either need to subscribe or find a friendly local bar with the right subscription.

Online options

Major sporting events are one of the few guaranteed audience grabbers for TV these days, so I expect it will be some decades before we see regular sports broadcasts online for Australians. Both the AFL and NRL offer an official live streaming service via the LiveAFL.TV and LiveNRL.TVsites, but you’ll have to pay for it. An AFL Grand Final only pass costs $US9.99/GBP6.99. Note the service is designed for expats and is only available overseas. You could set up a VPN to try and work around this, but frankly it would be easier to locate a television.

There’s no official live stream of the match for Australian viewers. However, there are plenty of radio stations covering both matches, most of which have online streaming which isn’t geoblocked. (You can find a list of the AFL’s radio partners here and for the NRL here). There will undoubtedly be plenty of comments on Twitter if you want to track the progress of the game that way.

Lifehacker’s weekly Streaming column looks at how technology is keeping us entertained.

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