Ask LH: Can I Watch International Soccer Without Paying For Foxtel?

Ask LH: Can I Watch International Soccer Without Paying For Foxtel?
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Hey Lifehacker, Now that the real football season has come to an end (“soccer” as most folk here call it), I am looking at my options for the upcoming season. I subscribed to Foxtel Play fit to get my EPL, Championship and A-League fix, but I’m not particularly keen on paying for a bunch of additional channels that I will never watch.

Image: Ronnie Macdonald

I know Telstra and Optus do some sports streaming services, but are there any other providers out there that will allow me to watch EPL and Championship matches here in Australia?

Switched Off

Dear Switched Off,

There are some options for the soccer fanatic in Australia, but not that many, and without the kinds of wide coverage that other international sports codes offer. While you’d still be giving money to Foxtel, there’s Foxtel’s EPL On Demand service, which is notably cheaper, but offers far less in terms of overall coverage, and in SD only to boot.

If you’re willing to invest in FetchTV, they offer the BeIN sports package that’s available on Optus, iiNet and Dodo for $14.95 per month. That’ll give you a more solid fix of actual live games to watch from the EPL a host of other soccer leagues, and is arguably your best non-Foxtel bet, albeit not quite EPL.

If you’re willing to go the VPN route, there are options such as Premier League Pass that should sate your soccer watching needs nicely, but as with any geoblock-dodging effort, it can be a game of cat and mouse to not get kicked off such a service.

From what I can see, however, you’re not in anywhere as much luck when it comes to A-League soccer. Any Lifehacker readers know anything about legal avenues for online streaming that don’t involve Foxtel?


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  • Unfortunately BeIN sports in Australia doesn’t show EPL but does show all the Championship games that Sky Sports in the UK show (about 1 – 2 a week). It also shows the Capital One Cup and Europa League. It isn’t HD on Fetch or Foxtel at this stage. Fingers cross this will change in the future.

    If you’re using a VPN, A-League is available on Not sure on pricing or quality.

    • I used my brothers subscription a couple of years ago to watch Melbourne Victory in the Asian Champions League. I was using the Hola Unblocker plugin (before we knew they were dodgy) and it worked ok. I’m not sure how it works with a DNS service though.

  • The BeIN package is only available on FetchTV through iinet if you’re already paying the $19.95 for the entertainment package. This makes it $34.90 on top of the Fetch TV fees just to watch a few games of football.

    As unlikely as it is, I would really love for Foxtel to have a sports only package. I would sign up between September and May so I can get my football fix.

    • As unlikely as it is, I would really love for Foxtel to have a sports only package. I would sign up between September and May so I can get my football fix.

      If they lose enough customers to netflix, maybe they will?

  • Following the VPN route LiveSport is the official overseas partner for A-League. I think it’s about $70 year for all LiveSport.

    Combine that with the Foxsports EPL and you can get a fix for about $160 year total.

    I also heard that the Optus deal with FFA may be finishing and that they may sign on with Telstra. Which would make you think they may do the same sort of app with unmetered data to Telstra mobile customers that they offer for NRL and AFL at the moment.

  • Yea I subscribe to EPL on Demand for my EPL fix. Did a trial with Foxtel Play for the weekend NBA as well. It’s crazy that they don’t allow subscription for sports only.

  • ‘real football’

    Sorry the name ‘Association Football’ or ‘soccer’ for short, shatters your ego.

    I don’t get pissy when people call Australian Rules Football ‘Aussie Rules’, Rugby League Football ‘Rugby League’ or ‘League’, and Rugby Union Football ‘Rugby Union’ or ‘Rugby’ or ‘Union’.

    I also don’t get offended when anyone uses footy to describe any of the above because I am not a social retard and can understand the context.

    • Not to mention the fucking English came up with the word and are the most likely to lynch you about the use of the word soccer.

      • I remember as a kid in England when we use to play football and someone called it soccer. Everybody looked at him as though he was a retard.

  • Unfortunately you’re pretty much in the hands of Foxtel here. The EPL doesn’t muck around when it comes to their broadcast rights and who can blame them with so much money on the line.

    Sky paid £4.2bn for five of the seven TV packages while rival BT paid £960m for the other two in the record TV rights auction. The deal will run for three years from 2016.

    Streaming services will always be cat and mouse. The EPL is active in trying to shut down streams and removing content from YouTube. But as we all know you shut down one stream and another 5 popup in its place. Tom and Jerry game continues!

    Fox Sports has become cheaper. It used to be $50 base plus sports I think was $15-$25!? (correct me if i’m wrong) it’s now $25 base plus $25 sports. Foxtel knows they have Australia by the balls with regard to sport. I’ve got a couple of mates that bit the bullet for Fox because of the F1 rights recently. I’m sure it will only get worse in the future as Fox bids more and more to take rights from free to air.


    Great website, has streams for all the major leagues and is free, so obviously you have to contend with adds but they are HD streams… When I say adds I mean the floating kind but once you go to full screen they don’t pop up anymore. I watch all my EPL games here and have no complaints.

  • I have foxtel basically for EPL, it’s crazy to pay so much to just watch football.
    Convinced myself I would cancel at the end of this season only to see my team get promoted to EPL so I’m in for another season!
    Go the Hornets (Watford FC)

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