The AFL 2020 season has returned after a few months of coronavirus-related setbacks. The format may be different to previous seasons but it’s still be easier than ever to watch.
When does the AFL 2020 season return?
The AFL 2020 season returned to screens on Thursday 11 June when bitter rivals Richmond and Collingwood clashed in a nail-biting tie.
You can view fixtures for the next few rounds on the AFL’s website.
How will it be different?
Apart from the teams playing to empty stadiums, the ongoing threat of coronavirus means the AFL 2020 season will now be releasing its fixtures in blocks. That means only four-to-six week runs of the schedule will be known in case the season has to be suspended again in line with government advice.
There were still 144 games to be played from before the 11 June kickoff and that’s not taking into account the finals. With the delay in restarting, a September grand final is no longer expected. Instead, if all goes well, you can expect the closing game of the season to take place mid-to-late October.
Some teams have had to relocate in order to begin full-contact training with certain states giving them permission over others. For example, West Coast Eagles, Fremantle, Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide had to relocate to the Gold Coast temporarily due to ongoing restrictions in their home states.
Despite some of the differences this year, the gameplay remains the same and for many, that’s all they needed.
How to watch the AFL 2020 season when it returns
Now to the fun part of actually watching the game. You’ll have a few options if you’re within Australia, including free and paid options.
The easiest way to watch it is probably through Kayo, a sports streaming service. Even though you’ll have to pay for it, Kayo offers ad-free viewing in a familiar platform as well as access to a range of other sports as they start back up. The platform has a free 14-day trial in place but after that, you’ll have to fork out $25 a month for the basic package with two simultaneous streams, or $35 if want a third screen.
If you’re hooked up to a Foxtel Sports package, you’ll also be able to flick to the channel to watch all the games live.
For those who’d rather not fork out for subscriptions, some of the games are available on free-to-air TV too. The Thursday and Friday night matches can be viewed on Channel 7 as well as a 7.40pm AEST Saturday match and a 3.35pm AEST Sunday one. If streaming off your laptop or phone is preferable, those games will also be available on 7Plus.
You could also head to the pub now that they’re open again if you wanted to enjoy the atmosphere with a couple of strangers.
If you’re an onlooker from overseas, you’ll have the chance to tune in too. Watch AFL lets you view all the games for $20 a month or $199 a year.
Happy return of the footy.
After weeks out of the game due to coronavirus restrictions, AFL and NRL executives have both announced they're on their way back to restart the seasons. Here's what you need to know.Read more
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