Australian Rules Football Television Coverage in 2018
We have full schedules at our AFL TV schedules page.
We have weekly radio listings for the AFL at our AFL Radio page
This page will give you the basic facts you need to know about TV Coverage in the USA, Canada, and Mexico in 2018 and is expected to be largely unchanged from late 2017. Information will be updated as necessary throughout the 2018 season. It appears we will get one live game per week on FS2 (rarely on FS1) and three on FSP. This year there is extensive coverage of the AFLW, AFLX, and AFL preseason. Coverage in Canada is unchanged from last year, mostly on TSN2 and occasionally other TSN channels. (The 2018 season has concluded and there are limited repeats and some special off-season coverage like the draft still to air. Check this page in early January for 2019 updates.)
There is a WatchAFL website and there are WatchAFL apps in the Android and Apple app stores which permit "casting" to your TV. The service is now provided by Fox Sports Australia and requires a subscription fee. For the latest schedules see the TV schedules page. See this link to subscribe for the next year, particularly if you are considering using WatchAFL; use code SEASON25 to save 25% off an annual subscription including 2019. (Offer applies to new subscribers only.). New this year is coverage online on FoxSoccerMatchPass. Nationwide coverage of Aussie rules in 2018 for North American fans is as follows:
US: Fox Sports
Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 1
Fox Soccer Plus
Fox Soccer Plus (nationally in USA - for Canada see below). Primary coverage in 2018 is on Fox Soccer Plus (FSP) and this is the default (primary) channel for broadcasts of footy in the USA. FSP is the subscription counterpart to the former Fox Soccer channel and is a distinct channel. FSP carries 4 live and tape delayed matches on average, per week and with one to two repeats of each match. FSP is an additional charge on most cable systems. On some (e.g. DirecTV) it is $14.99 per month, on others including Spectrum (former Time Warner) cable systems it is part of a package of sports channels priced at $9.99 a month (may vary slightly by area). It is available to customers of some cable companies including DirecTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, most former Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse systems, some Charter / Spectrum systems, Cox, Cablevision, BlueRidge, Bendbroadband, SureWest, FullChannel, Frontier, RCN cable, and others. It is not available on most Comcast systems (see our note on Comcast on this page.). About 35% of US homes can receive FSP. As of August 2015, the channel is available on Playstation Vue as part of the Playstation Plus service (itself $9.99 per month) at an additional US$12.99 per month. FSP is also on fuboTV as part of the $34.99 sports channel package and in YouTube TV packages for $15 per month. FSP will carry some finals live (others will be live on FS1 / FS2 or tape delayed on FSP, see below). FSP (only) will have the 2018 Grand Final live. FSP will also carry the AFL highlight show each week. FSP has a contract running through the end of the 2019 AFL season. See our TV schedules page for the latest schedules. Most matches carried on FS2 and FSP are available on the FoxSportsGo smartphone apps live and for a short time afterward on-demand, also. You can also get tape delayed online feeds of the coverage on FoxSoccerMatchPass, a new service, see below. Should Fox convert FSP to another Fox channel or eliminate it, it is probable that the AFL will land on another Fox channel in the future. Based on Fox statements, we only know that Fox has not made any decision public.
In addition to FoxSportsGo, there is some coverage on FoxSoccerMatchPass, a successor to FoxSoccer2Go. The service is on Roku and AppleTV and also available on PCs and Macs via FoxSoccerMatchPass.com and on smartphones and tablets via apps in the Google Play and Apple Appstore. There is a one week free trial and the service costs $19.99 per month or $139.00 per year with no commercials or advertisements. Streaming via Airplay and Chromecast is supported. There is on-demand support for previous games including back to the 2017 AFL finals. As of 2/1/18, no schedule for live coverage has been announced.
Coverage on Roku and Amazon Fire is available via subscription to the PlayStation Vue app as well as the apps for other "OTT" services such as YouTube TV. FS1 and FS2 (see next items) are included in all packages and the low end package is $29.99 per month. FSP is extra at a cost similar to that listed above ($12.99/mo.). For more detailed info on this option read the article here. In 2018, Sling TV also offers FS1 and FS2 (but not FSP) in the Sling Blue package for $25 per month and fuboTV offers FS1/FS2/FSP as part of the sports package at $34.99 per month. YouTube TV includes FS1/FS2 in their base package at $35 per month with FSP an additional $15 per month.
As of Round 4, 2015, all coverage is available in HD (high-definition) on the HD versions of FSP and FS2 regardless of the Australian source network. This applies to all cable and satellite companies which offer the station in HD including DirecTV. However, DirecTV is still known to occasionally black out AFL coverage on it's HD service for reasons unknown but all listings are good for its SD service. Any blackouts are the fault of DirecTV as the coverage is available to them in HD.
Fox Sports 2
Fox Sports 2 (FS2) (nationally in USA by satellite and cable, debuted on 8/17/13 and was formerly Fuel TV). This year, FS2 is expected to carry one live match per week, often on Friday nights around 11:30 PM or midnight EDT but this varies. Fox Soccer 2 is a sports channel that is included in some extended cable packages and is part of an extra fee sports tier in others. FS2 reaches 49% of US homes during 2018. Coverage on Fox Soccer 2 consists of mostly live matches with few repeats. Repeats are unusual on FS2. FS2 is in many online services such as SlingTV, Playstation Vue, and YouTube TV. Matches on FS2 are also carried on the FoxSportsGo app.
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 1 (FS1) Rarely, one AFL game per week is moved to and live on Fox Sports 1. This replaces the game on FS2 when this occurs (see below). FS1 is widely available and reaches 70% of US homes in 2018. FS1 and FS2 are available on many services where FSP is not (for example on Sling TV, Playstation Vue, etc.)
TSN Canada (primarily TSN2, but occasionally TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, and TSN.ca) (nationally in Canada) carries two matches per week, primarily on TSN2; with one live and the other delayed most weeks. Highlight programs are available on TSN Go. TSN2 is available on most cable and satellite systems in Canada. The matches aired on TSN2, and occasionally on other TSN channels, may be different than those aired in the USA. TSN has a contract running through the 2019 season. Coverage of the Grand Final will be live on TSN2 as it has been for the past several seasons. Coverage from TSN is also available for live streaming and on-demand viewing to TSN subscribers only via tsn.ca/Live and the TSN Go mobile app.
RDS Canada (RDS2, RDS1) French language coverage in Canada was on “RDS2” and has been discontinued. We do not expect coverage in 2018. La couverture dans la langue française pour le Canada est sur “RDS2”. Nous ne prévoyons pas de couverture en 2018. (Update 3/31/16: AFANA has been advised by the programming manager at RDS that coverage of Australian football will not continue in 2018. Reasons include cost and schedule. He indicated that if enough fans show interest they might reconsider. We encourage fans to contact them.) (Mise à jour du 31/03/16: AFANA a été informé par le directeur de la programmation à RDS que la couverture du football australien ne coninuerai pas en 2018. Les raisons incluent le coût et le calendrier. Il a indiqué que si assez de fans montrent l'intérêt qu'ils pourraient reconsidérer. Nous encourageons les supporters à les contacter.)
Claro Sports México Spanish language coverage in Mexico was on Claro Sports and appears to have ended and we are not aware of any other Spanish language coverage in 2018. Cobertura de lengua española en México en «Claro Deportes» parece haber terminado y no somos conscientes de cualquier otra cobertura de lengua española en el año 2018.
Internet coverage: There is live and delayed (on-demand) coverage of all matches of every round via the WatchAFL service (officially referred to as WatchAFL Global Pass). In 2018, this service is provided by Fox Sports Australia. There are also Android and Apple apps in their respective app stores which are free (though not very useful without a subscription) and permit "casting" to a TV, or in the case of AppleTV, use the service directly. This is a subscription service for video and fans can sign up here. Subscriptions can be by week, month, finals only, or annual (US$149 for the entire season; monthly payments of US$28 or one week only at US$17 for the "regular" season; finals are $20 per week or $60 for the month; these are the same prices as in 2017). All matches of every round are available live as well as coverage of special events such as award ceremonies, the draft, etc. Reports indicate the service works on non-Windows PC's including Macs and Linux machines now as well as mobile devices including many smartphones, Android tablets, and the iPad™. An Android app is here and an Apple app here. There is also an AppleTV app. See our main article from 2017 on internet coverage for more info and useful user comments. (Disclosure: AFANA receives a small portion of subscription revenue made through links to WatchAFL from our site and these funds are used to promote Aussie rules in the USA and Canada. Please use our links to subscribe to WatchAFL so you can help us keep this web site alive. 25% off with code SEASON25) In addition, see the info in the USA section regarding FoxSportsGo. Canadian fans can also get the TSN coverage either via live streaming or on-demand viewing via tsn.ca/Live and the TSN2GO mobile app.
Some fans are connecting their computers to their televisions to watch the matches from the online services on a bigger screen or using features such as Google Chromecast or Apple Airplay. (Sorry, we cannot offer technical advice on how to do this but feel free to ask for assistance from other fans in our discussion forums by clicking on the "Forum" button on the top bar and follow the links. There is extensive help available by searching the Internet.) We suggest using Chromecast and Airplay as easier options than trying to connect devices using wires or cables. "OTT" internet coverage is available via FoxSoccerMatchPlus, SlingTV, fuboTV, YouTube TV, and Playstation Vue as part of their feeds of broadcast channels (see above). WatchAFL is on AppleTV.
There is some access available on TSN2Go for Canadian fans and FoxSportsGo for US fans.
The AFL has a YouTube channel with selected match highlights, interviews, and other short segment video (but not full matches or TV programs). [The full YouTube TV service has all of the FS1, FS2, and FSP matches.] During the JLT Community Series some games are available only via afl.com.au and the AFL smartphone apps and these will be listed on our schedules with "afl.com.au" as the network. These games may also be linked via some club websites and use AFL media video and Crocmedia audio.
Satellite: ABC Australia
Fans on the extreme west coast of North America and in Hawaii may be able to access the Australian Broadcasting Company's ABC Australia (herein referred to as ABCA, formerly Australia Plus and before that Australia Network; ABC Australia was launched on July 1, 2018, as yet another rebrand) ABCA TV provides live coverage of 5 or more AFL games per week. The games are available "free to air" (FTA) on the Intelsat-18 satellite however a large (4 ft +) pointable dish and clear western horizon is required. Reception west of the Rocky mountains may be possible but difficult due to the low angle of the satellites on the horizon and the weak signal. Access in Hawaii may be possible with 1.5 to 3 ft diameter dishes. For more information see the A+ TV web site. For more information on FTA satellite reception see the links below. As far as we know, the ABCA is not available on any US or Canadian cable or satellite system nor is distribution planned. Some ABCA content including AFL coverage is geoblocked in the USA or Canada.
Other Footy Competitions
AFLW: Women's League
AFLW (Women) matches that are televised via WatchAFL any of the networks are listed under that network on our schedule pages. In 2018, we will list every available match.
AFLX and JLT Community Series
We also list any matches for the AFLX and AFL JLT Community Series preseason competitions under the individual network.
AFL International Cup matches that available via afl.com.au (go to their YouTube feed to watch) will be listed in that section on our TV schedule page. Schedules for the next cup in 2020 are not yet available.
A few words answering some of the most common questions we get:
- There isn't any coverage on Fox Sports Net, any ESPN outlet, any regional sports network, or Setanta Sports in 2018. Coverage on MHz Network and it's affiliates ended on July 7, 2012 for undisclosed reasons. Anyone or any website that tells you coverage is on ESPN in 2018 is misinformed. Contrary to some reports in the press the service is not on ESPN and hasn't been since the 2011 season.
- The coverage schedules on FSP, FS2, FS1, and the TSN networks are the same everywhere in the USA and Canada respectively. There are no regional feeds of those channels. In other words, you get the same programs at the same times (adjusted for your time zone) regardless of what state, province, or city you live in. Asking us whether it is on in Los Angeles is the same as asking us whether it is on in Boulder City or Boston. If you get one of the networks, you'll get the coverage. If you want to see our listings given in your local time, register at this site, log in, then set your preferred time zone in your profile. All times will then automatically adjust.
- AFANA does not track which bars, pubs, hotels, or local cable companies carry these channels. It's a logistical impossibility across the breadth of the continent given our limited resources. There are over 20,000 cable franchise areas in the US alone. As a result, we can't tell you what establishment in your area will have which channel. Your best bet is to ask the establishment or carrier directly for the specific channel you are interested in. If you are visiting, understand that most US sports bars carry FS1 and FS2 and some soccer-friendly establishments carry FSP. Canadian bars usually carry TSN1 and TSN2. Often managers will be happy to put the games up on a TV for you if you ask politely and explain you are visiting or in a group. Buying food and drink helps, too. (Another hint: if the establishment hosted a Grand Final party the previous year, they are a good bet - search for the city on this site.)
- Our TV schedules are complete as far out as we know them. We do not withhold any confirmed programming information. If we have a source we cannot confirm, we will either not publish it or indicate on the listing it is questionable. We update our schedules very frequently, often several times per day. We pride ourselves on completeness and accuracy and our primary source is the programming department of the respective networks and we use multiple sources whenever possible. We do not get our schedules solely from either the AFL or from third party TV schedule services as do most on-screen guides and other websites.
- Fox Soccer Plus is the primary channel for the sport in the USA and the Grand Final will appear there. Contrary to expectations of some viewers, it is on FSP that all games will appear by default, not FS1 or FS2. As the match with the highest viewership each year, the Grand Final appears solely on FSP. This is most likely to drive subscribers to that channel. While we would like the GF to appear on FS2 since it has a wider reach, this is highly unlikely unless the ratings for games on FS2 dramatically improve or sponsors for the TV coverage are found. Past suggestions that the game appear on FS2 have resulted in a small but vocal minority of fans complaining that they do not receive FS2 in HD and that is unacceptable to them. As a result of all these factors, Fox has not moved the game.
- If you have to choose between subscribing to WatchAFL and Fox Soccer Plus then your primary consideration should be this: if you want to watch all the games of one club or you want to cherry pick the matches you watch, then get WatchAFL. If you want to see a variety of matches each week from different clubs then choose FSP.
- "I have Comcast [cable] and don't get FS2 or FSP". This comes up regularly. For various reasons, Comcast and Fox don't get along. It's unlikely that will change in the foreseeable future. If you are living in a Comcast area, your only choice in the near future is to seek alternative sources for the coverage, change providers, or wait (perhaps for years). Complaining here won't help you. With the advent of online sources ranging from WatchAFL to SlingTV, fubo TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, etc. there are options, albeit all added cost. The situation with Comcast is not likely to change soon so you have to decide where footy fits in your personal priorities. You can read the latest from Comcast on this issue here. We list your options earlier on this page. (Addendum: this article illustrates how bad it is currently between the companies.)
- We welcome reports by e-mail or our contact pages of any broadcasting errors or glitches you see on-air. Stuff happens and usually it is a slip-up or technical problem and not deliberate. The networks are not out to "get you".
The cost of subscribing to WatchAFL, Fox Soccer Plus, and other online options is higher than we'd like. However, we don't recommend using VPNs and other ways to get around geographic restrictions in order to stream AFL coverage directly from Australian sources. Yes, we know how to do that and could provide those instructions here. We have several reasons for this position: a) It's illegal by copyright law in the USA, Canada, and Australia and we would permanently damage our credibility with the AFL and networks if we endorsed it. We need their cooperation to lobby to improve TV coverage and promote the sport; b) the combined cost of a good VPN subscription and a subscription to the Australian based networks own streaming won't save you much money over the course of a year; c) our experience with free VPNs is that they are unreliable because streaming sources are constantly working to block them; and finally: d) when you subscribe to our links to WatchAFL we usually are able to provide you with a discount code to save money. Your subscription via our links in turn helps support what we do. That may be self-interest but we've actively fought on behalf of fans for better AFL coverage since 1995. Back then we barely got one hour of highlights per week. We hope that since that time we've earned your support and trust.
To get DirecTV checkout this link:
To get DISH Network check out this link:
To get Free to Air satellite check out these links:
Sadoun Sales (installer and hardware provider): http://www.sadoun.com/
A FTA system installed will cost about $200 or so.
To get Roku check out this link
Article last changed on Monday, October 22, 2018 - 11:46 PM EDT