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Telstra users can now watch NRL, AFL and Netball data-free

If you're going to sneak a peek at a game while you're at work or dinner, you might as well do it for free.

Mark Kolbe, Getty Images

The age of sitting around the family TV for Friday night football could soon be over if the telcos have their way.

Telstra is hoping to lure more eyeballs away from the big screen towards mobiles with the launch of three revamped sports streaming apps for NRL, AFL and Netball.

After its acquisition of Netball into its streaming portfolio this year, Telstra is letting its customers stream NRL, AFL and Netball on Android and iOS devices completely data free. Non-Telstra customers will need to pay to view content in the apps, with "Live Passes" for both the AFL and Netball apps costing AU$13 per month, or AU$15 for NRL.

It's another step towards a mobile-driven future in Australia, which has seen a massive rise in the popularity of subscription streaming services and a move by telcos to snap up digital streaming rights to big-ticket sports broadcasts, such as the English Premiere League (exclusive in Australia to Optus).

With competition increasing and users expecting more from their mobile streaming experience, Telstra has also upped the ante with new features in its apps.

Both the NRL and AFL apps have had some sprucing up, with decisions from the Rugby League Bunker integrated into the NRL app and the AFL app getting new personalisation features. And after the successful launch of the AFLW this month, AFL Women's games will also come live to the AFL app.

Women's sport is getting a major digital boost thanks to the partnership between Telstra and Netball Australia, with a new mobile app featuring every match live, as well as two live matches per round broadcast in HD on Telstra TV.

The NRL, AFL and Netball Live apps are available for download on iOS and Android from today.

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