How to watch the AFL Grand Final 2021 in Australia and abroad

Demons and Dogs head-to-head in Perth for the first time in AFL Grand Final history

Afl Trophy image Grand Final 2021
(Image credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

In a glorious end to what’s been a wild season of football both on and off field, the Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs will face-off in Perth on Saturday, September 25. A historic game, this will be the first time these two teams have ever played each other in the grand final, as well as being the first grand final to ever be played in Perth.

The Western Bulldogs will be hungry for another win following their 2016 underdog story when they claimed victory and smashed a 62-year-long losing streak. Hoping to re-establish themselves as a top-tier team, they’re sure to hit this opportunity hard. 

On the other side, the Demons have had their own rags-to-riches tale this season. Facing down their own extended drought, a win on Saturday will be their first in 57 years. This will also be the first time they hit the turf for a grand final since the year 2000 (cue Silverchair).

The two sides are facing the same level of unfamiliarity by playing in Perth, though the Demons are sure to be missing the home advantage the MCG would’ve given them. The squad they’ll be bringing to the Optus Stadium will only have one member who’s played in a grand final before, opposed to the Bulldogs who are bringing nine players from the pack that dominated the 2016 final. 

Last time we saw the Demons and Bulldogs square up in round 19, the Bulldogs walked away with a solid 85-65 win. This time around, with everything on the line the Demons will be chomping at the bit to turn that score around. 

You’ll be able to catch the AFL grand final live on free-to-air TV on Channel 7 and live streamed on 7plus, provided you’re in Australia. Don’t fear overseas AFL fans, there are ways for you to watch too. Catch a piece of history happen before your very eyes as we breakdown how to watch the AFL grand final 2021.

 How to watch in Australia

The Seven Network owns all broadcast rights to the final, making it easy for anyone with access to free-to-air TV to park themselves on the sofa and live the fantasy of being at the game. Without a TV hook-up, Channel 7’s on-demand service 7plus (opens in new tab) will also be streaming the game live to laptops and phones (Android and iOS) across the nation. You will need an account to access this, so make sure you’re signed up.

You won’t be able to catch it on Fox Footy or Kayo (opens in new tab) until after the match, so don’t get caught out having to watch a replay.  

How to watch from abroad

For footy fans overseas, never fear, you’ve not been forgotten about. For anyone outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands there is a dedicated streaming service exclusively for you. The Watch AFL service (opens in new tab) will allow you to catch every moment of the game in glorious HD no matter where you are.

For the grand final, Watch AFL has a new streaming option called the Grand Final Pass, which temporarily replaces the monthly plan. It gives customers the ability to watch the grand final live for US$29 / £22 / €25 / AU$40

Watch AFL Grand Final Pass | US$29 / £22 / €25 / AU$40 (opens in new tab)

A subscription, or just a Grand Final viewing pass, can be purchased from anywhere in the world. The full subscription includes every match in the premiership, and allows you to pause and rewind live matches, and download games for offline viewing. While you can watch the livestream on desktop via the website, the Watch AFL app is also available for iOS, Android and Apple TV. You can even cast onto a TV via AirPlay or Google Chromecast.

If you’re outside Australia and still want to tune into the matches, you’ll quickly find yourself geo-blocked. A possible way around that, assuming it complies with the Ts & Cs of the broadcaster in question, is to download and use a VPN

At T3 we’ve tried every VPN under the sun, and we found ExpressVPN to be our favourite (opens in new tab). It works across the full spectrum of devices and offers fast and secure encryption worldwide.

Access ExpressVPN with anything that can access the internet. Express is a do-it-all service that has real humans on standby for 24/7 support. 

How to use a VPN:

1. Download and install a VPN: as we say, our top choice is ExpressVPN

2. Connect to the appropriate server location: open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location

3. Go to the broadcaster's live stream: so if you’re an Aussie abroad, just head to Kayo and stream like you were back at home

Rian Howlett is one of T3's entertainment and culture reporters. An expert in tech, gaming and lifestyle coverage, Rian’s work has featured in Kotaku, Man of Many, and Happy Mag. He completed a Bachelor of Arts at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2015 and was instrumental in building and working with Avenoir, a grassroots youth magazine for Perth locals.