BT Sport available for free to millions in the UK
The competition is hotting up in the broadband arena, and the launch of BT Sport which is promising that for the first time in 20 years weekly matches from the Barclays Premier League will be available to watch for free would appear to put BT Retail head to head with Sky and its traditional position as the king of sport on pay TV.
Of course the free element requires you to be a customer of BT Retail on one of its BT Total broadband or Infinity products, for those who are not the package of BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2 and ESPN channels will be £15/month in HD or £12 in standard definition.
There are multiple ways in which people can watch the channels, and a short summary follows, though we are some way off from the big kick-off in 84 days time.
- On BT TV with BT Infinity The channels streamed over the FTTC or FTTP connection to the YouView set-top box. If you sign up before 1st August 2013 you will get the HD charge of £3 waived for a year.
- On an app or online player Using any broadband connection, you just need to log into the app or website to view the content. This means BT customers with free access can watch sports when out and about or at a friends house.
- On the Sky Digital satellite platform BT customers qualifying for a free BT Sport service will be able to subscribe for free to the new channels, or any one with a Sky service can add the channels for the £15 or £12 fee.
- Via Digital Terrestrial (Freeview) With the addition of a conditional access card (£10) to a BT Vision set-top box BT Sport 1 & 2 will be available, with ESPN only available via the app and Internet streaming.
BT Sport will be available for ordering from May 10th for those who are ultra keen, to encourage people to switch BT is also running a promotion whereby one of its Infinity products is available from £15 per month, or an ADSL2+ product for £10 per month. The press release suggests these new offers are also available to existing BT broadband customers if they agree to a new 12 month contract, and the cost of the monthly telephone line rental needs to be added.
As we highlighted the BT TV service over Infinity relies on the wholesale Connect TV product which is only available to fibre based areas currently, the package checker on the BT website checks this as you go through the ordering process. Your location and how the BT TV service can be delivered to you will also govern whether its a YouView or BT Vision set-top box that is supplied with the TV package. The £10 ADSL2+ package seems to be a saving of £3 per month compared to the standard 10GB data allowance price of £13 per month, and the same level of saving for the baseline Infinity service.
Update 10th May We have double checked with BT after some people are getting worried that they will need to commit to a new 12 month contract. For existing BT customers there is no need to extend your contract, just being an existing customer means your BT details will work once the app and web streaming are launched in August. Where the 12 months is mentioned in relation to contracts it refers to enabling the free access on Sky satellite TV or the BT TV platform.