BT has announced its upcoming BT Sports channel will be free to any customer on BT broadband, but cost extra for Sky customers.
This marks the first time that Barclays Premier League matches have been "free" to watch in over 20 years. The channels will be available to Sky customers, with prices starting at £12/month (unless you're on BT Broadband, in which case it will be free). No word about BT Sports on Virgin Media as yet.
BT Sports HD channels will incur a cost of £3 a month, however, though the charge will be waived if any customer signs up to its BT broadband service before August 1st.
With three sports channels due to launch in the summer (BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN), BT Sports coverage will show live Aviva Premiership Rugby, women’s tennis from the WTA, Australian ‘A’ league soccer and programming from Red Bull Media House.
With the sports acquired from ESPN earlier this year, BT Sports coverage will offer football matches from the Bundesliga, the UEFA Europa League, Scottish Premier League, The FA Cup with ESPN, Serie A, Ligue 1, MLS with Moto GP coming in 2014.
Commenting on the news, BT Chief Executive Ian Livingstone said, “UK Sports fans have had a rough deal for too long. Many have been priced out of the market but we will change this by giving away BT Sport for free with our broadband. Sports fans are the winners today.”
BT Sport will be available direct from BT via BT Vision on the BT Vision+ or BT YouView box, or via Sky’s digital satellite platform and an incoming BT app for PC, smartphone and tablet devices.
The BT Sports channels will be available on Sky, costing £15 a month for HD or £12 a month for standard definition broadcasts for non-BT Broadband subscribers.
BT has announced a new line-up to push its sports content, fronted by Jake Humphrey and Clare Balding, with pundits set to include Rio Ferdinand and Laurence Dallaglio.
There’s no word yet on whether it will appear on other platforms and services, namely Virgin Media.
Confirmed: BT Sport on Virgin.
by Joe Cox