In an effort to pull in more subscribers BT’s consumer division has today announced that its new BTSport TV service, which is usually offered for free alongside their various home broadband and phone packages, will become available to EVERYONE with Freeview, BT TV, Sky TV (Sky Broadband) or Virgin Media TV for several weeks this month.
In short, viewers will be able to watch BTSport’s magazine and live sport programming on Freeview channel 57 (note: only ‘BTSport 1′) from the weeks commencing October 7th and 14th (Monday – Friday from 7pm each evening). Similarly customers on Sky TV and Virgin Media will get access between October 25th to 28th (Friday 6pm – Monday 6am).
In addition, BT will finish its Open October event by making BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN open during the weekend of the 26th – 27th October. The free coverage period means that many people will be able to watch matches like the FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifier between Spain and Belarus, the UEFA U21 Qualifier between England and Lithuania and Bundesliga action between 1899 Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen among other things.
Simon Green, Head of BTSport, said:
“We want to give even more viewers the chance to see the new programmes and live sporting action happening on BT Sport during October. Making the channels open to all allows us to show how we are offering something for everyone, from sports entertainment shows through to exclusive live sporting action.”
Normally BTSport is free alongside BT Broadband or when bundled alongside BT’s own Pay TV service (though the HD channels usually cost an extra £3 per month), although Sky TV customers have to pay £15 per month for the HD service or £12 for standard definition.
Meanwhile Virgin Media’s 3 million or so XL TV subscribers usually get access to the content as part of their existing package, though their other customers have to pay a similar price to Sky TV’s users.
In related news BT’s new deal with Curzon Home Cinema means that BT TV subscribers will be able to watch ”the very best in Independent and World cinema” via their TV’s on the same day as the cinema release. Now if only they could do that for the mainstream cinema releases.