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Sky and BT Reach Deal for Access to Wholesale Sport TV Content

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 (8:41 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 4,461)
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Fears that customers of BT TV’s Sport content might lose access to the Sky Sports channels have proven to be unfounded after a new agreement was reached with Sky, which will give BT access to two of the broadcasters new sports TV channels (‘Sky Sports Main Event‘ and ‘Sky Sports Extra‘).

Disputes over wholesale access to premium TV content are not a new phenomenon (do doo di do do) in this market, with BT and Sky being involved in plenty of recent spats. As a result BT TV customers are unable to access Sky’s entertainment channels (e.g. Sky One, Sky Atlantic) and they can only offer Standard Definition (SD) versions of Sky Movies, as well as two of the Sky Sports channels.

In response BT TV doesn’t wholesale their premium AMC or BT Sport TV channels to Sky, although thanks to an Ofcom ruling Sky TV customers can still access BT Sport by subscribing to it directly via BT (this costs from £22.99 per month, rising to £27.99 per month for HD quality + £20 one-off activation).

Earlier this week Sky threw another potential spanner into the works by changing how they deliver premium sports TV content and launching ten Sky Sports channels (from 18th July 2017), which each focus on different sports and can be subscribed to on an individual or bundled basis. Sky’s customers have long requested this kind of flexibility, although it adds complexity to the wholesale side.

The New Sky Sports Channel Line-up

401 – Sky Sports Main Event
Live Premier League football plus international qualifiers and the biggest games from EFL and La Liga, F1, Ryder Cup and Major golf, England Test cricket, international Rugby Union, World Darts Championship and more

402 – Sky Sports Premier League
126 live Premier League matches per season. Brand new shows including a new nightly debate show. Dedicated On Demand sections for every Premier League club, including match highlights, interviews and documentaries.

403 – Sky Sports Football
127 Sky Bet EFL matches per season, EFL Cup including semi-finals and final, SPFL Premiership & Scottish Cup, 300 La Liga matches a season, MLS, Eredivisie and more.

404 – Sky Sports Cricket
Exclusive live coverage of every home England Test, ODI and T20 match. The widest range of domestic cricket including County Championship, T20 Blast and more. The ICC Champions Trophy, Cricket World Cup, World Twenty20 and Women’s World Cup live.

405 – Sky Sports Golf
The only place to see every day of The Open Championship and US Open live. Home of the European Tour, PGA Tour, Ladies European and Ladies PGA Tour. This year’s Solheim Cup and The 2018 Ryder Cup.

406 – Sky Sports F1
Exclusive coverage of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3, Porsche Supercup and Goodwood Festival of Speed.

407 – Sky Sports Action
408 – Sky Sports Arena
The home of rugby union (England, European and domestic rugby union, the British & Irish Lions), rugby Super League, ATP tennis, PDC darts (including World Championship), world championship boxing, NFL, WWE, GAA, netball and more

409 – Sky Sports News
Regular news and feature programmes where studio guests provide an in depth look at upcoming sporting events, combined with the latest stories as they happen from around the world. Cameras and reporters stretch across the country, and the globe, taking viewers to the heart of sport.

121 – Sky Sports Mix
Regular live football including La Liga, MLS and international qualifiers as well as a select number of Premier League and EFL matches. As well as support programming that will appeal to kids and family audiences, viewers can also enjoy live golf from Europe and the US, international cricket and much more.

At present it’s possible to have all of the Sky Sports channels on Sky for the same £26 per month price as previously charged, but if for example you only wanted Sky Sports F1 then you could now take that individually for £18 per month (adding two channels would cost £22 and three for £26). We still see this as being too expensive but obviously there are plenty of people willing to pay it.

According to SEENIT, BT and Sky have now reached an agreement that will enable BT Sport to offer the new Sky Sports Main Event channel and its sister Sky Sports Extra (Extra will show Premier League matches when they clash with other live content being shown on Sky Sports Main Event). However it doesn’t sound as if BT Sport customers will get the same individual channel choice as Sky TV viewers.

Meanwhile Virgin Media has confirmed that they too also have no plans to offer the new Sky Sports channels on an individual basis, although they will continue to offer them all as part of a more expensive full bundle. It’s too early to know whether the lack of individual channel flexibility on BT and Virgin Media will impact their subscriber figures.

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10 Responses
  1. adslmax Real

    British peoples will get fed up and being robbed by two companies Sky and BT. Meaning have to subscription to sky and bt for football lives and the cost add up too costy.

  2. Alan

    Oh dear still no F1 or Cricket for BT users, with exception of odd match/race on sky sport extra. I wonder how much this deal cost BT? No doubt more line rental or broadband price increases on the way to pay for it.
    Quite funny they basically got 1 channel (Sky sports extra in its current form is barely a sports channel you only get some decent live event on that when it clashes with another event).

    Thanks also to MarkJ for also pointing out the Sky movies channels are SD only i personally was not aware of this. Good news also for Virgin and Talk Talk users/readers that they will be carrying all the new channels.

  3. Chris davies

    So iv just signed a new 18 month deal for sky sports and now you say I can get it cheaper again just to watch 1 or 2 sport channels and if I cancel my contract I have to pay up hahaha robbed yet again !!!!

  4. Michael McGrath

    Chris Davies This info has been available for some weeks now. I to have just signed a new contact (18 months) with Sky again, I’ve had Sky Q for 18 months now. And welcome this new Sports package available to customers.

    • Andrew moreton

      I phoned the other day to sign up and they had no idea about the new package. I asked for the manager he had no idea .I explain and he said not heard about it.i said you should as it was going live on the 18th.
      Someone somewhere is lying.
      Sign them up take their money they don’t care. I said I would wait till next week and phone again. It was an overseas phone centre and prob not seen all the adverts about it

  5. G. Lee

    Not quiet sure why anyone would have BT TV, I had it for two weeks…

    Within that time they lost Fox/Fox HD and some other main channels, I immediately told them where they can stick that.

    But that was just normal channels, theres not a lot of choice at all when you look at it, the Sky Sports & Cinema agreement is absolutely useless against competition, no option for channels like Premier Sports, I’ve just noticed that BT Sport customers are lucky to get Boxnation thrown in for free.

    I would say I’m glad to be with Virgin Media, but thats another story, however price wise I can’t complaint because along with Broadband & Fixed Telephone I also get their Full House TV package through that includes BT Sport Channels, I did subscribe to Premier Sports for 4 weeks but cancelled that when they started cuting live coverage mid game to move on to another program or game (not a live one either)

    One thing I’m dissapointed about from all Sporting providers is the lack of coverage from American/Canadian sports…. BT does cover some CFL games which is great but NHL is left to channels like Premier Sports and as mentioned they aren’t very reliable or good quality.

    Typical UK pay TV providers not doing much investment, still waiting for some form of 4K content for Virgin’s V6 box, only netflix at the moment…. and I suppiose their calculating this years price increases as we speak.

    Anyway, sorry about long rant, morel of story, BT needs to pull their finger out and stop swabbling with Sky,

    they might be able to make a much better deal to supply eachothers services…. wouldn’t be a bad idea BT moving their TV over to the satellite.

    • PaulM

      “One thing I’m dissapointed about from all Sporting providers is the lack of coverage from American/Canadian sports…. BT does cover some CFL games which is great but NHL is left to channels like Premier Sports and as mentioned they aren’t very reliable or good quality.”

      Do a google around for BTN network and PAC sports. It wont get you the NFL, but will get you some great college level American sport, and plenty of types all professionally done from baseball to football to volleyball and loads more.

      In the USA via the direct source (IE their site) they can be streamed free to certain US cable customers, they also occasionally stream on facebook, twitter or youtube live for anyone to watch. You can also easily find live streams for them which may or may not be legal (PAC has its own streaming server and direct links to the streams often pop up so i imagine thats legal just they do not like it shared outside the US). All of their channels are great quality, you can easily get a 1080P stream as good and better than 1080p youtube. Best of all its American sport for free.

      PPS get a new America buddy online and if they share their cable login credentials you can get more than the above for free ; ) Like Fox sports, MLB Network etc. Again legal with the cable bill payers permission.

  6. Colin

    Yet BT / Sky & others scratch their heads in respect of people streaming live sport events online. I can’t understand why !!!

  7. Alan Gould

    What is happening now?
    I have BT and added Sky Sports 1 and 2
    to this for £22 per month nearly two years
    ago.As a big boxing fan,this was great and
    now you can get BoxNation through BT as
    well for no extra charge.They also show Sky
    Sports Box Office events a week or so later
    which is good,even though you know the
    results by then.
    After years of trying to get access to
    more boxing,I hope they are not destroying
    it all?

    Yours Sincerely
    Alan Gould

  8. John Burgess

    It sounds like a bad deal for BT customers, paying more and losing EFL games. Will Sky show at least some live EFL games on its Main Event channel? If not ,this is a major loss for most football supporters

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