Instead, customers to its broadband service will be asked to pay a monthly £3.50 for the suite of channels, which feature coverage of Premier League football, Premiership Rugby, and the forthcoming Ashes cricket series in Australia.
The price of the high-speed Infinity broadband will rise by £2.50 a month, though the cost of mid- and top-tier BT TV and line rental itself will remain unchanged.
“Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more,” said BT’s chief executive of consumer, John Petter. “Millions will have the chance to upgrade to faster broadband and almost a million will be able to upgrade to enjoy unlimited usage for no extra cost.”
BT has paid many million of pounds to prise away Sky’s dominance of premium sport. £320 million a season for the Premier League, £299 million for the Champions League and £80 million for The Ashes.
It was always likely that BT would introduce a wider charge for its sports, the question is how long the telco will be able to hold the price at these relatively low levels.
Last year, Ofcom stepped in after BT customers complained the £5 charge for the new BT Sport Europe was an extra cost that hadn’t been previously agreed.