Assuming that the great British public have forgiven the Premier League stars for Sunday’s premature exit from the World Cup, they will at least be able to watch them via Sky Sports on BT Vision from the start of next season.
The telco has signed a contract with Sky for the wholesale supply of Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2. Customers will be able to subscribe to the two-channel package from the beginning of July and the service will go live on August 1 in time for the start of the Premier League season on August 14. It means that customers should be able to view the complete range of live matches from the six live packages that are split between Sky Sports and ESPN.
Pricing will be announced shortly, but in May BT chief executive Ian Livingston indicated that he was targeting a £20 pricepoint. Following the tentative agreement with the Competition Appeal Tribunal over the implementation of Ofcom’s Wholesale Must Offer, Virgin Media is already pricing Sky Sports 1 or 2 at £13.50 per month, while the complete Sky Sports bouquet of four channels is now set at £20.50 per month.
Rather than use its IPTV network for the delivery of the two channels BT has secured DTT capacity. Its hybrid boxes already deliver ESPN to subscribers over the DTT network (bundled free to those on Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers) and for the time being Sky Sports News, though this will shortly be withdrawn by Sky from the Freeview platform. BT also runs a Saturday evening on demand service of the days Premier Legaue games, available from 22.00.