BT has confirmed that its sports proposition will be offered free of charge to all BT Broadband customers, through YouView, DTT and Sky.
However, customers of Virgin Media and rival telco TalkTalk may not be able to receive it via their television services. In addition a £12 per month SD option will be available to non BT Broadband customers. A £3 HD supplement will be payable by all customers.
Speaking about the absence of Virgin and TalkTalk as distribution partners, Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Retail said: “It has been difficult for them to do a value proposition until we’ve been able to announce it, but the discussion is ongoing.” He added there were no philosophical issues in allowing TalkTalk, its partner in YouView, access to the content.
A Virgin Media spokesperson confirmed discussions were ongoing: “We’re always looking to bring the best possible value and breadth of high quality content to our customers and we’re talking to BT about how we could make the forthcoming BT Sport package available.”
Apps will be available for Apple and Android platforms and there will also be an online service, bundled in with the linear options. Whatever platform is chosen, the only means of signing up will be direct from BT. The current DTT feed of Sky Sports 1 and 2, also used by Top Up TV, will be dropped in favour of BT Sports. Existing BT customers will be offered alternatives, most likely a multicast version delivered over fibre.
The package will consist of three channels BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN. Precise programming details across the three channels will be confirmed in July, but the line-up will include 38 matches from the Premier League per season including 18 first pick games. Premiership Rugby, the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, Scottish Premier League and WTA Women’s Tennis will also feature.
New announcements made today include coverage of Moto GP, Women’s Super League football, Australian ‘A’ league soccer and action sport and lifestyle programming from Red Bull Media House.
The channel will launch at the beginning of August, ahead of the new Premier League season.