BT or Sky Sports? It's a question facing fans everywhere. Here we take a close look to help you choose.
For years, Sky Sports was the premier destination for live televised sport. But the arrival of BT Sport channels and BT's huge investment in sports programming has muddied the waters, leaving fans with a big decision to make.
Here we outline exactly what BT and Sky offer to help you get the sports package with the domestic and international fixtures you really want to see. And we'll be comparing them on cost too, so you won't pay more than you have to.
Compare BT Sport deals here: BT Sport
Find the best Sky Sports deals here: Sky Sports
BT Sport and Sky Sports: what's the difference?
Price is the main differentiator between BT Sports and Sky Sports.
BT Sport's chief selling point is that it's free to all BT broadband customers.
The catch is that if you're BT broadband customer with standard broadband you can only watch it via the BT Sport app on your tablet or smartphone or on your laptop or desktop computer. To watch BT Sport on your TV, you'll need to sign up to BT's Infinity fibre broadband service.
Sky Sports' portfolio of sport is arguably more impressive than BT Sport's, but that's perhaps reflected in the fact that customers pay a premium price. We'll outline those At the time of writing, existing Sky TV customers are charged £27.50 per month to add Sky Sports channels to their bundle.
If you're a Virgin Media TV customer on its Big Kahuna package, adding Sky Sports to your bundle will set you back £19 per month for the full range of Sky Sports channels. But if you're on the Big Easy or Big Bang expect to pay £31.75 per month to add Sky Sports. Once again, this gets you the full range of Sky Sports channels.
BT TV customers who want to add a single Sky Sports channel pay £16.50 or £22 per month for Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 5. TalkTalk TV customers are charged £30 per month, which gets them all four standard definition BT Sport channels.
What's on BT Sport?
Currently, BT Sport customers who are signed up to the full range of BT channels (BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN) can watch 42 live Premier League games per season (typically shown on Saturday lunchtime, but also during the week). They also get live games from the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, National League, SPFL, Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, Ligue 1, Swiss Super League, the Primera Liga, Brasileirao and A-League.
Action from the Aviva Premiership rugby championship is part of its TV sports portfolio too, with at least 69 live games per season, and coverage of the European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Minority sports covered on BT Sport include MLS, NBA Basketball, Major League Baseball, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Redbull events such as the Flugtag, Moto GP and Nascar.
HD versions of BT channels are also available but cost £5 per month extra.
The free-to-download BT Sport app means you can watch BT Sport channels wherever you are on your mobile device. It's compatible with iPhones and iPads, as well as Android phones and Windows 10-powered smartphones or tablets.
What's on Sky Sports?
Sky Sports includes five multi-sport channels, as well as a dedicated Sky Sports News channel and the Sky Sports F1 channel. Sky also offers HD channels that you can add to your package for an additional monthly charge.
Football on Sky Sports is takes in 126 live Premier League games per season. Live Premier League games mostly air on Sundays and Monday evenings, but are occasionally shown at Saturday lunchtime too.
Sky Sports' line-up also includes coverage the Eredivise, MLS, Formula 1, international Rugby Union, European Rugby Champions Cup, Super League, Super Rugby, Top 14, as well as crown-jewels golf tournaments and live test cricket.
The Sky Go app for smartphones and tablets lets you watch all Sky Sports channels to which you've subscribed while you're on the move.
Signing up for BT Sport
The price and ease of watching BT channels depends largely on which broadband and TV provider you currently take services from.
I'm a BT customer and want BT Sport
If you're a BT broadband customer or broadband and TV subscriber, you get BT Sport automatically and free of charge. However, to watch BT Sport on your TV, you'll need to be subscribed to BT's Infinity service or be a BT broadband customer with a Sky TV box.
If you've got standard ADSL BT broadband you can still watch BT Sport, but only on a laptop, PC, tablet or smartphone.
I'm a Sky TV customer and want BT Sport
Sky TV customers can sign up for BT Sport. But how much they pay depends on if they take their broadband from Sky or BT.
If you want to get BT Sport channels and don't want BT broadband too, you’ll currently pay £21.99 per month.
Sky TV customers who take their broadband from BT pay £6 per month for the full complement of BT Sport channels in standard definition.
I'm a Virgin Media TV customer and want BT Sport
Virgin Media TV subscribers can add the full range of standard definition BT Sport channels to their package for £18 per month. These are the HD versions of the channels. The standard definition versions are not available on Virgin Media.
I'm a TalkTalk TV customer and want BT Sport
BT Sport is priced to £21.99 to TalkTalk TV customers. This includes all BT Sport channels in standard definition.
Signing up for Sky Sports
TalkTalk and BT TV customers can add Sky Sports to their package for an additional monthly charge. You can see how much it'll cost in the section above labelled 'BT Sport and Sky Sports: what's the difference?'.