BT broadband customers can today sign up for live Premier League football, with the long-awaited arrival of the broadcaster’s premium channels Sky Sports 1 and 2 as part of the telecoms giant's TV offering.
As of Thursday (July 2nd), BT is offering subscribers to its on-demand TV service BT Vision the chance to sign up for both channels for £16.99 per month. Alternatively, they can opt to pay £11.99 per month for one of the channels only.
Prices drop to £6.99 per month for one channel or £11.99 per month for both when consumers opt to take them as part of a triple play BT broadband bundle, encompassing a phone and a home broadband connection. This requires that they sign up for the services for 24 months.
According to BT, consumers who select a triple play deal and take both channels will save up to £209 per year compared to equivalent packages from rivals Virgin Media and Sky.
A rolling contract system is being applied by BT, which means that takers will also benefit from the flexibility of being able to stop subscribing to Sky Sports 1 and 2 at any time without incurring a financial penalty. This is dependent on them giving 30 days notice of their intentions.
BT claims that that the low prices for the channels will enable millions of people who were previously priced out of live coverage of the UK’s most popular sport to enjoy the biggest games of season.
A study conducted by the broadband provider found that some four million people would be keen to sign up to Sky Sports programming but had hitherto felt it was too costly.
The arrival of low-cost Sky Sports has been facilitated by a recent Ofcom competition ruling. After conducting a review, the telecommunications watchdog ordered Sky to cut the wholesale price it charges for its channels to BT and Virgin Media.
Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail, said: “Football fans will be cheering our new prices, which mark an end to paying for basic channels when you only want the sport.
“A more competitive market will ensure that customers continue to get the best sport for the sharpest prices and this opening of the market will be in the best interests of customers.”
As well as the most attractive clashes in the Premier League’s fixture list, Sky Sports programming also includes Test Match cricket, Champions League football and rugby union.