BT Sport on Sky; Virgin Media; TalkTalk or Plusnet
THE BT Sports and ESPN channels are available from most pay TV providers including Sky; Virgin Media; TalkTalk; Plusnet and of course BT themselves.
Since its launch, the number of events and fixtures exclusive to BT Sports has steadily grown, including the addition of 42 Barclays Premier League games, Aviva Premiership rugby, UEFA Champions and Europa League football.
In this guide we'll look at how to get BT Sport on Sky or Virgin Media, as well as with TalkTalk, Plusnet and of course BT.
BT Sport on Sky
Customers who want to watch BT Sport on Sky TV have a couple of options depending on where they get their broadband.
Sky TV and BT/Plusnet Broadband
Customers who have Sky TV boxes, but who take broadband from BT or Plusnet can add the BT Sports pack to their viewing card.
|BT Sports||BT Sports in HD||Activation|
|Sky TV + BT Broadband||£10||£15||£0|
|Sky TV + Plusnet Broadband||£9.99||£12.49||£0|
|Sky TV + other Broadband||£25.99||£30.99||£20|
BT broadband customers pay £10 a month, or to watch BT Sports in HD costs £15 a month.
Customers will have to sign a 12 month contract for the sports pack, but BT are currently offering the first four months free.
Plusnet broadband customers pay less than BT broadband customers, but they won't receive access to any online content or the BT Sports app.
Sky TV and non-BT Broadband
For Sky TV customers who don't have BT Broadband, the BT Sports pack costs a lot more. To get the channels in SD on one box costs £25.99 a month; in HD they cost £30.99.
To watch on a second box costs an extra £6 a month - and whichever combination Sky viewers go for, there are activation fees to pay as well.
Viewers going for the HD option can choose whether to sign up for a month at a time - with an activation fee of £35 - or take a 12 month contract and get a reduced activation fee of £20. Those who only want SD must commit for a year and will be charged an activation fee of £20.
To get it, customers should contact BT via the BT Sport section of their website, with the 9-digit number on their Sky viewing card.
BT Sports Channels on Sky
The following BT Sports channels can be found on Sky:
- BT Sport 1: 413
- BT Sport 2: 417
- ESPN: 426
- BT Sport Europe: 414
HD subscribers will see these channels in HD; otherwise they will broadcast in SD.
In addition it's worth considering some of the offers Sky TV run for new and existing customers, which could help cover the cost of adding BT Sport to Sky:
Sky TV Offers
BT Sport on Virgin Media
Virgin Media TV customers have been able to access the BT Sports pack since the provider signed a wholesale deal with BT in August 2013.
At present, Virgin include the BT Sports pack in HD for free for Full House TV customers, but it can be added to any other bundle for £18 per month - although this is in SD only.
Here are the prices of Virgin Media's two standalone TV packages with BT Sport:
These packages include Virgin's standard 500GB Tivo box.
There's no need to take a phone line, but bundling services together often works out cheaper. Find out more in our review of Virgin Media TV.
Depending on what channels and services customers are after, it may work out better value to upgrade to Full House TV - with almost 100 extra channels, more on demand content and the HD versions of BT Sport included - than paying the £18 add-on.
And while the prices of Virgin's refreshed TV deals have risen, the BT Sport add-on has stayed the same price for now.
BT Sports Channels on Virgin Media
The following BT Sports channels can be found on Virgin Media:
- BT Sport 1: 531 SD / 527 HD
- BT Sport 2: 532 SD / 528 HD
- ESPN: 534 SD / 530 HD
- BT Sport Europe: 533 SD / 529 HD
Anyone considering getting Virgin Media to watch BT Sports might want to see the offers they run for new customers:
BT Sport on TalkTalk
BT Sport has been available through TalkTalk TV since June 2016.
With TalkTalk, the BT Sports pack costs £22.99 per month for the channels in SD. It's not possible to watch the channels in HD.
Customers will also have to pay an activation fee of £20 with a 12-month contract, or £35 for a rolling monthly contract.
|Package||BT Sports||Monthly price||Total price|
|TV with Fast Broadband & Phone||£22.99||£19.95
for 12 mths,
|TV Plus with Fast Broadband & Phone||£22.99||£25.95
for 12 mths,
TalkTalk say that customers will need broadband speeds of at least 6Mb to receive the channels.
Customers can sign up via TalkTalk's TV Guide, which will redirect them to the BT website.
BT Sports Channels on TalkTalk
The following BT Sports channels can be found on TalkTalk:
- BT Sport 1: 408
- BT Sport 2: 410
- ESPN: 411
- BT Sport Europe: 409
TalkTalk are well known for their introductory offers, which could help ease the cost of getting BT Sport with them:
BT Sport on Plusnet
As Plusnet has close ties to BT, Plusnet customers benefit from a number of ways of getting BT Sport.
BT Sport 1 is now included as standard with Plusnet's Youview TV service, giving customers access to those 42 live Barclays Premier League matches.
For £5 a month, viewers can add the rest of the bundle - and customers taking Plusnet's HD pack, which costs £3 a month, will find that gives them access to whichever of the BT Sport channels they can already receive in HD as well.
|Package||BT Sport 1||BT Sports||BT Sports in HD|
|Plusnet Youview TV||Included free||£5.00||+£3.00|
BT Sport on BT
BT Sport is available to all BT TV customers whether they take Infinity fibre or standard broadband - although with the latter the sports pack is only available in SD.
The monthly total price only includes the HD channels if it's included free, otherwise we've only added the price of the BT Sports pack in SD.
For BT TV customers, the BT Sports pack costs £3.50 per month, and an additional £5 per month for the channels in HD.
BT's entry level TV package 'Starter' includes BT Sport for free in SD, and the top-tier package 'Max' includes BT Sport in HD for free.
Existing BT TV customers can also add BT Sport for £3.50 per month.
Find out more on the BT website here.
BT Sports Channels on BT TV
The following BT Sports channels can be found on BT TV:
- BT Sport 1: 408 SD / 430 HD
- BT Sport 2: 410 SD / 432 HD
- ESPN: 411 SD / 433 HD
- BT Sport Europe: 409 SD / 431 HD
- BT Sport Ultra HD: 434
Here are some of BT's latest offers for those thinking of taking the plunge with them:
Happy to switch?
Those happy to switch can take their pick of the best home media bundles that include the BT Sport channels.
The service is:
|£18 a month with Virgin Media
or free with Full House TV
|£5 a month with Plusnet
or £9.99 a month with Plusnet, via Sky
|From £22.99 a month with Sky
or £7.50 a month with Sky, via BT
or £5.99 a month with Sky, via Plusnet
|£22.99 a month with TalkTalk|
Those who aren't sure which pay TV provider is best for them can find the deals and channels available to them using our TV postcode search here.
But as we mentioned above, it may be better value to bundle more services - landline, broadband and pay TV - then pay the add-on for BT Sport where necessary.
Again, do check area availability and compare the range of deals here - and remember the offers listed above as well.
If it comes down to a choice between the big three, there's more on the differences between BT, Sky and Virgin in our full guide here.
BT Sport isn't available from...
Freesat customers can only get BT Sport if they have Freesat from Sky - that is a box that can receive Sky TV and dish, with the special Freesat from Sky viewing card.
Although BT TV runs on Youview, the service isn't available to those with a Youview box bought from the High Street: only Youview boxes from a pay TV / broadband provider can access BT Sport.
Compare all BT Sport TV packages quickly and easily here.
What sports are showing on BT Sport?
BT Sport offers a range of sporting events including football, rugby, cricket and motorsport, and BT have been increasingly adding exclusive rights.
Here's a flavour of what the BT Sports channels currently show.
Football on BT Sport
- 42 Barclays Premier League fixtures
- FA Cup
- UEFA Champions
- Europa League
- Scottish Premier and Championship League (the latter for Rangers matches)
- English National League
- Serie A
- Ligue 1
Rugby on BT Sport
- Aviva Premiership
- Anglo-Welsh Cup
- European Rugby Champions Cup
- European Rugby Challenge Cup
- Italian autumn internationals
Cricket on BT Sport
- The Ashes 2017/18
- All Australian Test Match
- Australian T20 Big Bash League
- Women's Big Bash League
Other fixtures on BT Sport
- World Rally Championships
- Women's Tennis Association
- NBA basketball
- Major League baseball
Alongside presenters such as Gary Lineker and Jake Humphrey, their team of ex-sports star commentators includes Rio Ferdinand, David James, and Ray Stubbs, and they also call on the services of Matt Dawson, Martin Bayfield, Martina Navratilova and Michael Owen.
BT Sport is the only place to see live Aviva Premiership rugby, and UEFA Champions and Europa League football; in the 2017-18 season they have exclusive rights for 42 Barclays Premier League matches.
BT bought ESPN's UK channels in February 2013. Since BT Sport launched in August 2014, they've primarily used BT Sport ESPN - to give it its proper title - to show American sports including basketball, baseball, and college games.
BT Sports vs Sky Sports
Unsurprisingly, since they have eight channels, Sky Sports still holds far more exclusive rights than BT and can show a greater range of sports.
Crucially they've sole access to many of the big name events: the Rugby Super League; and the Ryder Cup.
At present, BT have the rights to 42 English Premier League football games, generally restricted to Saturday fixtures. While Sky can show 126 live over the course of the season, including many Wednesday night and Sunday matches, plus extended highlights of every game that isn't televised.
For more on how BT Sport compares to Sky Sports see this guide.