BT TV Packages

Last updated: 15 June 2023   By Julia Kukiewicz

BT TV offers a flexible way to watch BT Sport and Sky content in packages that can be swapped on a monthly basis.

BT TV is a very flexible pay TV option that has most premium content, but overall monthly prices do add up.

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BT TV packages offer customers the ability to swap plans on a monthly basis, as well as fine-tune with optional add-ons.

Customers can access BT Sport and premium Sky channels including Sky Atlantic, Sky Cinema, and Sky Sports, as well as watch the exclusive AMC channel.

While plans are built using contract-free NOW Memberships, BT customers have the added advantage of being able to pause, rewind and record live TV to the BT TV Box Pro.

bt tv

At a glance

Price £18+ (plus broadband)
Setup cost £59.99
Minimum term 24 months
TV channels Freeview + AMC, optional BT Sport, Sky Sports, Sky Entertainment, Sky Cinema
On-demand apps Netflix, Prime Video, BritBox, NOW, iPlayer, ITVX, All4, My5
TV box BT TV Box Pro
Requirements BT broadband
Pros Cons
Flexible packages that can be swapped monthly Less app support than Sky and Virgin Media
Fine-tune with individual add-ons Full HD costs extra
Pause, rewind & record live channels Long contract on base package
Package TV Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Sport + Fibre 2 77 67Mb average £56.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Free setup on BT Sport TV (was £30) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Entertainment + Fibre 2 96 67Mb average £51.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £5/mth on BT Entertainment TV with free setup (was £30) (Ends 06/06/2024)

Who is BT TV best suited for?

BT TV packages are best suited for households who want extra flexibility on their TV content and budget, as packages can be swapped on a monthly basis and fine-tuned with individual add-ons.

Content focuses around BT Sport, Netflix and Sky content, including Sky Entertainment, Sky Kids, Sky Cinema, and Sky Sport. Which covers all the main bases for a decent home entertainment plan.

While there is decent on-demand app support, customers will miss out on the ability to watch Disney+, Paramount+, Apple TV+, Lionsgate+, and others supported by Sky Q and Virgin 360. So, that's worth bearing in mind.

The best value for money from BT TV is found when customers take more content, which means households will need to spend more each month in order to benefit from discounts on taking multiple TV packs.

BT broadband is also a more premium service, and is rarely the cheapest on the market, which means it's better suited to households that are comfortable spending a little extra on their home entertainment and telecoms packages.

There are benefits to BT TV however, including:

  • Flexibility to swap TV packages each month
  • Fine-tune viewing with individual add-ons, will mean everyone is the house is kept happy
  • Sky content through NOW with the option to pause, rewind and record live content

BT also offer an advance TV box that supports up to 4K Ultra HD viewing and Dolby Atmos sound, along with the ability to record up to four channels at once and store up to 600 hours of TV.

Overall, BT is a unique combination of premium TV and broadband, with the budget-friendly flexibility of monthly rolling TV packages.


What do BT TV packages offer?

BT updated their TV packages in February 2020, when they moved to a flexible subscription service based on NOW Membership plans.

Now BT TV packages offer customers the ability to watch Freeview, access the features of the BT TV Box Pro, and customise their viewing experience by adding Sky content through a range of NOW Memberships.

One of the main features of the new BT TV service is the ability for customers to swap TV packages and add-ons on a monthly basis, so they could watch Sky Entertainment and Cinema during the holidays, and then swap to Sports during the Premier League, for example.

The BT TV packages on offer include:

  • Entertainment (Sky Entertainment + Sky Kids + Netflix)
  • Big Entertainment (Sky Entertainment + Sky Cinema + Sky Kids + Netflix)
  • Sport (BT Sport)
  • Big Sport (BT Sport + Sky Sports)
  • VIP (All of the above)

Whichever BT TV package a customer chooses, they can also further customise their viewing plan by adding individual NOW Memberships, and boosting the viewing quality to full 1080p HD.

One major benefit of subscribing through BT TV is that customers will be able to access Sky content through the BT TV Guide, which means they can pause, rewind and record live programmes using the BT TV Box Pro. That's something customers who subscribe directly with NOW can't do.

Here's a quick breakdown of the main BT TV packages:

Entertainment Big Entertainment Sport Big Sport VIP
Price £20 £30 £18 £43 £76
Sky Entertainment included included included
Sky Kids included included included
Netflix included included included
Sky Cinema included included
BT Sport included included included
Sky Sports included included
Full HD +£6 +£6 +£6 +£6 included

BT TV and broadband

BT TV is available exclusively to BT broadband customers, who can either add a TV package to their existing deal, or new customers can sign up for a TV and broadband bundle for extra discounts:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Sport + Fibre 2 67Mb average £56.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Free setup on BT Sport TV (was £30) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Entertainment + Fibre 2 67Mb average £51.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £5/mth on BT Entertainment TV with free setup (was £30) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Big Entertainment + Fibre 2 67Mb average £66.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Free setup on BT Big Entertainment TV (was £30) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Big Sport + Fibre 2 67Mb average £81.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Free setup on BT Big Sport TV (was £30) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Full Works + Fibre 2 67Mb average £61.99
for 3 mths,
then £114.99
£31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save over 30% for 3 months and free setup on BT Full Works TV (was £30) + (Ends 06/06/2024)

BT offer a range of broadband deals from superfast fibre connections, to full fibre to the premises with download speeds of up to 900Mb per second.

It's worth checking availability in your area for the latest offers, but full fibre deals are now available to over 10 million premises across the UK, and BT plans to reach a total of 25 million in the next few years.

Customers on a budget can still access the cheaper superfast plans, but will benefit from a full fibre connection where it's available anyway, which offers a more reliable broadband experience.


How do BT TV packages work?

BT TV requires a working aerial feed and a broadband connection to deliver content.

Customers will need a minimum broadband speed of 5Mb per second to view content in HD, and 30Mb per second to watch in Ultra HD. Speed requirements increase if more than one device is being used at a time.

Customers who don't have an aerial can still use BT TV and some of the free-to-air Freeview channels will be delivered over broadband instead, but not all channels will be available.

While the main ones will be there, such as BBC One, ITV, and E4 for example, some are only available with an aerial, including Dave. There are around 94 channels on Freeview usually, but BT TV over broadband only has 41 of these.

The main benefit to BT TV is that all these channels, including the premium content, are available through the BT EPG, which means customers will be able to pause and rewind live TV, as well as record live TV to the BT TV Box Pro.

The BT TV Box Pro can store around 600 hours of SD content, which provides a level of flexibility to record programs to watch later, that isn't available direct with NOW.

In addition, once customers have taken a broadband and TV contract, they can swap their TV package and any add-ons on a monthly basis, which isn't possible with pay TV providers like Sky Q or Virgin 360 who have set minimum term contracts on most of the content.

This does mean BT TV is more akin to the newer streaming services from Sky and Virgin - Sky Stream and Virgin Stream - which do offer the ability to take add-ons on monthly terms.


BT TV packages

BT TV offers a Freeview service with additional premium content from BT Sport, Sky, Netflix, and Discovery+.

BT TV packages include:

  • Around 94 Freeview channels, including 16 in HD
  • AMC (exclusive to BT TV)
  • Recordable TV box with up to 600 hours of storage space
  • Optional premium content, from entertainment, films, or sports

Customers can choose from one of the following TV packages to further customise the premium content included:

Entertainment:

  • Sky Entertainment
  • Sky Kids
  • Netflix Basic

Big Entertainment:

  • Sky Cinema
  • Sky Entertainment
  • Sky Kids
  • Netflix Basic

Sport:

  • BT Sport
  • Eurosport 1 & 2
  • Discovery+

Big Sport:

  • Sky Sports
  • BT Sport
  • Eurosport 1 & 2
  • Discovery+

VIP:

  • Sky Cinema
  • Sky Sports
  • Sky Entertainment
  • Sky Kids
  • Netflix Standard
  • BT Sport
  • Eurosport 1 & 2
  • Discovery+
  • HD pack

Entertainment

The Entertainment plan from BT includes Freeview, AMC, Netflix Basic, and a NOW Entertainment Membership plan integrated with the BT TV guide and BT TV Box Pro.

Alongside 15 premium channels, including the exclusive Sky Atlantic channel, NOW Entertainment also includes 300 box sets on-demand and 7 kids channels.

Premium channels include:

Sky Atlantic Sky Max Sky Witness alibi
GOLD Sky Comedy Comedy Central Sky Documentaries
MTV Sky Sci-Fi Sky Crime Sky Nature
Sky History Sky Arts Peacock Sky Kids
Boomerang Cartoonito Cartoon Network Nick Jr.
Nicktoons Nickelodeon

It's an added benefit of NOW over Sky as the kids channels have now been bundled into the Entertainment plan, while Sky customers have to add the Sky Kids pack separately.

The on-demand box sets are kept updated and include exclusive content through Sky Originals programming.

Netflix Basic now offers 720p HD viewing quality, but customers can choose to upgrade to Netflix Standard for £4 extra, or Premium for £9 extra.

The Sky entertainment channels are also shown in 720p HD as standard, and customers would need to add the HD pack for an extra £6 to boost viewing to full HD.

Big Entertainment

The Big Entertainment TV package from BT is a boosted version of the Entertainment plan, with Sky Cinema added as well.

Customers will get everything in the Entertainment plan, plus 11 Sky Cinema channels.

It's worth noting that while Sky and Virgin Media customers get the Sky Cinema pack in full 1080p HD as standard, BT TV customers will get the channels in 720p HD unless they pay extra for the HD pack.

Sky Cinema channels include:

Sky Greats Sky Cinema Animation Sky Cinema Family Sky Cinema Action
Sky Cinema Comedy Sky Cinema Thriller Sky Cinema Drama Sky Cinema Sci-fi Horror
Sky Cinema Premiere Sky Cinema Select Sky Cinema Hits

Sky Cinema also includes 1000 movies on-demand, alongside the 11 live channels above.

Sport

BT TV customers choosing the Sport package will get Freeview and AMC, along with:

  • All four BT Sport channels
  • Eurosport 1 & 2
  • Discovery+

It's worth noting that the BT Sport package only includes the above channels in SD, and customers will need to upgrade to the HD pack for an extra £6 per month to get the channels in full 1080p HD, and also to access the BT Sport Ultimate channel which shows matches and events in 4K Ultra HD.

Big Sport

The Big Sport TV package from BT includes everything in Sport, plus the Sky Sports pack.

The Sky Sports channels are made available via NOW, which means unlike BT Sport which is shown in SD by default, the Sky Sports channels will be in 720p HD.

Again, for full 1080p HD on both BT Sport and Sky Sports customers will need to add the HD pack.

The Sky Sports channels included are:

Sky Sports Main Event Sky Sports Premier League Sky Sports Football Sky Sports Cricket
Sky Sports Golf Sky Sports Racing Sky Sports F1 Sky Sports Action
Sky Sports Arena Sky Sports Mix Sky Sports News

Big Sport is one TV package that allows customers to combine BT Sport and Sky Sports to ensure they don't miss out on any action, as both channels now have secured varying exclusive rights.

VIP

The BT VIP package contains everything from Big Entertainment and Big Sport, plus some additional features, including:

  • Netflix boosted to full 1080p HD in the Standard plan
  • BT Sport Ultimate in 4K Ultra HD
  • AMC in HD
  • BT Sport in full HD, and the BT Sport app in HDR
  • All Sky content in full 1080p HD, with surround sound, and less ads with NOW Boost

While VIP is expensive, it's the most comprehensive TV package from BT, containing everything a household could want from their home entertainment, as it sits alongside other premium packages like Virgin Media Ultimate Volt and Sky Q.


BT TV add-ons

In addition to being able to swap TV packages on a monthly basis, customers can also fine tune deals with individual add-ons, also available on rolling monthly terms.

Add-ons include:

Channels included Monthly price
BT Sport BT Sport 1 - 4 £18
Netflix Basic plan £6.99
NOW Entertainment Sky Entertainment + Sky Kids £9.99
NOW Sports Sky Sports £34.99
NOW Cinema Sky Cinema £9.99
NOW Hayu Reality TV £4.99
Asian Mix Hindi TV and cinema £5
HD Boost viewing to 1080p HD £6
Extra Box Second room viewing £10

The add-ons above will only be available where they aren't included in the main chosen TV package, so customers can't accidentally order twice. But it does offer a level of granular flexibility not available with providers like Virgin Media, who offer somewhat rigid pre-made bundles.

Add-ons are reasonably priced, with monthly fees matching those offered by NOW and Netflix directly.

However, the best value for money will usually be found in the TV packages themselves, with individual add-ons often costing more when added together. For example, Big Sport costs £30 per month, but includes BT Sport (£18) and Sky Sports (£34.99), plus Eurosport.

HD pack

Unlike new streaming platforms, Sky Stream and Virgin Stream, which tend towards including content in full HD as standard, BT TV generally offers content in either SD or 720p HD.

To boost viewing to full HD customers need to take the HD pack add-on, which costs an extra £6 per month.

Along with boosting AMC, and any premium content like BT Sport and Sky channels to full HD, it also includes the BT Sport Ultimate channel which offers live matches and events in 4K Ultra HD.

It's a frustrating drawback to have to pay more for full HD, especially as BT TV is aimed at customers watching on a large screen with BT TV Box Pro, however Sky Q still takes a similar approach too.


On-demand apps

The BT TV Box Pro is a YouView box and offers support for a range of free-to-air and subscription based on-demand apps.

BT TV customers can access on-demand content through apps including:

BBC iPlayer ITVX All4 My5
Netflix Prime Video NOW BritBox
UKTV Play STV Player Milkshake! POP Player
CBS Catchup BBC Sounds S4C Clic PlayWorks

While some big names are available, like Prime Video, app support on the BT TV Box Pro doesn't rival that of the Sky Q Box or the Virgin 360 Box, with notable apps missing such as Disney+, Paramount+ and Apple TV+ among others.

BT TV does include Discovery+ for customers who take their BT Sport pack in a package or as an add-on, due to the acquisition by Warner Bros Discovery.

Read more about how BT TV Box Pro compares to Sky Q and Virgin 360.


BT TV Box Pro

The BT TV Box Pro, launched in June 2021, is a YouView box that supports 4K HDR viewing quality and Dolby Atmos surround sound.

bt tv box pro

The built-in storage allows customers to record up to 600 hours of live content, and the box can record up to four channels at the same time.

The BT TV guide also lets customers pause and rewind live TV, including premium content offered through NOW memberships.

Connectivity is wireless, including for customers who add an Extra Box in a second room, which helps to remove the clutter of wires, and puts it ahead of the Sky Q Box and Virgin 360 box which aren't yet wireless.

The main specifications include:

BT TV Box Pro
Pause/rewind? Yes
Record TV Up to 600 hours
Storage 1TB
Tuners 4
HD ready Yes
4K UHD ready Yes

Read more in our dedicated review of the BT TV Box Pro.


BT TV on demand

There are three ways to watch content from a BT TV subscription on the move: the BT TV app, the BT Sport app, and the NOW TV app.

In addition, customers can also pay £5 per month for the BT TV App Extra which allows shows to be downloaded.

BT TV App

The BT TV App allows customers to watch some of their subscription channels and on demand content while on the move using the mobile app on a smartphone or tablet or on the web.

The app is free and includes features to set recordings on the YouView box at home while also including the ability to continuing watching from the point where the content was paused.

There are caveats - Freeview content isn't available on the app, nor is Sky Sports or Sky Cinema content.

In fact, the BT TV app seems mostly suited to customers taking the Sport package as it only allows BT premium content like BT Sport to be streamed while on the move.

This has led to some frustrated customers in the Google Play store criticising the app and wondering what the point of it is.

BT Sport app

The BT Sport app is a dedicated app which offers more content from BT Sport than is available on the BT TV app.

Customers can access clips, replays and highlights on the BT Sport app, which is free for customers who subscribe to BT Sport.

NOW TV app

NOW TV's own app is the way to watch the NOW TV content included in BT TV packages - this includes Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and the channels in the NOW Entertainment Membership as well as the hayu Membership.

The NOW TV app is free to use and easy to download on most smartphones and tablets.

BT TV App Extra

For £5 per month, customers can sign up to BT TV App Extra.

This effectively allows multiroom as customers can watch on compatible devices, but content can also be downloaded to watch elsewhere (the normal BT TV App only allows streaming over wi-fi or data).

Again, the caveat here is that the NOW TV content isn't part of BT TV App extra.

BT TV App Extra can be downloaded on up to four devices.


Verdict: Are BT TV packages any good?

BT's move to a NOW TV reseller means they offer extra flexibility with customers able to swap TV packages and add-ons on a monthly basis.

Viewing experiences can also be fine-tuned with every add-on also available individually to bundled packages.

The best value for money from BT lies in customers taking multiple TV packs, which can mean it's not as budget friendly as it may first appear.

For example, while channel packs cost the same as they do direct with NOW or Netflix, savings are available for those who take Entertainment, Cinema and Sports plans together, which can push the price up.

BT TV does offer the added advantage that customers cause pause and rewind live TV, as well as record up to 600 hours to the BT TV Box Pro, which is something that isn't available through NOW directly.

BT TV is great for customers who:

  • Already have - or want - BT Broadband
  • Want flexible TV options, with the ability to swap out packs monthly
  • Want to record live TV, or pause and rewind key moments in live sports

The drawbacks however are:

  • BT broadband and TV comes with a 24-month minimum term, that means customers need to always have one TV package
  • Customers have to pay more for full 1080p HD, including on the BT Sport pack
  • Full fibre broadband from BT is not yet as widely available as Virgin Media broadband

Ultimately, BT TV may be a good addition to BT broadband, but we're not sure if it would be the tipping point to signing up to BT's home broadband service as Sky and Virgin Media offer better value for money on big bundles.

Comments

Colin
24 September 2021

This is a total con as I pay for BT sport which includes eurosport for £14. Eurosport is removed Jan 22 to big sport which they expect me to pay £40 for. Total con. Will prob join discovery and stream it. We don't all watch just football BT please note.

Andy S
10 May 2021

Eurosport is now included in the Big Sport package.

Michael Norman
6 March 2021

Eurosport which I had for years now will cost me an extra £20, or £40 pounds a month, in these times I feel that's a tad expensive.

PS
10 February 2019

You say that customers with standard BT Broadband only get Sky Cinema On Demand - which, in your words, "isn't quite such a bargain".

I would argue otherwise in that it allows you to watch the same movies that are spread over 11 linear channels but affords the luxury of watching when you choose to. Customers with Sky Cinema On Demand only do not lose out in any way over those with the 11 linear channels.

Which broadband & TV deals are available in your area?

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