BT is swiftly becoming a sports broadcasting force in the UK after acquiring ESPN UK and Ireland in February, then launching two of its own channels at the beginning of August. It's now found a teammate in Virgin Media, and a newly inked, three-year deal will see BT Sport 1, 2, ESPN and their HD counterparts available through Sir Richard's cable TV service. From today, all those channels go free for subscribers of the TV XL package, or can be added to other tiers for £15 per month. Watching through Virgin's TV Anywhere app is currently not supported but will be "soon," letting you gasp, shout and throw obscenities at even more screens.
Virgin Media scores the winner with BT Sport
- Virgin TV, the only place for every major UK sports channel in one subscription
- BT Sport at no extra cost for millions more sports fans thanks to Virgin Media
Virgin Media today scored the winner as BT Sport arrives on Virgin TV.
The landmark deal means millions of sports fans1 will get BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN at no extra cost and every channel in glorious HD.
Virgin Media already offers all the Sky Sports channels, with Sky Sports 1 and 2 in HD, making Virgin TV the only place sports fans can enjoy every goal, try, penalty and heart-stopping sporting moment with one, great value subscription.
Dana Strong, Virgin Media's chief operating officer, said: "Virgin Media homes are kicking-off the new season with the most complete sporting line-up around in one simple subscription, from Barclays Premier League football and Aviva Premiership rugby to F1, live golf and the culmination of a great Ashes series. We're excited to announce our deal with BT, making these fantastic new channels available at no extra cost to millions of Virgin TV viewers and in HD as standard."
BT Sport will be available at no extra cost to sports fans in every Virgin XL TV home2. Other customers will be able to either upgrade to Virgin XL TV, with over 200 fantastic channels or, for £15 a month, add BT Sport – BT Sport 1, 2 and ESPN and all HD variants – to their existing TV package.
BT Sport will also be made available on Virgin TV Anywhere, the award-winning cloud-based entertainment service3 for mobiles, tablets and online so Virgin TV fans can follow their team in the pub, at the shops and even at the in-laws. BT Sport on Virgin TV Anywhere is coming soon.
BT Sport joins Virgin Media's outstanding sporting line-up of Sky Sports 1, 2 (currently Sky Sports Ashes), 3, 4, Sky Sports 1 and 2 in HD, Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports News. All Virgin Media pay-TV subscribers can enjoy the British Eurosport and Sky Sports News channels as part of their TV package.
BT Sport adds 38 Barclays Premier League matches and Aviva Premiership rugby coverage to Virgin TV alongside:
- Hundreds of top-flight football matches from Italy, France and Brazil
- Women's Tennis Association matches from 21 tournaments
- 2013/14 FA Cup
- Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League
- UEFA Europa League
- German Bundesliga
BT and Virgin Media sign wholesale BT Sport deal
BT Sport channels to be available to millions of Virgin Media TV customers
BT and Virgin Media today announced a three year deal to ensure millions of Virgin Media TV customers can enjoy full access to the BT Sport TV channels. The agreement, which significantly boosts the number of homes that can watch BT Sport from this weekend, follows the news that more than a million UK households are already equipped to watch the channels.
The wholesale deal, which has been signed in advance of the start of the Barclays Premier League this weekend, will enable Virgin Media to offer BT Sport directly to its 3.8 million TV customers. It means BT Sport 1 and 2 are now available across all the major TV platforms in the UK including cable, satellite and DTT. The channels are also accessible via broadband.
The agreement will enable Virgin Media to provide BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN to their XL TV customers as part of their packages, without the need for those customers to take any action. This means around three million households are ready to watch BT Sport in advance of the top tier main English football and rugby seasons commencing.
The agreement also enables Virgin Media to offer the channels as a standalone premium service to TV customers who do not take the XL pack.
This is similar to BT's offer to satellite TV customers who do not have BT broadband and who can pay £12 a month for the channels via satellite or £15 a month in HD. Those satellite TV customers typically can make major savings by switching their broadband to BT in order to get BT Sport for free.
Marc Watson, BT TV chief executive said today: "I am delighted we have signed a deal with Virgin Media that increases the audience for BT Sport to around three million homes overnight. BT is rewarding its loyal customers with free sport and it is great to see Virgin Media immediately making BT Sport available to so many of their customers.
"BT has made a large investment in BT Sport and this is an important commercial agreement for us that recognises the excellence of the channels. We are keen to make our services as widely available as possible and to do so via wholesale arrangements. We are doing this with Sport."
BT broadband customers can easily watch the channels online or via their mobile devices using the BT Sport app. They can also enjoy the channels on their TVs if they renew their broadband contracts or are new to BT broadband.
Those BT customers who wish to watch the channels on their TV will require a set top box. This will be a Sky box if they wish to receive the channels for free over satellite, or a YouView or BT Vision+ box if they receive them via BT TV. BT TV is delivered via TV aerials or broadband, depending on where a customer lives and which services they request.
Non-BT broadband customers can enjoy the BT Sport channels on their TVs via the digital satellite platform from just £12 a month, and now over the cable network from Virgin Media.
BT Sport will show 38 exclusively live football matches from the Barclays Premier League, including 18 of the 'top picks', for each of the next three seasons. The channels will also show live FA Cup with Budweiser matches for the next five seasons.
There will also be live football action from Scotland, the UEFA Europa League and top tier football from Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Australia and the USA. In addition there will be action from the FA Women's Super League and 30 live matches from the Football Conference.
Rugby and tennis will also feature prominently with BT Sport showing up to 69 live rugby union games a season from the Aviva Premiership as well as up to 800 hours of live women's tennis, including the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.
Other sporting action includes coverage from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and - from 2014 - exclusive live coverage of all the Moto GP qualifiers and races. Finally, the channels will show more than 100 hours of Red Bull Sports and Lifestyle programming.