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Best Sports Package? BT Sports vs Sky Sports

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Are you crazy about sports? Do you want the best TV package deal for your sports channels? If you’re here reading this, we will take that as a YES! There are many options when it comes to choosing a TV package based on the sports channels it offers, but here we are going to focus on the two providers that are always racing towards the finish line to be crowned Best Sports Package provider: Sky Sports and BT Sports.



Best TV Package For Sports

It’s not an easy task to pick a TV provider, a TV package or the exact channels you want. However sometimes you might be on the lookout specifically for sports channels and this will be the main factor to influence your final choice of TV package. So which provider has the best sports package?

It might be interesting to note that up until 2013, Sky Sports was really the go-to for sports channels and it had no real competition. The arrival of BT Sport changed all that proving to, at last, be some competition for the mighty Sky Sports.

Both Sky and BT provide some considerable options for watching sports and both have a wide range of different sports on show, although Sky just surpasses BT with the variety available. We will take a closer look at other similarities and differences right here.

It’s also useful to note that you do not have to contract Sky channels from Sky and BT channels from BT - you can get them through other providers that include these channels in their services. For example, BT Sport can be purchased as an add-on to a TV package from Virgin or TalkTalk. The same is true with Sky Sports: you can add it to TV Packages from all of the top providers.

BT TV Sports Packages

To get a sports package (or any type of package) with BT TV, you will, of course, need a TV , an aerial that’s compatible with your BT TV box and BT Broadband. BT offers Standard and SuperFast Fibre broadband plans, and although you don’t have to get the SuperFast Broadband, it is recommended.

To get sports channels directly through BT TV, you can choose between three TV packages: the Starter Package, Entertainment Package, and Max Package. These packages will have all those sports channels that you are looking for plus a lot more. The BT Sports channels are automatically included in the Max Package, but there will be a monthly fee to add it to the other two packages. These package options are only available to those who choose to get BT’s SuperFast Broadband.

BT TV Packages with SuperFast Broadband
Package
Starter Package
Entertainment Package
Max Package
Channels
Access 80 Freeview channels (15 of them in HD) BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, Channel 5 Sky Sports Main Event Add-on: Sky Sports Extra AMC (a drama show channel)
All channels of the Started Package PLUS: Access to 20 premium channels.
Includes everything that the entertainment package does, plus some extras. 62 premium channels (21 of those in HD) 10 kids channels BT Sport in Ultra HD.
Prices (first 18 months)
£35.99
£39.99
£63.99
Prices (after 18 months)
£58.49
£67.49
£82.99
Upfront Fee
£59.99
£59.99
£9.99

If you don’t need or don't want to get the SuperFast Broadband, your other option is the Standard Broadband and this gives you the option to choose between the two following packages.

BT TV Packages with Standard Broadband
Features
TV Starter + BT Sport + Broadband
TV Essential + BT Sport + Broadband
Prices
£79.99 upfront fee £30.99 for 18 months, then £38.99.
£39.99 upfront fee £35.99 for 18 months then £43.99
Download Speed
10Mb average Unlimited broadband
10Mb average Unlimited broadband
Features
Average download speed of 36Mb Free Weekend Calls
Average download speed of 50Mb

BT TV YouView Box

A BT TV YouView Box is the set-top box you will need to access content from BT TV. Like most set-top boxes, these let you pause, rewind and record your favourite programmes. You have three to choose from which have slightly different features and, as a result, different prices.

Mini YouView Box

Mini YouView Box: This entry-level model costs £49 plus an additional £5 per month. This option does not allow recording but does allow you to pause and rewind 30 minutes of Standard Definition live TV and 14 minutes of High Definition live TV. This is considerably low compared to the other two recordable options. The Mini YouView Box comes with the most basic package.

YouView+ Box

YouView+ Box: One of the two recordable boxes which allow you to pause, rewind and record up to two hours of live TV. There is a significant rise in price with this option as it will cost you £50 plus £16.99 line rental per month. It's not exactly cheap but it also allows you to record up to 300 hours of TV and even record remotely with the dedicated BT TV App. The YouView+ Box is the option which comes with the Entertainment package from BT TV.

YouView Ultra HD Box

YouView Ultra HD Box: The top of the range set-top box from BT TV will cost you a steep £99 per month plus another £5 per month on top of that. This is the best option if you want the best quality content possible such as Ultra HD & 4K content. This is possible with the top two TV packages: the Entertainment and the Max packages. In addition to being able to record 300 hours of SD content and 125 hours of HD content, it can also record 30 hours of Ultra HD content.

What Sports are Available?

BT and Sky Sports both have an impressive choice of sports available, not just football! Apart from football, they both also have channels for rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, motor racing, boxing and some US Sports channels.

Although both of these providers have a vast range of sports channels and sports events, there are some important differences between what they offer. One of them may not offer the exact event you want or the sport that you want to watch so it's a great idea to check out exactly what is being offered. Let’s take a close look at what channels and sports events are available with each provider.

BT TV Sports Channels

Football
Premier & Scottish Premier Leagues UEFA Champions & UEFA Europa Leagues Australian A-League Bundesliga & Liga NOS FA Cup & FA Trophy Ligue 1 & Serie A Women's Super League Vanarama National League

Tennis
Women's Tennis Association

Rugby
Aviva Premiership Champions & Challenge Cups

Cricket
Ashes Big Bash League

Motor Racing
MotoGP, Moto2 & Moto3 World Rally & SuperCars Championships IndyCar Series Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters

Boxing
World & European Boxing British & Commonwealth Championship Boxing

US Sports
NBA NCAA College Basketball NCAA College Football Major League Baseball American College Sports Major League Lacrosse

Extras
Red Bull Crashed Ice, UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)

Sky TV Sports Channels

Football
Premier League Scottish Premier League EFL, Scottish Cup La Liga Championship League 1 & League 2 Eredivisie MLS League Chinese Super League

Rugby
Heineken & Champions Cups RFU, IRB Sevens Super 15 & Super League Guinness Pro 12

Cricket
Cricket World Cup County Championship, International cricket Yorkshire Bank 40

Golf
EU Tour Masters, Ryder Cup & US PGA Tour World Golf Championships0

Boxing
IBF, WBA, WBO

US Sports
MLS League

Tennis
ATP World Tour French Open

Motor Racing
Formula One GP2 GP3 Speedway

Extras
World Wrestling Entertainment

Sky Sports Packages and Sky Sports Guide

To stay updated on which sports are going to be shown when and on which channel, you can use the handy Sky Sports Guide online. It shows you everything that is coming up, the time and date, the channel it will be running on and a summary of what exactly will be shown.

If you want to purchase a sports package from Sky, you will have to add it for £20 per month (on top of the standard Entertainment package that everyone with a Sky TV package gets). You also have the option of purchasing two, three and up to eight sports channels, also for a monthly fee.

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Sky Sports Day Pass

If you don’t want to commit to a Sky TV Package, you have the very handy option of buying a Sky Sports Day Pass through Now TV. This pass is avaiable to new and current Now customers and costs £8.99. Not only that, there are also weekly and monthly passes which cost £14.99 and £33.99 respectively. If this sounds like a better option to you, you can investigate the three passes in detail.

Our Verdict: BT Sports or Sky Sports?

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There are some fantastic reasons to get your sports channels through BT and the same goes for Sky. They both have an exciting range of sports on offer, both have different packages to choose from and both have loyal, happy customers which speak for their services. At the same time, they have previous customers that have nothing good to say about them. We think that customer reviews are always a mixed bag and you won't really know until you try their services yourself, especially if they are worth a try.

One way to make a final decision could be based on price. Generally speaking, BT is cheaper than Sky but this could also change if BT has any offers. Another way is to check exactly which channels and sports are available with each company.

If you have a closer look, you will realise that there are some significant differences in the sports channels. For example, if you want to watch golf, then you can rule out BT altogether as you won’t get any golf there. The same goes for WWE, you won’t find this with BT. The cricket channels are also different for each provider. We recommend you take a look at the channels closely and choose based on this.

Even though BT and Sky are known for having some of the best options for your sports channels, they aren’t the only companies offering them. All TV providers offer an option for sports lovers whether it’s a big choice or a smaller choice, a simple add-on or a fully dedicated sports package. If you want to check out other sports options, why not take a look at what companies like Virgin, Now TV or TalkTalk.

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