Sky Sports on Freeview – how do you get it?

Now that Sky Sports 1 and 2 are available on terrestrial TV, a lot of people are wondering just what equipment they need to receive it, and what it will cost. Essentially there are two ways to get the channels through an aerial.

The first is via a BT Vision subscription. That means that you need a BT phone line, and you have to subscribe to BT Vision, which is their combined Freeview and internet TV package.

The price that BT shouts about in the adverts is £6.99 per month, but that’s just for one of the Sky Sports channels, together with EPSN and BT’s own Vision Sport. Add another fiver if you want both. And, on top of that you need a BT Vision package, which includes broadband service, and a free box. The Vision subscription is £17.99 per month, so you’ll pay £29.98 for the cheapest option, every month. There’s a 24 month minimum term, and you’ll also have to pay £60 for the box, and of course BT line rental of at least £9.49 per month. To get a free box, you’ll have to go for either the £32.99 or £48.99 a month package; both still have a 24 month contract, and you need to add the sports bundle on top, taking them to £44.98 or £60.98 respectively, if you want both of Sky’s channels.

On Top

BT Vision isn’t the only company from which you can now buy Sky Sports. The second is via small-scale pay TV operator TopUpTV. TopUp has offered various pay services as an adjunct to Freeview over the last five years; their current service is largely based around access to EPSN, plus a service that provides overnight downloads of films and popular TV shows to PVRs with dedicated software.

You can, with TopUpTV, subscribe to just Sky Sports 1 or 2, and nothing else; each channel will cost you £22.99, but if you take both together the bundle price is £31.99 per month, and there’s no minimum contract term. Adding ESPN is £9.99, with the bundle discount bringing the total for all the sports channels to £39.99 per month. There’s a £20 connection fee, which is cancelled out by a ‘first month free’ offer at the moment.

i-Can EasyHD 2850T

The i-Can EasyHD provides access to FreeviewHD, iPlayer and sports via a card slot for TopUpTV

You will need a suitable box to use the TopUpTV service; there’s a range available on their site, and elsewhere – including most recently the i-Can EasyHD 2851, which picks up FreeviewHD and offers iPlayer too.

TopUpTV’s own box – a 250GB Freeview+ recorder – can be bought for £49.99 with a subscription to Sky’s channels, or you can get the 160GB version free if you add EPSN or one of TopUp’s other services to your order, and are prepared to commit to a 12 month subscription.

If you’re hoping to use a CAM, so that you can receive Sky Sports through the internal tuner in a digital TV, or in a PVR that you already own, you need to read this post.

August 2010
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