While the World Cup fever is well and truly over, for fans looking for their next football fix the the start of the Premier League is just round the corner, kicking off with Manchester United v Leicester on August 10.
Unfortunately watching the footie from the comfort at your own sofa means shelling out for an expensive sports TV package as the rights for this season’s games are once again shared between BT and Sky.
To help avoid too much of a sting, we have everything you need to know from who has the most games to the cheapest deals to watch it on.
First game of the season: Manchester United goes toe-to-toe with Leicester in the Premier League kick off game
Who is showing the best games?
This year Sky Sports boasts 126 Premier League games compared to 52 shown exclusively on BT Sport. From next year Amazon will enter the race too, taking over the rights to 20 games at the end of 2019 with free access for Prime members.
General consensus is that Sky has the volume, but BT has the rights to a handful of the big clashes.
The first weekend of football begins with Manchester United v Leicester and finishes with Arsenal’s first match with a new manager against current champions Manchester City – both shown on Sky.
Already announced on BT on the other hand are major battles between Chelsea and both Arsenal and Liverpool.
You can see which games are aired on which channels on the Premier League website.
What about other sports?
Sky also shows F1 racing, the Open Championship and Masters Tournament, T20 and England home international Test Series cricket, live Boxing and NFL to name a few.
BT Sport also has the rights to the Champions league until 2021 and shares the rights to the FA Cup with the BBC until then too.
In terms of other sports European Rugby Champions Cup and Premiership, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Box Nation, MotoGP, NBA.
Talk Talk – Cheapest deal to watch Sky Sports
Talk Talk has played a blinder and undercut Sky for its own sports package.
The provider is offering eight Sky Sports channels for just £15 extra on a rolling monthly contract if you sign up to its fibre plan while Sky charges an extra £20.
Price of Talk Talk vs Sky
Prices can be difficult to compare with contracts offering different lengths and terms.
Over the course of two years Talk Talk will charge £1,233 while the equivalent 36Mbps deal on Sky with Sports costs £1,601 but it does come with 300 entertainment channels vs 107 on Talk Talk.
Talk Talk’s Faster Fibre Broadband plus Sky Sports bundle costs £39.50 – but it’s only for the first nine months, then the cost jumps to £59.50 for 15 months with a £30 set up fee.
However it still ends up far cheaper than rivals.
The package includes Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena and speeds of 35Mbps.
Another perk of the package, the broadband price won’t increase during the two-year deal.
If you want slower broadband speeds it actually costs slightly more as you don’t get a discount on Sky Sports.
Talk Talk’s Fast Broadband and TV Select with a Sky Sports add on costs £58 per month.
BT on Talk Talk
To add BT sport to a Talk Talk package is £27.99 per month with a £20 activation charge.
Big clash: Sky has the rights to the clash between Arsenal and Manchester city on Sunday 12 august
Last Sky overhauled it Sports offering, allowing customers to sign up for a single sports channel – including a dedicated Premier League channel.
While the idea was great in theory is still doesn’t work out that cheap unfortunately.
It costs £18 for a single channel and the options are – Premier League, Football, Cricket, Golf, F1 or the Action & Arena pack.
If you have an Entertainment pack you already get the Sky Sport Mix and News channels included.
You can take two sports channels for £22 or three for £26 – but you actually pay less – at £20 – to get all of them. It’s an extra £6 if you want the channels in HD.
In terms of bundles – the cheapest offer for just TV is £40 per month for the Sky Entertainment pack which comes with 300 channels and a SkyQ box with a Sports pack.
Add Sky’s Broadband Unlimited with speeds of 11Mbps and you pay a total £53 per month, or add speeds of 36Mbs and the total is £60, both with a set up of £59.95.
All contracts last 18 months, after that the price increases to £78 and £86.99. respectively.
BT Sport on Sky
To add BT Sport to a Sky package you pay £12 per month if you get your broadband from BT, otherwise you pay £27.99 per month with a £20 activation charge.
Champions Cup: BT Sport retains the rights for the 2017/18 European rugby competition won by Saracens in May
BT Sport – the best deals
BT SPORTS APP
BT also offers access to its channels an app and through its TV packages.
If you have a BT broadband package you get free access to its BT sport on your smartphone. You can then use Chromecast to send it to your TV.
EE customers can access it for free on some contracts, or free for three months and then £5 per month after that.
Plusnet customers can get the channels for £5 per month
BT offers BTSport 1, 2, 3 ESPN and Box Nation.
That’s less choice but it costs a lot less and is offered free with larger TV packages – the Starter and Max 4K TV packages.
The cheapest BT bundle offering sports costs £30.99 for 18 months, with a set up of £69.99.
The Starter and Unlimited Broadband deal includes 10Mb speeds with free evening and weekend calls and 105 channels.
It currently comes with a £40 BT reward card and £40 M&S voucher.
If you want faster speeds the same package costs £37.99 per month with 50 Mbps speeds.
If you have a BT broadband package you get free access to its BT Sport app on your smartphone.
Sky Sports on BT
To get Sky Sports on BT you have a couple of options – pay £27.50 per month for its Main Event channel.
Or you can also watch Sky Sports through the NowTV app on your Youview box, see below for details.
The cost for both is £57.99 for the first three months thanks to a NowTV discount, after that though it rockets to £71.98 on the 50Mbs deal.
Fore: Jordan Speith defends his Open title in this year’s competition shown on Sky
Virgin Media – Sky and BT sports in one package
Virgin Media offers both full Sky and BT Sport packages via its TV packages.
The only thing not included is Box Nation which costs an extra £11 per month.
They cheapest deal depends on what you want.
For adding both, the best option is its the Full House TV bundle, costing £55 per month, you get BT Sport included, 200Mbps speeds and 230 channels. Add on Sky Sports and it costs £70 per month.
Watch out the price jumps to £75 and £100 respectively after a year.
If you just want Sky Sports you can get the Player TV bundle with 70 channels and 100Mbs broadband for £34 per month. You can then add on Sky and BT’s packages on separately.
With Sky it costs £65.75 a month for a year with second year costs are £84.75 per month. For BT it is £47 per month for a year, than £71 after that.
With both you pay £78.75 – more expensive than the Full House bundle.
Harry Kane: the World Cup Golden Boot winner played in last year’s match between Newcastle United against Tottenham Hotspur
Now TV – Flexible access to Sky Sports
NowTV, owned by Sky offers sky channels but with more flexibility. You can access NowTV through some set top boxes including BT’s Youview box.
You can also buy a NowTV stick for £14.99 which can be attached straight into your TV.
There are Sky Entertainment, Cinema, Kids and Sports add-ons available on a monthly rolling basis.
Sports can be also added by the day – it costs £7.99 per day, £12.99 per week or £20 per month for the first three then £33.99.
NowTV also now offers broadband too, prices start from £18 per month for 10Mb with its Brilliant Broadband deal, currently offering free anytime calls
What about the smaller providers?
EE customers can watch Sky Sports through the NowTV app on their set top box, but it’s a pretty expensive option.
You pay £19 per month for its 11Mbps Unlimited Broadband plus £11.50 per month for a TV subscription including 70 channels.
On top of that you then have to pay the NowTV subscription fees, starting from £7.99 for a day of sport access or up to £33.99 for a month.
If you have an EE mobile contract it offers BT Sport access via an app for free for 3 months, or for your whole contract on its 4G EE Max deals.
Plusnet customers can get BT sport but only if they are paying for fibre speeds.
Its Unlimited Fibre package costs £24.99 per month and gets you speeds of 36Mbps.
To that you can add a YouView box subscription for £5 per per month with a £57.99 upfront fee – this gets you 90 channels including BT Sport 1 – the one showing the Premier League football.
To get the full line up, or get access via the BT Sport app you will pay £5 per month on top – so a total of £34.99 plus the set up costs. It’s an extra £3 per month to watch them in HD.
|Provider||Package||Offer||Speed (average)||Calls||Upfront costs||Intial monthly cost||First year cost (including line rental if applicable)|
|Virgin Media – 108Mbps||Player TV Bundle + BT Sport – 12 months||Free super speed boost||108Mb||Weekend Calls||£20.00||£47.00||£584.00|
|Sky – 11Mbs||Sky Entertainment + Sports 1 Pack + Broadband Unlimited – 18 months||One Sky Sports channel||11Mb||Pay as you go||£39.95||£53.00||£675.95|
|TalkTalk – 11Mb||TV Plus with Fast Broadband + TV Select and Sky Sports – 12 months||Rolling Sky Sports||11Mb||Pay as you go||£25.00||£58.00||£721.00|
|BT – 10Mb||BT – Starter + Unlimited Broadband + Weekend Calls – 18 months||£40 BT Reward Card & £40 M&S Voucher||10Mb||Weekend Calls||£69.99||£30.99||£627.81|
|Virgin Media – 362Mb||VIP TV Bundle + Talk More Anytime||All BT Sport, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema channels in HD||362Mb||Anytime Calls||£20.00||£88.00||£1,076.00|
|Sky – 36Mb||Sky Entertainment + Cinema + Sky Sports + Fibre Unlimited||Complete Sports pack.||36Mb||Pay as you go||£39.95||£70||£879.95|
|Source; broadbandchoices.co.uk, correct as of July 19|
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