We’ve been bemoaning the out-of-date way in which broadcasters sell sport to consumers for quite a while now. We were mildly encouraged by changes to Sky Sports announced earlier this year, but they only went so far and also had zero bearing on the upcoming Ashes as BT Sport has the broadcast rights for that series.
So how is BT going about signing up cricket fans?
A recent Ashes-related BT Sport press release asked the following leading question somewhere near the bottom: “Not a BT customer and don’t want to switch your broadband to us?”
You don’t ask a question like that without having an answer lined up. The answer was this: “If it’s just our wide-range of premium sport that interests you then you can also simply sign-up to watch BT Sport right now.”
Yes, yes, yes. This is exactly what we want. No phone line, broadband, or other TV package serving as some sort of eye-wateringly expensive and unnecessary entry fee – just the one thing we want.
We only want access to BT Sport so we only want to pay for that.
Following the link somewhat confusingly takes you to the View and Manage your Broadband Extras page. Among the very many frequently asked questions on that page (maybe you should rewrite the page if so much is left unclear) is: “Can I pay for the BT Sport app if I don’t have BT broadband?”
The answer, apparently, is: “No, you need to get a BT Broadband or BT TV package, or get BT Sport on Sky Digital Satellite Platform.”
BT doesn’t seem to be on the same page as itself on this one.
Sadly, we’ve checked all around their site and that does seem to be correct. Maybe BT have got something in the pipeline, but as things stand you do need to subscribe to their broadband or TV service to get access to the BT Sport App.
No, you don’t. See below for how to get BT Sport via various different broadband/TV providers.
Signing up for BT Sport via Plusnet
This page appears to imply that it’s only a fiver a month, which is a bit of a result (if true).
Signing up for BT Sport via TalkTalk
You can sign up here.
The bad news is it’s £22.99 a month and there’s also a sign-up fee of £20 if you commit for a year and £35 if you only commit for a month.
The Ashes runs for over a month, so the minimum cost of subscribing to BT Sport if you’re a TalkTalk customer is £80.98.
Signing up for BT Sport via EE
EE seems to be offering its customers three months of the BT Sport app for free. More details on this page.
If you’re on an EE mobile contract, we suppose you could take them up on this and then work out how to cast the footage to your TV.
Christ this is complicated. Don’t blame us. We’re just the messenger.
We’re doing our best here, but thanks to the opaque policies and labyrinthine websites of the various media companies involved, there’s a decent chance that some of this is wrong – and even if it isn’t, it is of course subject to change.
If none of these options suits (and we’ll be honest, they didn’t suit us) then there’s always the free 10-minute daily highlights package. It’s not a lot, but it is actually pretty good considering its length. Combined with Test Match Special and extensive coverage in the written media (do feel free to sign up for this website’s email) you’re not in too a bad place.