Subscribing to BT Sport for the Ashes

We’ve been bemoaning the out-of-date way in which broadcasters sell sport to consumers for quite a while now.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.

Huzzah?

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.

Update

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.

Disclaimer

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.

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26 Appeals

  1. Or you could just not bother because all the matches are at night anyway. My not bother dial seems to be in the ‘on’ position all the time these days.

  2. Re: EE I’ve been trying to work out how to cast the BT sports app on to the telly for the last two months and I can’t do it. You definitely can’t do it through the usual routes – so if anyone knows how to do this let me know.

    The actual app is actually pretty good, it’s just a shame you can only watch it on a tiny screen.

    • King Cricket

      October 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Feels like one way or another the consumer has an awful lot of work to do to pay for something they’re perfectly willing to pay for.

    • One of my sarcastic offspring is coming round to show me how to do it, apparently this will be the 2nd and last time but there is talk of needing to plug something into the telly. Apparently I received the ‘something’ for Christmas last year and if I put my looking glasses on its probably behind the Ferguson Video Star.

  3. I once saw a famous cricketer get the BT sport app without having to pay for BT Broadband.

    The next morning I chatted to Michael Vaughan at breakfast about his helicopter dash to see Sheffield play Hull in the football playoffs.

    • King Cricket

      October 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Now some of that story sounds familiar.

    • King Cricket

      October 20, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      We’re not accepting responsibility for that one, by the way. The editor’s pasting skills clearly leave something to be desired.

      • You were not being held responsible but having denied it… well now. The pasting skills have excelled, but the cutting skills are lacking.

        Anyway, none of this should distract from an excellent public information service and, hopefully, may even spawn another terrible in-joke.

  4. Will there be highlights on Normal Telly?

  5. I assume you can’t get access to willow.tv in the UK?
    (or maybe you could, with some technical jiggery-pokery)

    That seems to be my option. Appears to be $11.99 a month.

    • A VPN set to the US might work. You might also need to pay via PayPal or some other such method that isn’t tied to a physical address.

  6. When the Ashes is in Oz, I listen to TMS at night while nodding off and then catch up when getting up early in the morning. Otherwise, you’ve got to be ultra-keen or an insomniac surely.

    • Agreed. Although during the 2011 series R4 cut to the shipping forecast at the precise time England won.

    • King Cricket

      October 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      We rather like getting up for the last hour. You get a feel for the day and then most of the day’s highlights during the end-of-day taking-stock bit straight after.

    • Australian tests start in my evenings, it works out quite well. 11am Sydney is 5pm the day before here. It’s really only the Perth one that starts late.

      What puts me off paying for it is that we’re going to get spanked. I’m glad I decided against it in 2014.

      • Plays havoc with my working day in Dubai here – starts around 4am in the morning (which i get up for) and then writes off my morning productivity with it on ‘in the background’ before falling asleep at my desk post lunch in the afternoon. Still very much looking forward to it though.

      • Ah, so you’re not the Worcester County Cricket commentator.

  7. Selling cricket to cricket fans remains outside of broadcasters’ business plan.

    Their business plan is harvesting the disposable income of middle class families who ‘may as well get sky’.

    The notion that things are changing hasn’t reached them yet because it will take a lot more of us to convince them, by which time, the value of cricket broadcasting may have already fallen beyond repair.

  8. Apropos only to the good old days before any of these technologies existed, I have Ogblogged overnight the strange tale of my interview with Patrick Moore in 1981 for our Student Union newspaper.

    The piece includes the digitised recording of the event, in a peculiarly John Shuttleworth stylee, recorded in my little study bedroom for reasons explained in the article.

    The interview is interesting in itself and there is a short snippet about cricket, which was apparently one of Patrick Moore’s great loves:

    http://ianlouisharris.com/1981/05/28/my-keele-interview-with-patrick-moore-conducted-in-my-little-study-bedroom-lindsay-f4-circa-28-may-1981/

    You do not need any sort of subscription to read or listen.

  9. In the matter of BT Sports, here in Noddyland, Daisy and I have just switched our Virgin Media package from a Sky Sports package to a BT Sports package, saving us £14 big ones per month.

    Had we not had Sky Sports in the first place and merely added BT Sports to a regular package, that would have cost us £18 per month.

    It feels like a bit of a result to us.

    • King Cricket

      October 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Cheers Ged and indeed everyone who’s helping navigate this unnecessarily complex scenario.

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