What’s new for Barclays Premier League football on TV?
BT has announced that Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey is to be head anchor of its Barclays Premier League channel.
The channel which will show 38 live games a season for three seasons will launch in January next year. 18 of these games will be ‘first pick’ matches - high profile games such as Chelsea vs Manchester United - which marks the first time anyone but Sky has has won the rights to do this.
This news also scotches the long-held rumour that Gary Lineker was being lined up for the BT job, something which was anathema to many of our commenters.
September 18, 2012
- Jake Humphrey to head up BT’s football channel in 2013
- Sky adds in-depth Premier League stats to iPad app
- TV rivals lose Sky Sports price appeal
- Welcome to Recombu Digital's Premier League TV guide
Who has the rights to the 2012/2013 Barclays Premier League matches?
The 2012/2013 football season is the final year of the current deals between the Barclays Premier League and broadcasters for the rights to show live football matches and highlights.
The deal divides the 137 matches of each season into six packages, of which Sky has the rights to show five - 115 matches - and ESPN has one.
Sky has the pick of the best matches from the entire week, which ESPN’s has 18 games starting at 5.15pm on Saturdays, and the rest at either 1.30pm on Sunday, 8pm on Monday and a few at other times.
Why can’t I watch matches with a 3pm kick-off?
The Saturday 3pm ‘closed window’ was created to protect attendance at lower-league games where ticket receipts are a vital source of income. These games are often shown later on Sky’s Football First show, either as highlights or in full.
How can I find out which games are on Sky or ESPN?
The Barclays Premier League hosts a list of which fixtures are on ESPN or Sky, and which are in 3D or HD, at www.premierleague.com/en-gb/matchday/broadcast-schedules.html. Sky shows most games on Sky Sports 1, with some games on Sky Sports 2.
Can I watch the Barclays Premier League in HD or 3D?
Sky Sports and ESPN show all of their games in high definition, which can be seen on Sky and Virgin Media.
Sky viewers will need a £10.25/month HD subscription to watch high definition on any channel, Virgin charges £7/month extra for Sky’s premium HD channels, but ESPN HD is free.
Around half of Sky’s games are in 3D on Sky 3D, and these can be seen by any Sky subscriber who takes the complete Sky World package with sports movies and HD. You’ll need a 3D TV as well!
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League on Sky?
For the full season of games, you’ll need a Sky Sports subscription and a bolt-on ESPN subscription.
Sky Sports 1 or 2 cost £13/month each on top of a £21.50/month Entertainment pack (total £34.50/month), or £21.50/month for both sports channels (£43/month).
The six-channel Sky Sports pack costs £21/month plus the Entertainment pack (£42.50/month), and includes the dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel as well as five general Sky Sports channels.
The complete Sky World package, with Sports, Movies, HD and 3D, costs £65.75/month.
ESPN costs £10/month with the Sky Sports pack, but the first three months are free. It costs £13/month on its own.
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League on Virgin Media?
Virgin Media buys the Sky channels wholesale and sets its own prices, but you’ll need to start with the Virgin TV M+ package from £7/month. ESPN is only available with the top-tier Virgin TV XL package at £26.50/month, but it’s in HD.
The Sky Sports channels add £15.50/month each for Sky Sports 1 or 2, £25.75/month for Sky Sports 1 to 4 and F1. It’s an extra £7/month to upgrade all your Sky premium channels to HD.
So if you want Sky Sports with Virgin Media, it'll cost £32.75/month or £39.75/month in HD. With ESPN as well, it's £59.75/month, or £66.75 in HD.
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League on TalkTalk TV?
Broadband provider TalkTalk now offers its own TV service, based on YouView, with a free Huawei YouView box for subscribers.
There’s no need for a basic subscription, but you need to have TalkTalk broadband and line rental. The cheapest deal for this is TalkTalk Plus with advance line rental, at £24/month.
A Sky Sports package of Sky Sports 1 to 4, plus F1, costs £30/month, and ESPN costs £10/month, but it’s the full version, not the limited Freeview version carried on Top-Up TV and BT Vision.
There’s also a full bundle of Sky Movies, Sky Sports and ESPN for £45/month.
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League on Freeview with Top-Up TV?
Top-Up TV carries both Sky Sports 1 and 2, and a special version of ESPN, which you can receive using the TUTV T215 set-top box for £49.99, plus a monthly subscription which gives you a viewing card.
All Freeview digital TVs have a CI slot (usually on the left hand side), and you can buy a Top-Up TV CI+ CAM adapter for £49.99 - or it’s free with any two-channel combination of sports channels. There’s also a £20 connection fee for any new subscriber.
Subscriptions are on a rolling monthly contract, with no long-term commitment, and start at £10.99/month for ESPN. Sky Sports 1 costs £24.99/month, or £32.99 with ESPN. Both Sky Sports channels cost £33.99/month, but you’ll have to add ESPN separately.
The ESPN channel on Top-Up TV is only available from 2pm-4am from Monday to Friday, 11am-6am on Saturdays, and 11am-4am on Sundays.
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League on BT Vision?
BT Vision boxes are fitted with a slot for a viewing card for Sky Sports 1 and 2, or ESPN. The viewing card costs £10 and the BT Vision box is free to subscribers, but you also need BT Broadband and line rental. The cheapest deal for this is BT Vision Essential, at £30.08/month.
Sky Sports 1 and 2 add £12.90/month each, or £18.20/month together. ESPN is included in £12.50/month BT Vision Unlimited packaged, which also includes a range of services over your BT Broadband connection.
The ESPN channel on BT Vision is only available from 2pm-4am from Monday to Friday, 11am-6am on Saturdays, and 11am-4am on Sundays.
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League on Freesat?
Neither Sky Sports nor ESPN are available on Freesat.
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League online?
Sky subscribers can watch all of their Sky Sports channels, including ESPN, on Sky Go via broadband, WiFi or 3G, on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, selected Android phones and Xbox 360.
If you’re not a Sky subscriber, you can get Sky Go for £35/month with Sky Sports and entertainment, and £40 a month for entertainment, Sky Movies and Sky Sports. ESPN costs from £9/month-£12/month extra.
Some Barclays Premier League matches are expected to be added to Sky’s new Now TV pay-as-you-go service later this year.
The Sky Sports for iPad app doesn't show you live gamess, but Sky Sports subscribers can access a wealth of stats and information about teams, matches and players, such as time line-ups and biographies. It also hosts selected expert and fan tweets to create a live commentary.
How can I watch the Barclays Premier League for less than Sky or ESPN cost?
Shhh. It’s the worst-kept secret in the world that you can get European satellite TV subscriptions in the UK, including Premier League matches. The EU is a single market, so even if the broadcaster isn’t supposed to let people watch outside its own borders, they can’t refuse your business. There are also increasing numbers of streaming services online. For our own safety, we can't tell you any more.
This ‘grey market’ also lets you watch 3pm kick-off games, because foreign broadcasters aren’t affected by the restriction.
What happens in the 2013/2014 season?
Sky still has the majority of football matches from next year, but this time there were seven packages, so it’s got five while BT Vision will have two.
Of the 154 live matches, Sky has 116 and BT Vision has 38. BT is expected to launch its own channel in the style of ESPN, but the big change will be that online viewing is getting more important all the time, so both Sky and BT Vision will have to make their channels available to smart TVs, games consoles, smartphones and laptops.
What about other major football championships?
Sky has added in-depth statistics and facts about Barclays Premier League matches, teams and players to its Sky Sports for iPad app, which is free to Sky Sports subscribers.
A new Football Match Centre includes team and player profiles, match-day stats, team form and selected fan and expert tweets about live games.
August 21, 2012
Virgin Media, BT Vision, Top Up TV and TalkTalk could be forced to raise their prices for Sky Sports channels in 2013.
The Competition Commission’s Appeals Tribunal has reversed a ruling made by media regulator Ofcom in 2010 which forced Sky to cut its wholesale rates for Sky Sports by almost a quarter.
Sky’s competitors are likely to challenge the latest decision, but if they fail, they’re likely to face a steep rise in the price they pay for the Sky Sports channels, which will probably be passed on to viewers.
The price rises are likely to come into effect as each broadcaster renegotiates its deals with Sky over the coming year.
August 9, 2012
The new season of Barclays (English) Premier League football kicks off on August 18, so here at Recombu Digital we’ve compiled a guide to who’s showing what, and how much it costs.
August 7, 2012