Since the launch of BT Sport and the disappearance of ESPN from Freeview, many of you have been asking us ‘How can I get BT Sport on Freeview?’
The short answer is you can’t. Until BT Sport launches encrypted channels on Freeview, which BT hasn't shown any signs of doing, you won’t be able to get BT Sport on Freeview.
Since ESPN’s UK broadcast rights were acquired by BT, TopUp TV was unable to continue to sell the channels. It’s also lost the rights to show Sky Sports to new customers but existing customers can continue to get these channels.
There are however a number of ways you can get BT Sport combined with free digital terrestrial TV.
1) YouView with BT Broadband
YouView is a separate service to Freeview but it comes with all of the same digital terrestrial TV channels, plus some extra channels delivered over your broadband connection. While YouView itself is a subscription free service, BT Sport is not.
To get BT Sport on YouView you’ll need:
- A BT Infinity broadband subscription (from £15/month plus £15.45/month line rental)
- A BT TV subscription (from £7/month)
- An unbranded YouView box (from £299)
- A one-off activation fee (£49)
The BT Infinity broadband contract is an 18 month commitment and BT TV requires you to sign up for 12 months if you want to get BT Sport.
Access to BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN in standard definition is free. If you want all those channels in HD, you’ll need to pay an extra £3/month.
If you order BT YouView (a BT-branded YouView box) with your BT Infinity broadband, you should get the YouView box thrown in for free.
2) BT Vision+ with BT Broadband
BT Vision is another service that, like YouView, comes with all of the regular digital terrestrial channels you’d get on Freeview plus extras.
BT Vision is a cheaper bet than YouView, as you only have to pay £5/month for BT TV and you don’t have to take out the fibre-based BT Infinity package to get BT Sport. Just the standard ADSL-based BT Broadband will do, although you can sign up for BT Infinity if you like.
To get BT Sport on BT Vision you’ll need:
- A BT Broadband subscription (from £10/month plus £15.45/month line rental)
- A BT TV subscription (from £5/month)
- A BT Vision+ box (free)
- A one-off activation fee (£10)
With BT Vision+ you also get the option of adding Sky Sports 1 and 2 for £15/month each or £20/month for both, but you don’t get the option of adding any HD channels.
3) Laptop via HDMI
If you’ve got BT Broadband then you automatically get access to the BT Sport online streaming app. A smartarse solution to getting BT Sport on your Freeview TV would be to get BT Sport up and running on your laptop and connect it to your TV via HDMI.
Technically this isn’t BT Sport on Freeview, but it is BT Sport on a Freeview-based TV set. Of course this will work on any TV set, whether you've got Freeview, Freesat, Sky or whatever.
In order to get the BT Sport online app to work your browser will need to be capable of running Microsoft Silverlight.
Minus the cost of your laptop and an HDMI cable, you'll also need to have a BT Broadband subscription (from £10/month plus £15.45 line rental). Our feature How to connect my laptop to my TV has more information.