Since the arrival 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, Freeview customers haven’t been able to get the channel. As Top Up TV has now ceased broadcasting, there’s no way to get ESPN in your home like you could in the past.
Read Recombu Digital's guide to BT Sport and How to get BT SportThe 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, Freeview customers haven’t been able to get the channel.
As Top Up TV has now ceased broadcasting, there’s no way to get ESPN in your home like you could in the past.
1) YouView with BT Broadband and BT TV
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.
With BT TV, you can get a YouView set-top box thrown in alongside a BT Broadband subscription.
In order to get BT Sport to work, you need BT Broadband and a BT TV subscription. BT Sport is included for no extra cost.
The cheapest way to get BT Sport with YouView is to get the entry-level BT Broadband service, which costs £10/month. With line rental (£15.99) this rises to £25.99/month. BT TV Essential costs £5/month, bringing the total cost to £30.99/month.
This gives you BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN in standard definition.
If you want the BT Sport channels in HD, you’ll need to get BT Infinity, BT’s superfast FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband service.
The cheapest BT superfast service - BT Infinity 1 - costs £15/month. With line rental (£15.99) stacked on top of that, the cost climbs to £30.99. Once again, you need to take out BT TV Essential (£5) in order to get BT Sport, bringing the total cost £35.00/month.
You get BT Sport in standard definition for no extra charge as normal. If you want BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN in HD as well, you’ll need to pay an extra £3/month.
The total cost for BT Sport in HD on BT TV through a YouView box is £38.99/month.
All BT TV services come with a one-off £35 charge for new customers.
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 delivered over a broadband connection.
Price-wise, access to BT Sport through a BT Vision+ box is exactly the same as if your subscription included a YouView box.
With a BT Vision+ box, BT Broadband and the BT TV Essential pack you’ll get BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN in standard definition for no extra cost.
The cheapest BT Broadband service costs £10/month. The standard cost of line rental is £15.99/month. TV Essentials from BT costs £5/month. This works out at £30.99/month.
If you want all of the BT Sport channels in HD as well, you’ll need to get one of BT’s superfast Infinity services.
The cheapest FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) service from BT is Infinity 1 which costs £15/month. You’ll need to pay for line rental (£15.99) and BT TV Essentials (£5) on top of this to get the BT Sport channels in SD. This works out at £35.99/month.
To get them all in HD, you’ll need to pay an extra £3/month which brings the total cost up to £38.99/month.
New customers will need to pay a one-off £35 fee for the hardware.
3) Laptop via HDMI
If you’ve got BT Broadband then you automatically get access to the BT Sport online streaming app.
A smart-arse 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 a nice workaround which will see you not having to pay any extra for a BT TV subscription or a BT TV box.
This lifehack should work on any TV set, whether you've got Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin TV or TalkTalk TV.
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 £15.99 line rental). Our feature How to connect my laptop to my TV has more information.
4) Chromecast with the BT Sport iOS and Android apps
An alternative to the above solution is to stream BT Sport to your TV with Chromecast.
Both the iOS and Android BT Sport apps are Chromecast-compatible, meaning if you’ve got one of Google’s TV streaming sticks in your telly, you don’t need a BT TV subscription.
You’ll still need BT Broadband in order to use the BT Sport apps on your phone or tablet, but you won’t need a BT TV subscription if you want to watch games on your TV via Chromecast.
BT Line Rental Saver prices and rises coming December 1, 2014
BT’s standard rate of line rental costs £15.99/month. Over 12 months this works out at £191.88/month.
BT offers a Line Rental Saver option which sees you able to save a bit of cash by paying £159.84 up front. This covers you for line rental for a year and will save you £32.04.
You should also note that the price of BT line rental is going up by £1 to £16.99/month in December 1, 2014.
Over 12 months, this would see you paying £203.88. If you take out Line Rental Saver before December, you’d save £44.04.
If you take out Line Rental Saver after, you’ll still be able to pay up front but the cost will rise to £169.90. This is a saving of £33.98 compared to paying £16.99/month for 12 months - equivalent to two months free.