Champions League fans will need Sky, Virgin or Now TV in 2014 with the launch of a dedicated European football channel not available on BT TV.
Sky Sports 5 will host the UEFA Champions League, Euro 2016 qualifiers for everyone except the UK nations, plus La Liga, Coppa Italia, the Copa del Rey and the Dutch Eredivisie.
It’s a cunning blast across BT’s bows before BT takes over Champions League coverage in summer 2015, and comes with a two-year free broadband offer for Sky customers.
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “Sky Sports 5 takes our unrivalled live football coverage to the next level offering more European football than ever before.
“There’s never been a better time to be a Sky Sports customer and with two years’ free totally unlimited broadband, we offer the ultimate package for sports fans.”
Available from June 12, Sky Sports 5 will show around 600 live European football matches in just one year, plus sports magazine shows including Revista De La Liga and Champions League Weekly.
The launch sideswipes BT, which will have exclusive coverage the Champions League and Europa League from 2015 to 2018.
It doesn’t affect the Champions League games currently shown on ITV, which has one year left in its shared deal with Sky until BT Sport takes over.
The new channel will also be available on Virgin Media (in HD and SD) as part of its £27.25/month Sky Sports package, but TalkTalk has yet to announce a deal, while BT TV customers are restricted to Sky Sports 1 and 2.
Sky Sports 5 will also be available as part of the Now TV Sky Sports Day Pass, costing £9.99/day.
The Sky Sports 5 free broadband offer
The free broadband offer is open to anyone who takes Sky Sports with Sky (and doesn’t already have Sky Broadband Unlimited), whether they’re a new customer or already have any Sky TV package, including current Sky Sports customers.
With Sky Broadband Unlimited normally costing £7.50/month (plus £15.40/month line rental), that’s a potential saving of £330.
Existing Sky Broadband Unlimited customers can take advantage of a one-year half-price offer on Sky Fibre Unlimited, offering up to 38Mbps for £10/month on top of their line rental.
Current Sky Sports customers can access the offer by registering for Sky Sports 5 through the red button on any Sky Sports channel.