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Freesat cleared to offer streaming sports: Now TV incoming?

It looks like Sky Sports streams could be coming to Freesat. The subscription-free satellite TV platform has been given the green light from the BBC Trust to give viewers the option of signing up for pay TV sports ‘delivered via a broadband connection’. 

While Freesat currently offers customers the option of signing up for Netflix, Curzon Home Cinema, and Hopster alongside free catch-up and on-demand services, Now TV isn’t currently available. 

Now TV is a turnkey to some of the best content from Sky’s stable; amongst other things it lets you access live streams of matches broadcast from Sky’s premium sports channels without having to sign up for an expensive pay TV package. 

Read our Now TV and BT Sport app reviewsNeither Freesat or Sky spokespeople have been able to confirm if any talks are happening at the moment or if there’s anything in the pipeline. Later this year Sky will launch a Now TV Smart set-top box, which gives you access to digital terrestrial TV channels and Now TV content in one box. 

Another aspect of Now TV is that you’re not tied down to lengthy contracts. The Sports Passes are particularly flexible; you can sign up for a day, a week or a month at a time. 

Freesat’s managing director Alistair Thom said: “This is a really important development for Freesat which will significantly impact our content offering. 

“We’re here to provide a compelling subscription-free TV service, and believe our viewers should have the option to watch a wide variety of TV programmes and events without being tied down to a contract. We will continue innovating to provide a brilliant, subscription-free service for our ever-growing number of viewers.”

The ruling also raises the possibility of BT Sport streams coming to Freesat. While you can get BT Sport channels with Sky and Virgin TV subscriptions as well as BT TV boxes, customers with a BT Broadband connection can make use of the BT Sport mobile app and stream games live through a web player. There’s currently no option for Freesat viewers with BT Broadband to access this content through their TV or set-top box. BT spokespeople were not available for comment. 

Freesat is jointly owned by the BBC and ITV, meaning the Trust’s approval is required before new services can be launched on the platform.


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