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 good news is that you finally can, with the new BT Sport Showcase channel, where you’ll be able to watch 12 of the 42 Champions League matches when the new season kicks off, as well as 14 Europa League matches.
In fact, BT Sport will show all of the 341 matches from the Champions League across all of its channels, with the new BT Sport Europe channel, which is set to launch in August, offering dedicated coverage of the tournaments. The channel will be hosted by the likes of Gary Lineker, Jake Humphrey and Rio Ferdinand, while newly retired Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard will be adding to the line-up of pundits.
BT will also be launching an Ultra HD channel and will be offering a brand new set-top box to serve up 4K content, for those of us lucky enough to be viewing via a 4K telly. Details on prices for this have yet to be released.
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.
Aside from the forthcoming BT Sport Showcase channel, there's no other way to get BT Sport on Freeview. Your only other options are to shell out for a BT TV subscription or, of you've got a BT broadband subscription, make good use of the BT Sport iOS and Android app.
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.
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.
Read our BT TV reviewThe cheapest way to get BT Sport with YouView is to get the entry-level BT Broadband service, which costs £4.50/month. With line rental (£16.99/month) this rises to £21.49/month, with BT Sport included for free.
The basic BT TV package - BT TV Starter - costs nothing. This gives you BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe 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 £12.50/month. With line rental (£16.99) stacked on top of that, the cost climbs to £29.49/month. The BT Sport pack is currently free, however if you want to view in HD, you’ll pay nothing for the first month and then £4/month thereafter.
All BT TV services come with a one-off £14 charge for new customers with the exception of the top-tier £10/month BT Entertainment Plus package.
2) Laptop via HDMI
Related: How to connect my laptop to my TVIf you’ve got BT Broadband then you automatically get access to the BT Sport online streaming app, although if you want to view the Champions League games live, you’ll have to pay an extra £5.
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 £4.50/month plus £16.99/month line rental).
3) Chromecast with the BT Sport iOS and Android apps
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’s standard rate of line rental costs £16.99/month. Over 12 months this works out at £203.88/month.
BT offers a Line Rental Saver option which sees you able to save a bit of cash by paying £183.48 up front. This covers you for line rental for a year and will save you £20.40.