With the cost of living crisis hiking up everyday prices, TV packages have started to become more noticeable within our monthly bills. With so many TV plans to choose from, it’s important to consider what you need as you can often find that you’re overpaying for channels or services that you don’t actually use.
Sports packages can be one of the cheapest yet also one of the most expensive TV plans. Sky Sports and BT Sport are two of the most popular sports packages available but as they both offer different channels, games and even pundits, it can be hard to decide which one is the right one for you and which offers the most value.
For years, Sky Sports (opens in new tab) was the go-to destination for live sports and channels but BT Sport (opens in new tab) has emerged as a fierce competitor. If you’re a big sports fan, Sky and BT are the two that you’ll most likely have to choose between, so I’ve put together this handy guide to give you an idea of prices, channels and the value of both.
Sky TV (opens in new tab) has multiple packages to choose from, with all of their plans coming with Netflix as standard. With Sky Sports, you have two packages to choose from: Sky TV, Netflix & Sky Sports or Sky TV, Sky Sports & BT Sport.
The Sky TV, Netflix & Sky Sports plan is the standard sports option you can get which gives you access to all 11 Sky Sports channels in HD. The Sky Sports channels are Main Event, Premier League, Football, Cricket, Golf, Racing, F1, Action, News and Mix. With Sky Sports, you can watch all games, tournaments, races, practices, chat shows and more across a range of different sports and activities. This standard package is £46 a month for 18 months with a one-off £20 setup fee.
The next package you can get is the Sky TV, Sky Sports & BT Sport. As Sky Sports and BT Sport are the biggest sports TV plans in the UK, both Sky and BT offer bundle packages so you can get access to all the Sky and BT channels on one plan. This is the case here but it will cost you £67 for 18 months and a one-off £20 setup fee when you sign up. In addition to all the Sky Sports channels, you’ll also get access to BT Sport 1, 2, 3 and BT Sport ESPN channels which are all available in HD.
I don’t have access to Sky Sports on my Sky TV package, however, I have tried it out before and can’t deny the value that it holds. The Sky Sports channels offer a huge amount of sporting coverage and content, plus you get Sky Sports presenters, like Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp and Roy Keane. If you’re into football, Sky Sports has access to over 140 live Premier League games, live rugby and cricket matches, and Formula 1. With the Sky TV, Netflix and Sky Sports plan, users also get access to regular Sky channels and Netflix so you can watch tons of content in addition to sports. There’s no doubt in my mind that it deserves its reputation, but if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider using the regular cable channels to watch sports.
In comparison to Sky Sports, BT Sport has less channels but is also a lot less money each month. BT Sport has two package options to choose from: Sport and Big Sport. The standard Sport plan comes with BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport 3 and BT Sport ESPN channels in HD. These four channels have live Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Premiership Rugby games, as well as cricket, WWE, boxing, hockey, baseball, basketball and Red Bull events. The Sport package is £16 for 24 months and comes with a £39.99 one-off setup fee. This is the cheapest BT TV plan available and is one of the cheapest plans from all TV providers.
The BT Big Sport package is similar to the Sky TV, Sky Sports & BT Sport package and has all BT channels, 11 Sky Sports channels and Eurosport 1 and 2. It’s slightly more expensive than the BT Sport plan but is lower than the Sky TV equivalent, at £41 for 24 months, plus the £39.99 set-up fee. While these BT Sport plans might seem a lot smaller than Sky Sports, they’re more affordable and you can also sign up to BT Sport contract-free.
The BT Sport Monthly Pass (opens in new tab) is £25 a month and gives you 30 days of BT Sport channels without being locked into a contract or having to sign up to a full BT TV plan or BT broadband. For me, I think this is what sets BT Sport apart from Sky Sports and is definitely something you should consider if you’re trying to save money and want to try out BT Sport before signing up for a full package.
Which TV Sport package offers the most value?
As always, it completely depends on what you’re looking for from a TV sport package that will determine the value of Sky Sports vs BT Sport. However, here are a few of my observations that can answer this question.
Let’s start with Sky Sports. Personally, I think Sky Sports offers the most value, specifically the Sky TV, Netflix and Sky Sports package. It’s affordable, has a wide variety of games and matches to watch live or on-demand and also comes with TV channels and streaming services so you’ve got a fully fledged TV package plan. The setup fee is cheaper than BT TV and the contract length is shorter so you’re not locked in for 2 years but rather 18 months.
Another good thing about Sky is that you don’t need to sign up for Sky broadband to get Sky TV channels. You’ll often find that Sky TV and broadband package deals are cheaper but it isn’t a requirement to have Sky broadband, unlike BT TV where you need BT broadband to use BT TV plans. However, I think that the Sky Sports & BT Sport plan from Sky is insanely expensive and is a big chunk out of your monthly bills. I wouldn’t pay that price as I don’t watch that many sports and alongside the streaming services I use, the overall cost of my TV plan would be nearer £100 a month.
With BT Sport, I do think the Sports packages are also very good value. The Sport package in particular is incredibly affordable, although it doesn’t come with a wide range of other TV channels like Sky Sports does. However, you can’t really argue with £16 a month, although you’ll have to take into consideration that this is for a 24 month contract which is far longer than other TV plan lengths. The BT Sport Monthly Pass is also something unique that Sky doesn’t offer and is a great way to watch sports without having to commit to a 2-year contract. It’s something you can sign up to again and again, plus you can time it right for specific tournaments and competitions.
Can I buy Sky Sports & BT Sport together?
As mentioned above, you can buy Sky Sports and BT Sport together from both Sky and BT. I was slightly surprised that while the packages are the same from both providers, they’re priced differently so I’ll break this down for you.
If you sign up with Sky for Sky Sports and BT Sport, you pay £87 (with setup fee) as a one-off when you sign up and then £67 overall for 18 months. This adds up to £1,206 for the full contract length. In comparison, if you sign up with BT for Sky Sports and BT Sport, you pay £80.99 (with setup fee) as a one-off and £41 overall for 24 months which adds up to £984 for the 2 years. This is less expensive than if you were to sign up with Sky so I’d recommend signing up with BT if you want a joint bundle package.