In the battle for broadcast supremacy BT Vision lies somewhere between the feet of Sky and Virgin and scrabbling around the ankle of Freeview. Still, this could help...
Just in time for the Premier League season's big kick-off, BT has announced a deal to bring Sky Sports 1 and 2 to its service from 1 August. We await official pricing, but Bloomberg quotes BT Retail CEO Gavin Patterson as saying in May that prices for a sport channel package would come in at under £20 per month.
"We are delighted to have reached this milestone, which means that we can be certain of offering Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 to our customers before the football season kicks off,” said Patterson today, without expanding on pricing. "We know our customers will be keen to sign up for the two channels."
The deal is good news for BT as Vision currently only broadcasts the standard array of FreeView channel and has no HD channels (Sky 1 and 2 will be SD only) and requires a £9.99 one-off fee for ESPN. Like Virgin, Vision's business is largely focused around its on-demand downloadable content (which does include HD content).
In related news Sky has announced subscribers to its Sky Sports Pack will be given bonus access from 12th July until the end of the year to both Sky Mobile TV (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad only so far) and Sky Player.
Oh and before we send too much good will to Rupert Murdock's minions, it is worth pointing out the corporation has decided to pull Sky Sports News from its free-to-air channels. Freeview, Freesat and BT Vision customers (plus numerous pubs and gyms) will find it automatically replaced by 'Sky 3 +1' (a one hour time shift of Sky 3) - which is hardly likely to drag in the same monstrous viewing figures.