BT launches low-cost sports but Sky ups the price

UK telco BT has launched its new low-cost Sky Sports package, just as pay-TV rival BSkyB announced an increase in the price of the sports channels to its own subscribers that will enable it to charge a higher wholesale rate to BT.

BT is offering Sky Sports 1 and 2 for £16.99 (€20.80) a month as a package on a month-by-month basis, or £11.99 for each channel individually to customers, renewable on a monthly basis, that sign up for a 12-month BT broadband and BT Vision contract. Customers can also sign up for other sports packages on a 24 month contract, including £6.99 for Sky Sports 1, ESPN and on demand sport from BT Vision or £11.99 for Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2, ESPN and on demand sport. BT believes there is a potential market of four million households that would like to sign up for Sky Sports channels but believe they are too expensive.

BSkyB meanwhile has revealed that it plans to increase the retail price of Sky Sports 1 and 2 by £3, meaning it will be able to charge a higher wholesale rate to its rivals. UK regulator Ofcom has linked the regulated wholesale price for the channels to the price Sky charges its own customers. The move could mean that BT will lose money on customers signing up to its new packages. 

Cable operator Virgin Media will not be affected by the move following its earlier signing of a wide-ranging deal with Sky.