Sky Sports 1 and 2 will end at the end of this month and the current carriage agreement with ESPN ends a month later.
That's according to correspondence being issued by Top Up TV to its subscribers. The current lack of an ongoing agreement between BT and Top Up TV means Top Up TV subscribers aren't guaranteed BT Sports, and that BT subscribers without an Infinity broadband line will not be able to watch ESPN through terrestrial TV from 1st August.
Sky Sports is hosted on digital terrestrial by BT, but is now transferring its customers over to its own broadband platform. Top Up TV gained access to the BT hosted Sky Sports channels in a wholesale agreement. BT is meanwhile going to use the terrestrial slots to offer BT Sport to its customers who don't live in a BT Infinity area. Top Up TV would have only been able to offer Sky Sports beyond July if it had acquired extra capacity on a terrestrial TV multiplex.
ESPN is hosted on Top Up TV capacity. Without a deal between BT and Top Up TV and without BT acquiring any more terrestrial capacity to carry ESPN itself, the telecoms giant cannot offer ESPN terrestrially to its non-Infinity customers.
In the latest development, Top Up TV has taken the unusual step to refer its customers to Sky for "special offers" for Sky Sports, indicating a souring relationship between BT and the terrestrial pay TV provider.
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This is the latest uncertainty to affect sports fans wanting to get the best sports coverage on TV following BT's entry into the sports TV market.
No deals have thus far been made between BT and any other platform operator. As it stands, BT Sport on TV is only available direct from BT via satellite, infinity fibre broadband or - as a last resort - terrestrially.
Most pay TV operators - including Top Up TV - have stated that they are still in talks with BT over future access to the BT Sport channels, but realistically, a failure to reach a deal would put Top Up TV in a vulnerable position and at risk of closure unless a last minute deal is reached with alternative content providers. Unlike other pay TV operators, Top Up TV has only offered the three sports channels that are being withdrawn in recent months to new subscribers. Its existing "Anytime / TV favourites" platform, incorporating a few hours of UKTV's Gold and Home channels each week on channels 20 and 26 is being wound down, with content being frequently reduced. This service has not been available to new subscribers for some time.
BT broadband customers are themselves affected by as yet unfruitful negotiations regarding sports channels, with only limited access to Sky Sports guaranteed next football season.
Sports fans may need to hope that someone somewhere will reach a deal sometime soon and provide a competitively priced one-stop shop for all sports channels.