8 questions about the new BT Sport service on digital terrestrial television:
Where are the BT Sport channels available on Freeview?
BT Sport is on channels 57-59.
Channel 57 is a free-to-air service, which shows promotions for BT Sport alongside occasional free sampler days.
BT Sport 1 and 2 – which are encrypted or scrambled – are on 58 and 59.
Do I have to retune to get the channels?
Unless your TV, PVR or Freeview box automatically adds channels, then yes. However, it's not possible for Freeview viewers to subscribe to BT to get these channels via an aerial, unless you live outside of an Infinity broadband area.
How come it’s on Freeview?
The BT Sport service will be transmitted alongside the Freeview signal. The channels will not be part of Freeview, however both free and pay TV services that transmit on the digital terrestrial television platform share the same channel numbering system / Electronic Programme Guide.
What’s on BT Sport?
How do I subscribe to the service on channels 58 and 59?
As it stands, access to the channels will only be available if you are a BT TV subscriber with a “Vision+” box and do not live in an area covered by BT Infinity fibre broadband.
More information, and details of how to subscribe >
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I have YouView, will I able to watch BT Sport on channels 58 and 59?
No. The service being broadcast through the airwaves on channels 58 and 59 are exclusively for viewers with a BT “Vision+” box who do not live in an area covered by BT Infinity fibre broadband.If you have YouView with BT, and live in an area covered by Infinity fibre broadband, you’ll be able to get BT Sport via your broadband connection to your YouView box – not through the airwaves - and will have the option of either standard or high definition. Check www.btsport.com for information. The channels will be on 507-512, not 58 and 59!If you have YouView with TalkTalk, no deal has been (as yet) made between BT and TalkTalk to make BT Sport available to you.
The following is an update to the original answer:
If you have YouView, and you bought the box on its own from a retailer and not through BT or TalkTalk, the BT Sport channels will not be available to you, unless you bought YouView direct from a retailer and have BT Infinity: you may be able to get the channels, but will need to contact BT and ensure that an update to enable reception of the channels via internet has been applied to your box. Otherwise, the services will not be made available.
Where has the space been found to put BT Sport on channels 57-59?
BT is using bandwidth it acquired from Arqiva in 2010 to host Sky Sports 1 and 2. As of 1st July 2013, BT no longer hosts Sky Sports 1 and 2 - these channels now streamed through broadband for BT Vision subscribers. (But not BT YouView subscribers due to a deadlock between Sky and BT and an ongoing Ofcom investigation on the subject).The signal reaches around 90% of the UK population.
If they have replaced Sky Sports, why can't BT Sport use channels 41 and 42?
Under the rules governing the digital terrestrial television channel numbering system, administered by Digital UK, new channels can't just inherit old channel numbers. Such a move was done when Setanta was replaced by ESPN in 2009, but since then the rules on the matter have been strengthened and clarified. BT would only be able to use 41 and 42 if all other channels entitled to a possible promotion up the channel list agreed to forgo this right and if Digital UK would allow this.