Sky Sports 1 and 2 have ceased broadcasting on the digital terrestrial pay TV service Top Up TV. A caption advises that these services are no longer available through an aerial. The service was switched off at midnight.
The move comes as BT, who hosted the two channels on the terrestrial TV platform since 2010 and who offered the channels to Top Up TV, withdraws the channels ahead of next month's launch of BT Sport.
ESPN will follow at the end of this month, when the most recent carriage agreement between Top Up TV and ESPN, signed before BT took over the UK assets of the US-based network, expires.
The company had earlier this year issued correspondence indicating that it had been in negotiations with BT Sport in order to offer its subscribers the new BT offering from August. Now, letters from Top Up TV tell subscribers that it will not offer any premium sports channels. It is advising subscribers to contact Sky for ongoing deals on sport and
entertainment packages, indicating a complete winding down of the
BT, meanwhile, will use the bandwidth on the digital terrestrial TV platform to offer BT Sport 1 and 2 from 1st August. As it stands at the moment, the channels will only be made available to BT TV subscribers who are not on YouView and outside of the Infinity fibre broadband network. Analysts expect BT to permanently pull the plug on its digital terrestrial TV transmissions once enough of the UK is covered by Infinity.