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[2013 ARCHIVE] PICK TV to offer viewers a free dose of Sky Sports

To mark the launch of what Sky is calling its "biggest ever season of Premier League football", Sky will broadcast Sky Sports 1 on its free-to-air channel PICK TV on Saturday 17th August 2013 and show a Premiership match for free.

The free Sky Sports day will include the brand new show, "Saturday Night Football", which will include the as yet unknown 5:30pm Saturday evening Premier League fixture and a new Saturday schedule running from Soccer AM all the way through to extended evening highlights of all 3pm matches. Soccer Saturday with Jeff Stelling will make its first appearance on Freeview since 21st August 2010, shortly before Sky Sports News was taken off Freeview.

The free action is unlikely to be broadcast on the satellite version of PICK TV (available on Freesat channel 144 and Sky channel 152) due to rights issues as the free-to-air PICK TV signal reaches most of Europe - the channel broadcasts on a pan-European transponder unlike the BBC, itv and Channel 4. But Sky subscribers without the Sports package will be able to watch the action on Sky 2 instead. Virgin Media viewers will also benefit from the Sky 2 simulcast of Sky Sports 1.

New rival BT Sport responded to the move by Sky, stating to The Guardian:  "BT Sport is free every day of the season for BT broadband customers, not just free for one day.

"We are pleased to see that our arrival has prompted Sky to attempt to raise its game, but this stunt does not disguise the fact that this season they have fewer top pick matches."

BT compensates viewers who won't be able to get Sky Sports
BT is offering some of its customers six months' worth of free broadband and free BT Sport to those affected by the decision to cease hosting Sky Sports 1 and 2 on digital terrestrial television from the beginning of next week. As previously reported by a516digital, the bandwidth on the digital TV multiplex will be reused by BT for its own sports channels when they launch on the 1st August for the sake of viewers who are not in an area covered by BT Infinity fibre broadband.

But the decision also means that those who relied on the signal to get Sky Sports 1 and 2 and who don't have a fast enough internet connection will lose out.


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