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Sky Sports 5 to launch on BT TV

Sky Sports 5 is to be made available on non-YouView BT TV boxes from 6pm on the 12th August 2014.

In a surprise move, the channel will be made available at no extra cost to BT TV users who have the older black BT Vision box and who already subscribe to Sky Sports 1 and 2. BT YouView viewers will not get the channel.

BT TV users currently subscribing to Sky Sports 1 or 2 on a standalone basis will need to upgrade and take both channels to get Sky Sports 5 for free.

Roll-out of the channel begins at 6pm on 12th August 2014 for those subscribers with an Infinity broadband connection. For those with a normal BT broadband connection, the new channel will be activated during September. Sky Sports 5 will appear on channel 524.

The launch of Sky Sports 5 as the new home of European football, including Sky Sport's last year of Champions League football, before BT Sport takes over the rights in 2015/16, was seen as a spoiler by the satellite broadcaster in the ongoing battle between BT and Sky. Sky has been offering viewers who subscribe to Sky Sports two year's free broadband, which locks customers into a contract lasting beyond the transfer of Champions League football to BT.

Sky Sports 3, 4, F1 and the revamped Sky Sports News HQ continue to be unavailable to BT TV subscribers with the older Vision+ boxes. Sky Sports is not available at all on BT's YouView service. BT TV subscribers will need to continue to wait for the full Sky Sports service, pending any future agreement between the pay TV giants.

Sky Sports 1 and 2 are available on the original BT TV service though the disputed Wholesale Must Offer obligation placed on Sky by Ofcom in 2010. As Sky Sport 5's content has come from Sky Sports 1 and 2, it is believed that Sky would have fallen foul of the obligation. Back in 2010, Ofcom threatened to include other Sky Sports channels in the obligation if Sky shifted significant amounts of content from Sky Sports 1 and 2 to other channels.

The Wholesale Must Offer obligation excludes YouView, which launched two years later in 2012, which is why BT can't offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 on YouView without a commercial agreement with Sky. Ofcom is currently reviewing the scope of the obligation.

last updated: 19:21 11/08/2014


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