The days of free BT Sport are coming to an end after the broadcaster and ISP announced that most BT TV customers will soon pay “a small charge” of £3.50 per month for the channels.
When BT Sport first launched it was free for all TV and broadband customers, however in 2015 the firm introduced a £5pm charge for broadband customers but offered the channels for free to those taking or renewing a TV contract.
On Friday it was announced that even most TV customers would now be asked to pay for the channels from this August.
Only customers on the top Total Entertainment package, which includes a 4K ultra-high definition channel, and those on the Entertainment Max package will continue to receive the channels at no extra cost. All other customers will pay £3.50 per month.
Announcing the charge, BT sought to highlight its addition of several top sports, including the next Ashes series and major boxing competitions which arrive on the channel soon, and the fact that the monthly charge is significantly below that asked by rival Sky.
The firm also says that cost of its non-sport TV packages will be frozen along with line rental, although Infinity fibre broadband packages which power BT TV will rise by £2.50 per month.
All BT TV customers are set to get a software update which BT says will take their boxes “to the next level” and the AMC channel which offers US dramas such as Fear The Walking Dead will remain free.
Prices for BT Broadband customers who watch BT Sport via the App the cost will remain at £5 a month, while those who have BT Broadband but watch via their Sky box will see prices increase by £1.50 to £7.50 a month from April 2.
Non-BT Broadband customers who watch on their Sky box will be charged £22.99 a month from April 2, an increase of £1.
John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said: “Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more.
“Millions will have the chance to upgrade to faster broadband and almost a million will be able to upgrade to enjoy unlimited usage for no extra cost.
“As usual, we’ve taken care of low income customers by freezing the price of BT Basic and capping call costs.
“We’ve also frozen line rental, which will particularly help customers who only take a traditional phone service from us.”