Just as the English Premier League starts in earnest, BT is to raise the price for its BT Sport and TV services by up to £6 more per month for some of its customers, effective from 1 November.
Meanwhile, rival Sky has announced three new sports packages that will enable football fans to save up to 30% off normal subscription costs.
Those affected by the BT price rises are customers on legacy deals. Those who have BT TV and BT Sport will see a total increase of £6 per month (£2 for the TV package/£4 for the Sport package).
Sky Sports, meanwhile, is offering Sky Football and the Sky Premier League channel in one package for £18, down from £22.
Nick Baker, TV expert at Uswitch.com, commented: “Price rises are never welcome, but this new hike [from BT] comes at a time when television is the only way for fans to watch their favourite sports. A £4 increase to BT’s sports bundle and a £2 hike to its Entertainment package will add £72 a year to bills, placing more pressure on households at a time when many are feeling the pinch.
“Recent rule changes mean that large groups of friends and family can’t gather in pubs and houses, so more people will need their own TV subscription to ensure that they don’t miss out. Existing customers may feel doubly hard done by, since the price rise comes as BT is offering new customers heavily discounted TV prices for six months.”
Commenting on Sky’s pricing, Baker added: “Sky Sports has stormed into a two-nil lead in the battle against bitter Premier League rivals BT Sport with this nifty price cut.
“For just £18 - down from the usual price of £22 - you can now get Sky Football and the Sky Premier League channel rolled into one package. Customers can take the football channels on a month-by-month basis, meaning there aren’t any long-term commitments if you just want to watch the current season.
“Paying £40 a month gets you access to all the Sky Sports and BT Sport channels, but does mean signing an 18-month contract. This is great value and lets you watch 207 live Premier League games - working out at only 19p a match. For fans who just want to watch the odd game here or there, NOW TV’s Sky Sport pass starts at £9.98 a day, which currently includes three months of Sky Sports on your mobile.“There’s still a long way to go in this Premier League season, but Sky Sports has made a strong start, and performances like this will win them a lot of fans.”