For those of you out there who are fed up of being held ransom by sport bullies Sky and ESPN, you’ll be delighted to hear that there is another guy on the scene ready to get in on the act – and that is BT. They’ve recently announced that they will now be allowing those with a BT internet package, or a BT vision package, free access to watching 38 matches live in the 2013/2014 season.
Hopefully Sky Sports will try and counter the BT offer by reducing the price to subscribe to their sports packages, which to me are crazily priced. It works out at around £500 per year to watch the weekends football, so it’s probably better value to walk down to your local pub and to watch the games of your choice there instead. That is of course if you still have an open local with a Sky TV package. It’s unlikely that they will drop their price, but when the subscription fee is close to that of a full season ticket for your local League One side then you tend to feel there’s something severely wrong with the game.
BT Vision have their own TV service available, a rival to Virgin’s on demand service, and it remains to be seen quite what their football coverage will be like. It’s probable that they’ll start making their own signings in the TV pundits department, with Phil Neville and Gary Neville two possible transfer targets to spice up their coverage.
Many people are currently turning their backs on Sky’s extortionate prices, instead choosing to watch football online through providers such as Firstrow, Wizziwig and SopCast. These are pieces of software that can be downloaded onto your PC, then you simply search for a football game stream from a search engine before loading up the coverage from that software. Coverage is usually pretty good, sometimes in high definition, but occasionally is slow on popular games. Advertising pop-ups can be annoying at times too, as well as the commentary often being in foreign languages.
Now with BT offering people the choice of watching their games through BT Vision on their TV’s, and also directly online through the BT website, it seems that finally another large corporation feel they have the ability to take on the Sky TV giants. As a huge fan of watching all levels of football, I’m really excited to see how things pan out next season. The more competition the better, as this brings down the price for everyone. For too long have Sky been monopolising the sport, preventing anybody else from even getting a look in. Let’s hope this is just the beginning, and that come the next season BT, and other parties, are able to start bidding for more football rights when the contracts become available.